22 November 2015 – Proper 29: Every once in a while it is good to turn everything upside down and shake it loose. This last Sunday of the Church Year provides a good moment for doing so.
15 November 2015 – Proper 28: On Advent 1 a breakdown of Mark 13 was included in the bulletins to show how two versions of the apocalypse about the end of the world were scrambled together. It becomes, therefore, a model of how our lives unfold in scrambled ways.
8 November 2015 – Proper 27: The Rev’d Bill Smith covers for the Rector this week and delivers a crackerjack sermon on the ministers of the Church.
1 November 2015 – All Saints Day: An encounter with “band geeks” leads to a chance to define “apocalypse,” a badly misused word in our generation.
25 October 2015 – Proper 25: The cloak on which Bartimaeus sat as he begged for alms served as much more than a mat or a blanket. Ultimately, it became a powerful sign of his own changing identity.
18 October 2015 – Proper 25: The answer to the question “Who will be at the right hand and the left hand of Jesus as he enters his glory?” is answered in an old American hymn sung by Ed Trickett and friends on an album they recorded about 40 years ago.
11 October 2015 – Proper 23: This August a new icon was written in support of Project-Resource.org, depicting the encounter between Jesus and the rich young ruler. After a crash course in reading icons, several wonderful details can be seen that open up the story in new ways.
4 October 2015 – Proper 22: What is the sound of one hand clapping and why are there questions like that out there that can’t be answered.
27 September 2015 – Proper 21: A couple of examples of how we respond when God does something we don’t expect.
20 September 2015 – Proper 20: Fully Human: a guy who lives in a house in a neighborhood of a town by the sea.
13 September 2015 – Proper 19: Jesus asks his disciples “who do you say that I am?” The importance of this questions is emphasized by contrasting it with the questions Jesus did not ask.
6 September 2015 – Proper 18: We have looked several times at the story of the Syrophoenecian woman (the Canaanite woman in Matthew’s Gospel) thinking about the lesson Jesus learned from her. This sermon looks at how Jesus applied that lesson in the healing of a man born deaf and mute.
30 August 2015 – Proper 17: With no Sunday School this week, Canon Gatza invited children to come forward to look at vestments that were used a hundred years ago during the heyday of Morning Prayer. Both the lessons for the day and a brief look at the ministry of Charles Chapman Crafton from today’s Calendar show why things have changed so much between then and now.
23 August 2015 – Proper 16: Redeeming the metaphor of the “Armor of God” so that we can defend against the “principalities, powers and evil spirits” of the 21st Century.
16 August 2015 – Proper 15: Canon Gatza uses his oldest bible to illustrate how scriptures should be read. The other prop was a book stand which was used to add some distance and perspective. With that perspective, we notice that there are three narratives of salvation in the Old Testament. The author of the letter to the Ephesians, it turns out, quotes liberally from one of these, the Wisdom tradition.
9 August 2015 – Proper 14: Fr. Bill holds forth again this week with a catalog of ways we listen, but don’t hear, see, but don’t comprehend.
2 August 2015 – Proper 13: The Rev’d Bill Smith takes the wheel while Mark is away, and reflects this week on the building of community.
26 July 2015 – Proper 12: A play on words at the beginning of this section of Ephesians illuminates the author’s understanding of the closeness of God.
19 July 2015 – Proper 11: A brief reminisce about my favorite toys growing up serves to illustrate the problem that the writer to the Ephesians will address.
12 July 2015 – Proper 10: Here beginneth a several week series of sermons on the Letter to the Ephesians.
5 July 2015 – Proper 9: Jesus returns home from a missionary journey to find his town to be less than welcoming.
Canon Gatza was on vacation the last two weeks of June and (alas!) there are no recordings of the two excellent preachers who supplied for him.
14 June 2015 – Proper 6: The language of stuff versus the language of doing.
7 June 2015 – Proper 5: You can know much about a person by looking at who stands by her, or by who he stands by. We give thanks for the human connections that bind us.
31 May 2015 – Trinity Sunday: Most of you figured out long ago that I don’t know everything. Here is a little story about the moment I discovered that fact, and how I have used that discovery to inspire ministry.
24 May 2015 – Pentecost: Why is the Church’s “Birthday” celebrated on Pentecost and not Easter? Because it was on this day that the Holy Spirit kicked the disciples out of the house and sent them into the world.
17 May 2015 – B Easter 7: Jesus and Judas.
10 May 2015 – B Easter 6: This sermon considers both Good and Bad News. The Bad News is that God does not particularly care if you are happy. The Good news is that God has something much better in mind.
3 May 2015 – B Easter 5: Here is our send-up of Saturday Night Live, answering the question, What would we get is God employed a room of comedy writers instead of poets, evangelists and prophets to create bible stories. We recorded the presentations by the casts of our later two services.
26 April 2015 – B Easter 4: Armed with the perfect prop — a hand made shepherd’s crook from the Lake District of England (Thanks, Barry!), this sermon asks what makes a shepherd good.
Pictured, our Sunday School students come forward for a close look at the real shepherd’s staff.
19 April 2015 – B Easter 3: Restaurant experts will tell you not to eat the fish special on Monday night, since the fish was probably delivered Friday and has sat for three days in the reach-in waiting to be used. So what about the fish Jesus ate on Easter Sunday evening?
12 April 2015 – B Easter 2: Unlike Easter day, the message to Thomas is “me tangere,” and some implications for what community means and who is to be included.
5 April 2015 – B Easter Sunday: Resurrected bodies, “noli me tangere,” and why the heretic Marcion was so very wrong about Jesus.
29 March 2015 – B Palm Sunday: The text of this Gospel pretty much stands alone, and so there is no sermon for this Sunday.
22 March 2015 – B Lent 5: A description of the sermon series to come in 2018, followed by reflections on Philip as the “everyman” of the Gospel of John.
15 March 2015 – B Lent 4: Another two bit sermon! First, the “fiery copper” serpent from Numbers and what it might stand for, and second, the voice of the narrator in John 3 sharing wisdom.
8 March 2015 – B Lent 3: The first bit, on the cleansing of the Temple, is a little more ego-driven than usual. But hang in there and you will hear some reflections on the first and second commandments.
1 March 2015 – B Lent 2: Crucifixion and the cost of the coming of the Kingdom.
22 February 2015 – B Lent 1: Snowed out again! Someone asked why God was sending us this weather on a second straight weekend. Given what many churches do on Lent 1, my guess is that God just didn’t want to hear the Great Litany too many times in a day!
15 February 2015 – Last Epiphany: Sorry! We were snowed out this week. If you miss hearing a sermon this week, you can always go back and listen to Last Epiphany from the last three years. All of them feature references to the great Transfiguration window above Emmanuel’s altar.
8 February 2015 – Epiphany 5: This sermon answers a question that — in over 30 years of preaching — no one has ever asked me.
1 February 2015 – Epiphany 4: “First thing, let’s kill all the lawyers.” Oops, that’s Shakespeare, not Scripture. But what does Jesus do first? Much like we heard last week, each Gospel has a different answer. Here is Mark’s.
25 January 2015 – Epiphany 3: “What does Jesus want from me?” Depends on which Gospel you are reading! Here’s a little commentary about why the Jesus portrayed in Mark is different from Matthew, Luke or John.
18 January 2015 – Epiphany 2: “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Nathanael meant this to be a quick, probably sarcastic comeback. Instead the question leads to some interesting reflections on the relationship of place to the ministry of Jesus.
11 January 2015 – First Sunday after Epiphany: Sadly, due to the arrest of Bishop Heather Cook on several felony counts following a fatal car accident on 27 December 2014, it seemed a good idea to give over the sermon time to respond to questions and comments from the congregation. Here is the introduction I used to begin the conversation.
4 January 2015 – Christmas 2: God communicates with Joseph and the Magi five times by way of dreams in Matthew chapter 2. It seemed like a good idea to understand where else in Scripture dreams occur, but the results were surprising.
Our Church year begins on the First Sunday of Advent, this year on 30 November 2014. So the first few sermons were actually delivered before the change in calendar year.
21 December 2014 – Advent 4: Four short bits: The Feast of St. Thomas; Emmanuel’s window of the Annunciation; the word “parthenos” as it is used about Mary; and getting beyond “the true meaning of Christmas” to a deeper understanding of Incarnation.
14 December 2014 – Advent 3: The figure of John the Baptist is depicted in a very different way in the Gospel of John, not as a prophet but as a herald. You will see evidence of this in almost every portrayal of him in the arts — including Emmanuel’s Baptism window — with John invariably holding a processional cross.
7 December 2014 – Advent 2: Bits on the beginning of the Gospel of Mark, including the first of two very distinctive understandings of John the Baptist.
30 November 2014 – Advent 1: We leave the distinctive concerns and world view of Matthew behind for an entirely new set belonging to the Gospel of Mark. The first question we ponder is about the coming of the Kingdom of God: sooner, or later?