Here are the current year’s sermons, newest at the top. You’ll find a brief description and the link to the audio below. The Logo at the right is from www.workingpreacher.org, where you can read about each week’s lessons and hear a podcast of good preachers talking about preaching each week.
The quickest way to find the lessons for any given sermon is to go to “The Lectionary Page.”
C Proper 28 (17 November 2013) The text is Luke’s version of the “Little Apocalypse,” where the disciples ask Jesus about the end of the world. Canon Gatza offers some reflections on how generations in his family have expected with respect to the end.
C Proper 27 (10 November 2013) First, a little bit about Job. Then a commentary on the ridiculous question of the Sadducees about the seven husbands and one wife, which leads to a very personal vision of heaven.
C All Saints (3 November 2013) This sermon begins with reflections on the bulletin cover which includes saints from St. Gregory Nyssen in San Francisco. The heart of it, however, talks about the place from which we proclaim the Gospel: Emmanuel is both “on the edge” and “on the road.”
C Proper 26 (3 November 2013)
C Proper 25 (27 October 2013) Two men walk into the Temple and … don’t you just wish there was a third to set up a good joke?
C Proper 24 (20 October 2013) Two bits: First, “how much more” gracious will God be than the unjust judge? The stories of Jonah and Job give us a clue. Second, Jacob’s wrestling match reveals how important persistence is.
C Proper 23 (13 October 2013) Comments on leprosy and the one leper who returned to give thanks lead to a popular refrain from Dame Julian of Norwich.
C Proper 22 (6 October 2013) Canon Gatza was away on retreat this weekend, and so The Rev’d Bill Smith “supplied” in his place. It was not recorded.
C Proper 21 (29 September 2013) St. Michael & All Angels is not a sufficiently “High Holy Day” that the Church thinks we should commemorate it on a Sunday. But the Angels and Seraphim and Archangels in Emmanuel’s stained glass offer inspiration nonetheless.
C Proper 20 (22 September 2013) The parable of the Dishonest Steward gets unpacked, showing that an old dog can indeed learn a new trick.
C Proper 19 (15 September 2013) How much does God like parties? Listen and find out!
C Proper 18 (8 September 2013) Canon Gatza proposes a startlingly opposite perspective on the parables of the wealthy landowner and the king: What if the point is not to be prepared? This is based on the fact that Jesus begins so many parables with a counterfactual premise — as will be heard so clearly next week in the parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin. If that pattern holds here both the beginning comments and the last line of the Gospel finally make complete sense.
C Proper 17 (1 September 2013) Want to understand what it was like to be sent from the best seat at the table to the back corner of the room? Remember what it was like when you were in the school cafeteria at the age of 13 or 14?
C Proper 16 (25 August 2013) The story of the “bent over woman” is not your garden variety healing story. Some careful reading reveals that Jesus is not just a “one trick” messiah, but a savior who is able to set us free regardless of what bends us to the ground.
C Proper 15 (18 August 2013) Thoughts about the “great cloud of witnesses.”
C Proper 14 (11 August 2013) Canon Gatza speaks on the passing of Bishop Leighton and his social issue concerns and connections to Emmanuel.
C Proper 13 (4 August 2013) Cast in the voice of King Solomon, the words we hear from Ecclesiastes betray the despair that comes from being trapped in a vicious circle seeking wealth, power and influence. So too the landowner’s pursuit of grain and goods ultimately isolates him so that he can only talk to his own soul. The way out of these downward spirals is to know what “enough” is, and so we turn to General William Tecumseh Sherman who offers us a clue.
C Proper 12 (28 July 2013) It is not unusual for Canon Gatza to say the Lord’s Prayer three times in a day. What’s the benefit of that? For one thing, it helps shape the rest of the prayers that come into our hearts and out of our lips each day.
C Proper 11 (21 July 2013) An old American folk song helps us to understand Jesus’ admonition to Martha as she worries herself to distraction.
C Proper 9 (7 July 2013) The Rev’d Canon Dan Webster, our Canon for Evangelism in the Diocese of Maryland, filled in this Sunday while Canon Gatza was on vacation.
C Proper 8 (30 June 2013) Deacon Gail Landers’ last sermon during her official assignment to Emmanuel. She walks along with Jesus as he sets his face to Jerusalem and helps us to understand the encounters he has along the way.
C Proper 7 (23 June 2013) Jesus travels to Gerasene and it turns out it’s not just about the pigs after all!
C Proper 6 (16 June 2013) After a bit about Greek grammar, Canon Gatza looks at the relationship between forgiveness and the actions of the unnamed woman at the banquet in Simon’s house.
C Proper 5 (9 June 2013) Deacon Gail Landers’ penultimate sermon at Emmanuel begins with her family’s love for jigsaw puzzles and goes on to show us how we can find missing pieces as we read the Gospel.
C Proper 4 (2 June 2013) The season after the Feasts of Pentecost and Trinity Sunday is carefully measured out to end just before the beginning of Advent. Each possible Sunday has a set of proper lessons and prayers, and we begin with whatever numbered Proper will get us to Proper 29 at the end. This year it’s Proper 4 which resulted in a surprise for the preacher!
C Trinity Sunday (26 May 2013) A little help from the glory days of PBS and the BBC will help us re-imagine what went on at the great Ecumenical Councils that established our core beliefs.
C Pentecost (19 May 2013) Now this is different! Instead of preaching a newly written sermon, Canon Gatza reads Peter’s sermon from Acts 2 picking up from the accusation that the disciples were drunk. It is supplemented by several other bits from Peter’s other sermons in Acts. In the background you’ll hear a couple of versions of “There is a balm in Gilead.”
C Easter 7 (12 May 2013) Deacon Landers retells the story of Paul and the disciples in prison, commenting along the way about who is free and who is imprisoned.
C Easter 6 (5 May 2013) As John brings the book of the Revelation to an end, he is obviously thinking about the beginning of the story, the creation of the universe as it is described in Genesis 1. The omega to that alpha is a surprising realization about light itself, but further serves to inspire hope for us who face the same trials that John’s church did.
C Easter 5 (28 April 2013) After a comment on the Greek word for “little children” from John’s Gospel, Canon Gatza unpacks and reflects on the imagery of Revelation 21, a passage often read at funeral services.
C Easter 4 (21 April 2013) Without mentioning it by source, Deacon Landers reflects on an assertion by those famous hymn writers, The Rolling Stones: “You can’t always get what you want, but you get what you need.”
C Easter 3 (14 April 2013) Some thoughts on the anatomy of the “Four Living Creatures” from Revelation and what we can do with the analogs at the end of our arms.
C Easter 2 (7 April 2013) The Epistle Lessons during this Easter Season are taken from The Revelation to John. Much of the book is written in coded language understood by the writer and audience, but not necessarily to modern readers. This sermon answers the question, “How much of the code do we actually need to know?”
C Easter (31 March 2013) Not many Easter sermons end with Carter Family tunes. This one did!
C Palm Sunday (24 March 2013) We do the Passion Gospel a little differently at Emmanuel, compared to most places. Deacon Gail Landers reads the text from Luke, interrupted from time to time by commentary from Canon Gatza. We chant a little bit and more than the usual parts are assigned to the congregation.
C Palm Sunday – Passion (24 March 2013)
C Lent 5 (17 March 2013) Deacon Gail Landers explores the details of the dinner at the house of Mary, Martha and Lazarus, reflecting on “the aroma of love.”
C Lent 4 (10 March 2013) Suffering from a bad case of sinusitis, Canon Gatza reads an interpretation of the story of the Prodigal Son from J. Ellsworth Callas’ Parables from the Back Side.
C Lent 3 (3 March 2013) Two comments on the Burning Bush story precede an account of an old off-Broadway play, The Steambath, which portrays God in a way that a lot of people default to, but which does not stand up to the words of Jesus in the Gospel.
C Lent 2 (24 February 2013) Listening to familiar voices, hearing and discerning when an unfamiliar voice speaks and ignoring or not hearing other voices shape the theme of this sermon.
C Lent 1 (17 February 2013) Deacon Gail Landers asks us to include “remembering” as part of our Lenten disciplines.
C Epiphany Last (10 February 2013) A sermon in three bits: First, a good look at the figure of Moses in our reredos window; Second, some comments of the literary skill of Luke; and Finally, a story of what happens when we come down from the mountaintop to confront real life waiting for us.
C Epiphany 4 (3 February 2013) The Rev’d Canon Dr. Scott Slater was our guest preacher and celebrant for our official Episcopal Visitation this year. We were not able to record the sermon successfully but will post the text when we get it.
C Epiphany 3 (27 January 2013) We’ve been bouncing around the Gospels these last several weeks and it is finally time to turn to Luke’s narrative in earnest. We’ll hear the shortest sermon that Jesus ever preached and we’ll hear why it is that everyone at Emmanuel has the right and the privilege to preach it too!
C Epiphany 2 (20 January 2013) Deacon Gail Landers runs the numbers on the stone jars at the heart of the miracle at the Wedding at Cana and interprets the results with respect to the ministry of a servant.
The Sunday After Epiphany — The Feast of the Baptism of our Lord So, do you know who baptized Jesus? You have a 50-50 chance of being right, depending on which Gospel you read! And then there’s the question of how the answer to our Epiphany theme question should be punctuated.
The Feast of the Epiphany (6 January 2012) For the first time in some years Epiphany actually fell on a Sunday. Canon Gatza offers three bits on the Magi and a reference to the forthcoming newsletter article. This sermon establishes a theme which will be addressed during each of the Sundays of the season of Epiphany, to wit, “Who is welcome at God’s table?”