Year C began on 2 December 2018 with the first Sunday of Advent.
3 November 2019 – Sunday After All Saints: The wide-ranging comments in Luke’s Beatitudes give rise to a wide-ranging picture of our life as it mirrors that of the Kingdom of God, from what a blessing is to what the “Woe’s” are all about.
27 October 2019 – C Proper 25: In this sermon we see how many of the tools we have learned to apply to parables help us to understand this story of the two men praying in the Temple. It also addresses the fact that at least one detail of this telling is just a little creepy.
20 October 2019 – C Proper 24: The Parable of the Unjust Judge and the Persistent Widow is fascinating to unpack, making the obvious lesson much richer that might be heard at first. This is the sermon that inspired the Trumpet Newsletter article about texts and translation dated 4 November 2019.
13 October 2019 – C Proper 23: Fr. Bill Smith offers some emotional context for the act of Thanksgiving that the one healed leper displays.
6 October 2019 – C Proper 22: To paraphrase the venerable prophet from long ago and a galaxy far away, Obi-wan Kenobi, “This is not the Mustard Seed you are looking for.”
29 September 2019 – C Proper 21: A couple of bits about Lazarus & Dives.
22 September 2019 – C Proper 20: Sometimes we can get lost in the weeds of the details and miss the basic point of a story. This Parable of the Dishonest Steward has so many fascinating and quirky turns that the fundamental truth about how God acts in the world.
15 September 2019 – C Proper 19: The first two parables of the Lost and Found from the sequence that ends with the Prodigal Son remind us that God wants us to rejoice — something you won’t hear the rest of the world say much about. Because so much of the preaching at Emmanuel is dependent on which congregation is present, here are the sermons from the 10:00 AM service as well as the one at 12:00 Noon.
8 September 2019 – C Proper 18: We cancelled our early and late services this Sunday to encourage everyone to be present for a special Active Assailant Training session led by a local Harford Sheriff’s Deputy. You can see notices of it and a brief summary of the training on our Newsletter Page in the issues just before and just after this date.
1 September 2019 – C Proper 17: The last bit that all four Beatles recorded together serves as an entree into the proper understanding of the parable of the banquet table. Jesus — it turns out — does not care about your table manners! This is about the difference between privileges and blessings. (You will be able to tell that this was one of just a few Sundays a year when our Sunday School is in recess.)
25 August 2019 – C Proper 16: Let’s look at this story from the perspective of the poor rabbi whose congregation is interrupted by Jesus preaching and healing in their midst.
18 August 2019 – C Proper 15: Jesus has “a moment” as it becomes clear that people continue to have disparate understandings of who he is and what his mission is all about. It is worth taking a look at the variety of expectations among the thousands who are following him, and also Jesus’s use of the imagery of fire from previous encounters with God, and finally at the words of the Lord’s Prayer itself.
4 August 2019 – C Proper 13 and 11 August 2019 – C Proper 14: Due to a brief illness, these weeks got lost in the recording shuffle. Sorry!
28 July 2019 – C Proper 12: The most popular prayer Canon Gatza’s generation was recorded by Janis Joplin, and this sermon begins with the iconic recording of it. That is was popular does not make it a good prayer, and that theme transfers to the parable that follows the Lord’s Prayer.
21 July 2019 – C Proper 11: Jesus visits with Mary and Martha in Bethany in this well known story. After unpacking a text which is more complicated than it looks, we find a little encouragement to be more like Martha.
14 July 2019 – C Proper 10: The Parable of the Good Samaritan is depicted in a stained glass above the choir pews at Emmanuel. The details are extraordinary, and connect this parable from Luke with Matthew 25. Beyond the parable, the conversation between Jesus and the lawyer is a case of Jesus “showing his work.”
30 June 2019 – C Proper 8 & 7 July 2019 – C Proper 9: Sadly, technical difficulties with the recorder got in our way, and so we’ve got nothing to share here. Sorry!
23 June 2019 – C Proper 7: Fr. Bill Smith paints a vivid picture of the encounter between Jesus and the man possessed by the Legion of demons and offers a thoughtful take on how the healing process took place, and why more people aren’t cured of their demons.
16 June 2019 – Trinity Sunday: Jesus has many things to teach us, but we cannot bear them now — because our hands are full! Here’s how to keep that reality from becoming a lifestyle.
9 June 2019 – Pentecost: Emmanuel does a variety of things to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost. This year we offered a Service of Lessons and Carols, in the same Spirit as is done for Advent or Christmas. It is too long to record for this page, but herewith are the bulletin and insert to give you an idea of how it works. You are welcome to use it in your congregation, though we ask that you give proper credit to its creators, Brent Pertusio (Organist & Choirmaster) and The Rev’d Canon Dr. Mark Gatza (Rector of Emmanuel Church).
2 June 2019 – C Easter 7: Fr. Bill Smith reminds us that our popular understanding of glory does not match up with the glory that Jesus talks about, which is summarized in the cross. He illustrates this from what we might call “scenes from a marriage.”
26 May 2019 – C Easter 6: Reflections of the Paraclete, including past and present images — including the latest product named thus: personal body armor.
19 May 2019 – C Easter 5: Once upon a time popular culture and church culture would intersect and the music produced by that crossing was often pretty powerful. This little reverie explores one of those tunes, “Everybody Get Together.”
12 May 2019 – C Easter 4: A bit on Dorcas, to highlight our stained glass window with her depiction, and then on the the rapidly fading “Good Shepherd” theme of the end of John 10.
5 May 2019 – C Easter 3: Fr. Bill Smith poses the question: how will you answer if Jesus asks you if you love him more than everything else. There end up being three good answers.
28 April 2019 – C Easter 2: “If you retain the sins of anyone, what are you going to do with them?” That’s the translation of the verse from The Message, and it leads to some interesting reflections on forgiveness.
21 April 2019 – C Easter Sunday: Remembering, then and now. Congregation members were asked to bring pictures of family members and to talk about memories. Much of the way the story of the resurrection is told is to fix it in our memories. At 10:00 AM, children were invited to look at our Resurrection window and to share their family pictures.
14 April 2019 – C Palm Sunday: Since we do the full Liturgy of the Palms and then the Passion Gospel, there is neither time nor need for a sermon today,
7 April 2019 – C Lent 5: Fr. Bill Smith considers the visit of Jesus to the house of Mary and Martha. There are many threads that emerge from the scene, each with its own encouragement to faithful living.
31 March 2019 – C Lent 4: The Parable of the Prodigal Son and what it teaches about reconciliation and moving on beyond sin.
24 March 2019 – C Lent 3: Three bits: fire, shoes, and relationship.
17 March 2019 – C Lent 2: We are the stars in the sky that Abraham was looking for.
10 March 2019 – C Lent 1: The “three C’s” of the temptations of Jesus.
6 March 2019 – Ash Wednesday: There is an inherent contradiction between what Jesus tells us and what we do on this day that is worth reflecting on. The service itself helps us to act out the drama of sin and forgiveness.
3 March 2019 – C Last Sunday after the Epiphany: This sermon begins with a guided tour of Emmanuel’s great Transfiguration window, which sits over the altar as a reredos. It then considers that element in the story which is unique to Luke, the casting out of a demon from a young boy.
24 February 2019 – C Epiphany 7: Are we really supposed to say what Jesus said and do what Jesus did? Then what happens when we try to live according to the letter of the Sermon on the Plain? A quick look at communities that have tried to do so suggests that we need to find a balance between our life here on earth and the emerging kingdom of God.
17 February 2019 – C Epiphany 6: An English ditty about pubs sets up one way to understand the Sermon on the Plain.
10 February 2019 – C Epiphany 5: This begins with an extended bit on the language that Isaiah has to use and what it can and cannot say — an often underestimated element with respect to understanding scripture. The second bit encourages the listener to develop some particular tools in order to make sense of the changes and chances that are an everyday part of life.
3 February 2019 – C Epiphany 4: Jesus returns to Nazareth from his home in Capernaum to preach in the synagogue in which he grew up. Two different takes presented themselves, and so the Rector preached two different sermons this Sunday. The first reminds us that anxiety is the enemy, and probably had something to do with the reaction Jesus received in Nazareth. The second is about how God gives us gifts, and works in the world, but not necessarily according to our wishes.
27 January 2019 – C Epiphany 3: Deacon Joan Kelly suggests that Jesus read from that portion of the scroll of Isaiah that would describe his mission in the world. His concluding comment ends up being the shortest sermon ever.
20 January 2019 – C Epiphany 2: The Wedding at Cana introduces us to a major theme in John’s Gospel: God has blessed us with abundance.
13 January 2019 – C Epiphany 1: Sorry! We got snowed out this weekend.
6 January 2019 – C Epiphany: The Rector’s Christmas Morning Story comes to its climax on the Eve of the Epiphany, and so it seemed fitting to read it again, for a larger audience than heard it Christmas Morning.
30 December 2018 – Christmas 1: A little story of my early ministry at St. Paul’s School helps us to understand the transition in the Prologue of John from theological insight to ethical behavior.
25 December 2018 – Christmas Day: In a now long-standing tradition, the Rector reads an original Christmas Morning Story. It is copyrighted, but you are free to play or read it with the provision that you give full credit to the author, The Rev’d Canon Dr. Mark Gatza.
23 December 2018 – Advent 4: Deacon Joan Kelly explains why this shouldn’t be just another Christmas.
16 December 2018 – Advent 3: Canon Gatza’s experience of the heresy trial of Bishop Walter Righter illustrates the notion of the “bad snapshot,” which in turn explains why so many people rejected the preaching of John the Baptist.
9 December 2018 – Advent 2: If you had the chance to have dinner with anyone from history, who would you choose? The Rector would choose John the Baptist, and explains why him.
2 December 2018 – Advent 1: Fr. Bill Smith contrasts the expectations that come with the season before Christmas with the expectations of the disciples on their way to Jerusalem.