Holy Trinity Anglican Church

Sermons and Reflections

Messengers of the Apocalypse – Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 18 NOV 2018

Listen to today’s sermon – Messengers of the Apocalypse

LESSONS:

First Lesson           Daniel 12:1-4

Psalm                      Psalm 16

Second Lesson      Hebrews 10:31-39

Gospel                    Mark 13:14-23

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.

Sermon Worksheet:

How Can We Be Holy? – Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 11 NOV 2018

Listen to the sermon from the morning service- How Can We Be Holy

Listen to the sermon from the afternoon service – Stories of Widows and Scribes

LESSONS:

First Lesson          1 Kings 17:8-16

Psalm                     Psalm 146

Second Lesson     Hebrews 9:24-28

Gospel                    Mark 12:38-44

COLLECT: O God, whose blessed Son came into the world that he might destroy the works of the devil and make us children of God and heirs of eternal life: Grant that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves as he is pure; that, when he comes again with power and great glory, we may be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

A Way of Encounter – Reflection for 11 NOV 2018

We tried something new today. Instead of a reflection, we provided a way of listening to the sermon. Most of my (Fr Rob) sermons progress in the same general pattern from an encounter with the text in its original context to a translation of that context to out current situation then an invitation to the Table and a sending into the world. This follows the path of our parish life in submitting ourselves to Scripture, being formed in liturgy and Sacrament, and joining together on a Sacred journey.

How Can I Be Holy?

How Can We Be A Holy People?

Encountering the Text

  • Who exemplifies personal holiness in the text?
  • How does the community attempt to image God as a Holy People?
Encountering Ourselves

  • How can we exemplify personal holiness?
  • In what ways does the Church image God as His Holy People?
Coming to the Table

  • What will you bring to the table?
  • As you encounter Christ, how do you hope to be transformed personally and as a parish?
Going into the World

  • How are you called to be holy?
  • How are we called as a community to image Christ to the world as His Holy People?

Scripture references (Mark 8:34-35, Mark 10:17-22, Mark 10:35-52; Mark 11:1-13:2, Deuteronomy 14:22-29; 24:17-22, Jeremiah 7:3-7, Malachi 3:5, James 1:27, Philippians 2:6-11, Romans 12:1-2, Psalm 51:15-17, 1 Corinthians 11:17-34)

Almost There – Reflection for 4 November 2018

In today’s gospel, a man approaches Jesus to test him. He asks a question that divided rabbinic schools. The test is which side Jesus will choose. The subtle irony of Mark’s gospel presents itself yet again in the scribes response to the answer Jesus provides, “You are right, Teacher.” We can grin at the irony of a mortal man judging the truth of the Son of God’s answer, but if we are honest, we do the same thing. We pick and choose the parts of Scripture that we like and we try to explain away or ignore the parts that challenge us. 

The scribe goes on to proclaim that the heart is the center of life in relation to God rather than the temple system. As much as the liturgical and sacramental tradition brings us near to the presence of God, if our hearts remain far away, the time is wasted. Just as then, the heart and not the church is the center of our relationship with God. The degree to which we are more interested in how the person in front of us is wrong instead of asking how we can love that person, is the degree to which we remain separated from God. 

Jesus hears the scribes words and knows that the man has the right knowledge. The less subtle irony in Jesus’ proclamation that the man is “not far from the kingdom of God,” encourages and saddens me. The man indeed is standing in the very presence of God, and yet for all his knowledge can not recognize the God he proclaims. 

If we read Mark as a baptismal text, perhaps we can hear the challenge to the catechumens. They have learned the right answers. They are very near the kingdom of God. Will they deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Jesus? Will they journey through death into life in the water of their baptism? Will Christ be revealed to them in the breaking of the bread of the Eucharist? Will they recognize Jesus and respond in love? As we come to the Table today, will we?

For All The Saints – Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 4 November 2018

Listen to Fr Ed’s sermon from the morning service – For All The Saints

LESSONS:

First Lesson                 Deuteronomy 6:1-9 (Revelation 7:9-17)

Psalm                            Psalm 119:1-16

Second Lesson            Hebrews 7:23-28 (Ephesians 1:15-23)

Gospel                           Mark 12:28-34 (Luke 6:20-36)

COLLECT: Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

That I May See – Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 28 OCT 2018

Listen to today’s sermon – That I May See

LESSONS:

First Lesson            Isaiah 59:9-20

Psalm                       Psalm 13

Second Lesson       Hebrews 6:1-12

Gospel                      Mark 10:46-52

COLLECT: Almighty and everlasting God, you govern all things both in heaven and on earth: Mercifully hear the supplications of your people, and in our time grant us your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

What Do You Want? Reflection for 28 OCT 2018

One of the ways in which we open ourselves to the work of the Holy Spirit is to engage our imagination in the reading of Scripture. Today’s Gospel reading is one of the classic texts to read in this way. If you have never experienced Scripture in this way, I invite you to try!

I invite you to find a quiet space and some unhurried time. Read slowly through Mark 10:46-52 several times. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into the story. Experience the sights and sounds, the excitement and emotions. View the events unfolding through the eyes of someone in the crowd or perhaps as one of the twelve. 

Now pray to experience the story in the place of Bartimaeus. 

Where in your life do you need that deep spiritual transformation that comes only when you abandon all restraint and cry out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

When Jesus responds and calls you to Him, what will you lay aside just as Bartimaeus put aside his cloak?

When you encounter the loving gaze of Christ and he says to you, “What do you want me to do for you?” Are you able to name your desire? Rest in knowing that desire for a moment.

As Jesus provides that wholeness and healing and transformation, how do you respond?

It is tempting to answer these questions too quickly, or to answer them with what we think the answer should be. I invite you to take time to let the Holy Spirit search you and bring forth the deep longings and wounds of your heart.

This is one of my personal favorite spiritual exercises and especially with this passage of Scripture. The process of naming my desire in the presence of a loving Savior brings comfort and clarity. However, I have never had the audacity to view the story through the eyes of Jesus. As I reflected on this passage this week, I realized that if the church is to be the hands and feet of Christ, perhaps we should seek to understand His view.

Are You Able? Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 21 OCT 2018

Listen to today’s sermon – Are You Able?

LESSONS:

First Lesson           Isaiah 53:4-12

Psalm                      Psalm 91

Second Lesson      Hebrews 4:12-16

Gospel                    Mark 10:35-45

COLLECT: Set us free, loving Father, from the bondage of our sins, and in your goodness and mercy give us the liberty of that abundant life which you have made known to us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

 

The Cup and the Font – Reflection for 21 October 2018

Thunder and lightning, James and John, are at it again! Jesus has to groan to himself with these two brothers. “Grant us a favor Let us sit on your left and your right when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus listens to them and then reminds them they are acting just like the Romans that they so very much dislike.
Before Jesus lets them down he asks two questions that are timeless in nature and intent; Can you drink of the cup that I drink and can you be baptized in my baptism? It is interesting that these questions are two of the most defining questions for Christians today. Understand that these questions have nothing to do with power or recognition or score keeping. It has to do with the reflected love that God shows to creation through Christ Jesus.
Jesus goes on insisting that the road to greatness is found in servanthood. To drink the cup that Jesus drinks puts us in a sacrificial covenant posture. God’s covenants are blood covenants establishing the bonds between the giver and the receiver of the covenant. The blood of Jesus is the final blood covenant for the world. To drink from the same cup is to understand what it means to live life in service. To be baptized with the baptism of Christ is to conquer self, giving up self centeredness for other centeredness. When I put the clergy sign on the car door for hospital or house visits, I am declaring my attitude and lifestyle for all to see. Not for the purpose of eliciting praise, which I don’t feel worthy, but so that others who have needs and questions can find a safe venue to speak with me. I have many times received nasty notes attached to my windshield or door about ignorant views of Christianity. These are nothing compared to what Christ did for us. To be baptized in Christ’s baptism is to be in Christ’s glory in the Resurrection. 

Now the question comes, innocently mostly, but sometimes with intention, of sitting on the right or left of Christ, what kind of acts do I have to do to be in the resurrections of Christ. I don’t know. What I do know is found in Micah 6:8 and just for good measure Jesus makes clear the Two Great Commandments, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your spirit, all that you are and the second is like it, Love your neighbor as yourself.”
There it is, the cup of Christ and the baptism of Christ. Can you drink of the cup of Christ and will you be baptized in the baptism of Christ? 

A Kingdom Encounter – Reflection for 14 OCT 2018

What happens in the Eucharist? This mystery has both united and divided the Church for 2000 years. While I am certain that I will not answer it in three paragraphs, I will invite you to consider a way of understanding our experience of Christ at the Table.

As the Church has tried to fit the Eucharist into the current understanding of the world, a variety of explanations have been popular ranging from the bread and wine being a mere symbol to the bread and wine being fully changed into the Body and Blood of Jesus. Instead of trying to fit the Eucharist into a way of understanding the world, I prefer to see the Eucharist in terms of the Incarnation.

In the Incarnation, Jesus is fully human and fully God. In the same way, the bread we take in the Eucharist is fully bread and fully Body just as the wine is fully wine and fully Blood. However, the mystery of the Eucharist includes more than the bread and wine. The Eucharist includes us as well.

We pray for Christ to dwell in us and we in Him. We pray that we will be fed and nourished spiritually in the physical act of receiving the Body and Blood. We ask that the Body and Blood keep us in eternal life. In some way, we encounter Christ in the Eucharist.

We may understand the mystery of our own experience of the Eucharist through the Incarnation as well. Just as the eternal Son became flesh and dwelt on earth in a specific time and place, in our specific time an place, we encounter the eternal. We are fully here and also fully in the Kingdom through the Eucharist. We are fully in the “now” and also fully in the “not yet.” 

We come to the Table to encounter Christ and to experience the Kingdom. We come fully broken and fully loved. We come to be nourished and we come to be changed. We are drawn to the Table and we are sent out from the Table.