Holy Trinity Anglican Church

Sermons and Reflections

Special Gift – Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 10 DEC 2017 (Afternoon)

IMG-3793Listen to this afternoon’s sermon – A Special Gift

LESSONS:

First Lesson Isaiah 40:1-11

Psalm Psalm 85

Second Lesson 2 Peter 3:8-18

Gospel Mark 1:1-8

COLLECT: Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and the comfort of your Holy Word we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Empty Manger – Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 10 DEC 2017 (Morning)

IMG-3792Listen to this morning’s sermon – The Empty Manger

LESSONS:

First Lesson        Isaiah 40:1-11

Psalm                   Psalm 85

Second Lesson   2 Peter 3:8-18

Gospel                 Mark 1:1-8

COLLECT: Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and the comfort of your Holy Word we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Faith on a Journey – Reflection for the Second Sunday in Advent 2017

IMG-3791On this second Sunday in Advent, we remember the faith of Joseph and Mary as they travelled from Nazareth to Bethlehem. I can only imagine what that journey must have entailed. Depending on the route they took, the journey would have been 80-100 miles.

I wonder if they travelled with a large group making the same journey, enduring the stares and muttered comments. Perhaps instead they braved the road alone fearful of wild beasts and lawless men. Even though both Mary and Joseph had been visited by angelic messengers and Mary’s pregnancy was proof of the truth of these messages, I’m sure that doubt and discouragement must have crept into their hearts as the journeyed the dusty road from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

We have the benefit of retrospect to look back and see how this journey was necessary to fulfill the prophecies surrounding the Messiah. We can also look back knowing the rest of the story. We have the record of the ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus and we have the gift of the Holy Spirit. It’s easy to forget the faith required for Mary and Joseph to take that journey of faith as common folk from a small town trusting that God had called them for something special.

It is also easy for me to talk myself out of difficult journeys. I can wonder about the danger, the shame, the futility.  I can be too busy, too uncertain, too comfortable, or too almost anything to journey into ministry whether across the street or across the world.

As we light this candle of Faith next to the candle remembering the Hope foretold by the prophets, let us consider those people and places where the hope is desperately needed, and let us consider what it means to journey in faith as we are called by God to be agents of His plan.

Seeing Things Differently – Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 3 DEC 2017

Pottery ChaliceToday’s Sermon – Seeing Things Differently

LESSONS:

First Lesson            Isaiah 64:1-9

Psalm                       Psalm 80:1-7

Second Lesson       1 Corinthians 1:1-9

Gospel                     Mark 13:24-37

COLLECT: Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

The Miracle of Candles – Reflection for the 1st Sunday of Advent 2017

C914C71067CA4750A5B1972C8CDAA855_Advent-candle-21The four candles at Christmas are nice and the little practice of lighting them one each week is lovely to observe, but what is really going on with the candles? Why do we even have candles, electric lights are so much more efficient, especially the LED lights? Let’s take a short trip into the past of our heritage. The menorah for the Jewish people, candles lit every year just around Christmas symbolize the faithfulness of God. For us who are Christian, meaning we follow the Son of God, the candles are more than decoration, they are a reminder of the wonderful acts of God. They remind us of the faithfulness of our God in sending Jesus. When the Advent candles are lit, for us, they symbolize the light of hope, faith, joy and peace, for the world.

This Sunday we light the candle of hope or sometimes called the prophets’ candle. The role of the prophets had nothing to do with fortune telling, as sometimes we are led to believe, no their role was much more important! They consistently called God’s people back to him as they went astray. The prophets remind us of the hope we have in God, that He will truly restore His people who are called by name. They remind us that God desires for all men to be saved, saved from our own foolishness, saved so that we can enjoy life and the blessings that God has bestowed upon each of us.

Remembering that our hope, our inheritance, is found in the risen Christ and that at this time of the year we look forward to seeing our Lord face to face, acknowledging that there is no other force in the world that can compare with our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God and He is the light of the world. What gives us hope in the midst of this mad, mad, mad world? That Jesus overcame death and Satan and offers eternal life to all who would accept it. In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen. Again I say Amen!

Sheep or Goat? – Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 26 NOV 2017

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Today’s Sermon – Sheep or Goat?

LESSONS:

First Lesson           Ezekiel34:11-20

Psalm                      Psalm 95

Second Lesson      1 Corinthians15:20-28

Gospel                    Matthew 25:31-46

COLLECT: Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Thankful in the Wilderness – Reflection for 26 November 2017

IMG_2720The first seven verses of our Psalm today make up the Venite, the traditional first canticle of Morning Prayer. This canticle reminds us of the majesty of God and our proper response in worship. The words, “Oh, that today you would harken to His voice!” introduce the Psalms and lessons of Morning Prayer.

However, it is the last four verses that captured my attention this week. These verses provide a warning based on Israel’s history when God had brought them forth from Egypt and they grumbled and doubted. They did not believe that the God who defeated Pharaoh and parted the Red Sea, the God whose presence was visible with them night and day could lead them through the wilderness. They grumbled and complained to Moses.

Like Israel, my temporary discomforts and disappointments can very easily draw me into ungrateful grumbling. I can forget the tremendous blessing, presence, and power of God. In the distractions and busyness of daily life, I can let my heart harden. I can miss the love and grace of God. I can create my own wilderness where joy and peace are far away, where there is no rest.

It is easy for me to be thankful when things are going well. Or, perhaps I notice things going well when I am thankful. It is when things seem to be falling apart that I need the discipline of thanksgiving. A time when I stop everything else and remember the blessing and presence of God. A time when I let God soften my heart and open my eyes to His presence. A time to harken to His voice and enter into rest. A time like Morning Prayer.

Not Performance but Relationship – Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 19 NOV 2017

273719.pListen to guest preacher Rob Malloy’s sermon from the afternoon service – Not Performance but Relationship

LESSONS:

First Lesson          Zephaniah1:7,12-18

Psalm                     Psalm 90:1-12

Second Lesson     1 Thessalonians 5:1-10

Gospel                   Matthew 25:14-30

COLLECT: Stir up, O Lord, the wills of your faithful people; that they may plenteously bring forth the fruit of good works, as they await the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ to restore all things to their original perfection; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

Faith, Love, and the Image of God – Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 19 NOV 2017

PARABLE-TALENTS-STAINED-GLASS-238x300Listen to Fr Rob’s sermon form the morning service – Faith, Love, and the Image of God

 

LESSONS:

First Lesson            Zephaniah1:7,12-18

Psalm                       Psalm 90:1-12

Second Lesson       1 Thessalonians 5:1-10

Gospel                     Matthew 25:14-30

COLLECT: Stir up, O Lord, the wills of your faithful people; that they may plenteously bring forth the fruit of good works, as they await the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ to restore all things to their original perfection; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

Attitude Check – Reflection for 19 NOV 2017

Stained glass (detail) from the parable of the Talents, St Edward the Martyr's Church, Corfe Castle, Dorset, England. Flickr CC / Romano

We have all heard about the parable of the servants and the master giving them money before he left on a trip. We know two of the servants invested and had a return and the third servant was foolish in burying his one talent. Sermons galore have spoken to the issue of investing your talents and or recognizing your talents. They encourage you to make use of your one? Talent.

I have come to the conclusion that the parable is not about investing talents, rather it is about attitude and perspective. I tell you right off the bat which servant had the best ‘can do’ attitude, the first one, right? The second servant also had a good attitude, but more than likely was occasionally prone to the ‘poor me‘ syndrome, but still a good fellow. I do not have to stretch my imagination very far to what the third servant was like to be around. Mr. doom and gloom, nothing is going right, everybody hates me, I am going to eat some worms. Yech! Hey, the master took a chance with the fellow and gave him one talent to use, to see what results would be achieved.

Listen to the servant number three, not from the other two, “I knew you to be a hard master” if so why didn’t the others mention this, that “you reap where you don’t sow and gather where you don’t scatter,” is it any wonder that the master is cross eyed with this servant?

Father Ed, I don’t like where this is going, you just might be meddling in my life. You can see the question that is being asked, can’t you.

Attitude about what we believe to be true effects and affects our lives, our worship, our relationship with God, our relationship with each other. God says judgement is His, yet when we engage in attitude of the third servant, we just set ourselves up to be handing out judgement, in doing so we begin to miss the blessing our Father has for us. We miss out on the joy of life and the hope of life eternal. We do it to ourselves, just as the third servant did to himself.
Do you believe that God so loved the world that he gave his only son to die for our sins? If so, then rejoice and again I say rejoice. In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, REJOICE!!!