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Temptation of Christ
It is no coincidence that Gospel for the First Sunday of Lent, in every cycle of the three-year Lectionary: Matthean, Markan & Lukan accounts, is the Temptation of our Lord Jesus Christ. The temptation narrative is central to all that lies ahead for our Lord and for us who follow the Way of the Cross.
Evil attacks us at our individual weaknesses. Not in an overt, calamitous way like with the Ten Commandments but attacks you in a devious, insidious way at your weakest point; as termites destroy from the inside out. God allows us to be tested for He doesn’t want puppets; He wants willing servants who choose to follow Him - not because they have to but because they want to.
Sermon for Ash Wednesday
I invite you to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and
meditating on God’s holy Word. And, to make a right beginning
of repentance, and as a mark of our mortal nature.
In three days, the church will begin observing the 40-day period of Lent beginning on Ash Wednesday. Lent is not only about penance and solemn countenances but can also be a positive, strengthening spiritual experience. Five things to do this Lent which will give a clearer vision of the Risen Christ, come Easter: Fasting & Abstinence, Praying, Corporate Worship (our bounden duty is to worship God every Sunday), and Works of Mercy. Reflections on our Call to Mission and Evangelism – Thursdays and Stations of the Cross – Fridays (The Way of the Cross leads us to contemplate the Passion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ).
Sermon on Love
How is your love life? Sounds like an awkward question to ask in church but it isn’t for we are told in 1 Corinthians 13:13 "...now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
Loving relationships are under pressure. As all who have been in long-term relationships know, they are hard work. You have to work hard to keep the flame alive, which can be extinguished by children, career pursuits, friends and hobbies, financial pressures, in-laws or communication failures. A related problem is that our world favours and rewards individualism, autonomy, and independence; leaving little space for the necessity of compromise, sacrifice and interdependence that successful relationships demand.
As we try to navigate the path to a successful life, the Bible tells us, as does the Beatles , love is all you need... Love God and love your neighbour as yourself (Matthew 22:36-40).
Sermon on Mark 4:1-20 The Parable of the Sower
We can yield a spiritual bounty from the blessings of God on our life, blessing received through hearing and applying the Word of God. The yield is the fruit of the spirit, it is the scale of the increase of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in your life. That yield is available to all of us.
Spiritual maturity it is not about age, intelligence, or education – sometimes children have a far greater understanding of biblical concepts than some adults. Spiritual maturity is not the length of time you have been a believer, nor the number to studies you have participated in, nor the vast biblical or theological knowledge you have obtained, and it most certainly not about a position obtained in the church – it is about hearing the Word and walking in the Spirit.
John 1:35 John was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God...two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus…One of the two…was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.
Today, I talk about the role of members of a congregation to, like Andrew, bring others to faith in Jesus Christ. “Andrew brought Simon Peter to Jesus.” What a wonderful line! Consider that without Andrew, there may not have been Peter, the Rock upon which the Church was built.
I believe that throughout the history of the Church that there have been 10,000 Andrews for every one Peter and these ordinary, everyday disciples are absolutely essential to make our world work, and are absolutely essential to make our church work. What the Episcopal Church is lacking today are the Andrews to help bring people to Christ, to salvation.
Sermon for the Baptism of our Lord (Epiphany 1)
Matthew 3:17 "...a voice from heaven said, 'This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.'"
Baptism is more than an initiation or even the redemption of sins. It is a transformation of the human condition as we too become adopted children of God and enter a new relationship and intimacy with Him.
Sermon for the First Sunday of Christmas
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Today is the first Sunday after Christmas Day, part of the Christmas Season, part of the twelve days of Christmas. On Christmas Eve, I heard a television anchor start out by saying: "Now that the Christmas Season is coming to a close...." And I thought, well... actually, the Christmas season is only now beginning...
Today, we continue our Christmas celebration. While many of us have exchanged gifts and most of the packages have been opened and meals consumed, as we move past the frantic crush and push of the shopping and eating, we are given another opportunity to be reminded what is at the heart of Christmas: The Word made Flesh.
Sermon for the Fourth Sunday of Advent 4. Sermon on Matthew 1:18-25.
The Matthean Birth Narrative reminds us how often pregnancy, and more broadly becoming a family can be a difficult situation, sometimes full of anxiety, fear and even strife. It humanises the Christmas Story by reminding us how messy life and living can sometimes be.
At one level, the Gospel is about Joseph and Mary but at another level it is about each of us. It is about us becoming more open and receptive to the Holy Spirit and, during this period of preparation for Christmas, cleaning out the trash in our lives and removing the debris in our hearts - so we can decorate the rooms of our life, to be a fitting place to receive the Prince of Peace, the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings. It is about us, like Joseph, becoming assistants in the Incarnation - of God entering our time and our community.
See video of this sermon at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBUCCRvkMVM
Sermon for the Third Sunday of Advent on what are you looking for in your faith?
Matthew 11:7 “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet?
We prepare ourselves in this season of Advent for the arrival of the greatest of all gifts: hope fulfilled, the prince of peace, the joy of all joys, love divine in the form of the birth of the Christ child in a manger.
Sermon for the Second Sunday of Advent
We observe the season of Advent as a period of preparation. We prepare by cleaning out the trash in our lives, and sweeping out the remaining dirt in our hearts, call that penance. But we don’t stop there. That would be a missed opportunity. We must also decorate the rooms of our hearts, to make them a fitting place to receive the King of Kings. We raise a tree, taking up our cross, that evergreen that never dies but gives eternal life. We place in our hearts the light of the Christ that illuminates both inward and outward. And we gather with our brothers and sisters to partake in a banquet of food and drink, including the bread of life and cup of salvation.
Sermon for the First Sunday of Advent
Instead of sprinting toward Christmas, starting four Sundays before Christmas, Advent invites us to appreciate the anticipation of Christ’s coming. Advent is an opportunity to set aside special moments to fully experience the joy and the miracle of Christmas, to focus on Christ’s birth in the midst of the chaos of our Christmas to-do lists.