2019-2020 Sermons – Year A

Sermons in this Sequence begin with Advent 1, 1 December 2019 and will continue through November 2020. Year A features readings from Matthew’s Gospel on most Sundays, save Easter Season which is always given over to the Gospel of John.

The picture of this ancient carving is illustrative of the tradition of the “watchers” from the Book of Enoch, which apparently influenced Matthew’s understanding to the cosmos, and which is reflected in a couple of Gospel passages we read this year.


9 February 2020 – A 5th Sunday after Epiphany: Fr Bill Smith considers the Gospel lesson this week to be Jesus’ first lecture on the Syllabus represented by the Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount.

9 February 2020 – A 5th Sunday after Epiphany

2 February 2020 – A Candlemas: Three bits: a little calendar exploration of cross-quarter days; a reflection on the Song of Simeon; and finally, a commentary on the fact that the world of that canticle is not a zero sum game, but reveals a much different economy.

2 February 2020 – A Candlemas

26 January 2020 – A 3rd Sunday after Epiphany: A mug for tea and the fulfillment of prophecy, and a bit on why we need to repent every day. Short and sweet before the 252nd Annual Congregational meeting.

26 January 2020 – A 3rd Sunday after Epiphany

19 January 2020 – A 2nd Sunday after Epiphany: The disciples of John the Baptist to Jesus: “Can we be like you?”

19 January 2020 – A 2nd Sunday After Epiphany

12 January 2020 – A 1st Sunday after Epiphany: Fr. Bill Smith helps us to connect the story of Jesus’ baptism with the baptism at this service of an eight-year-old young man — whose ministry of “asking questions of the Rector” is already well-developed.

12 January 2020 – A 1st Sunday after Epiphany

5 January 2020 – A Second Sunday of Christmas: This year’s Christmas Morning story works really well as an extended introduction to the Gospel lesson for this week. Actually, Gospel lessons, since both choices are read today, as well as the bit that connects them about the Holy Innocents.

5 January 2020 A 2nd Sunday of Christmas

25 December 2019 – A Christmas: Each year Canon Gatza writes a new original story about a character’s experience on the first Christmas morning. You’ll find several of these under the Canon’s Bits tab on this website, collected at the bottom of the page. This year’s story focuses on Joseph of Arimathea, who would have been a young man at the time Jesus was born. It is a rough reading of the first draft, and contains at least one pretty significant slip of the tongue. The text version of story posted on the link above benefits from suggestions from my wife Jan and a quick edit by my daughter Meg. Perhaps there will be time for a recording of the final draft, which will posted here as well.

Christmas Morning 2019

22 December 2019 – A Advent 4: The story of the Incarnation according to Matthew is notably different from the story found in Luke’s Gospel. This difference leads to a meditation on unity and uniformity and some reflections on diversity in the Church at large and at Emmanuel in particular.

22 December 2019 – A Advent 4

15 December 2019 – Advent 3: Canon Gatza takes the observations that John’s disciples are to relay to him and wonders how they apply to us.

15 December 2019 – A Advent 3

8 December 2019 – Advent 2: Fr. Bill Smith offers a handful of comments to clarify not only what is included in today’s scripture, but what is left out as well.

8 December 2019 – A Advent 2

1 December 2019 – A Advent 1: The Canon displays some new evidence that the end the world is coming soon. Plus a few comments on what is the rapture and who gets to go.

1 December 2019 – A Advent 1