Holy Trinity Anglican Church

Sermons and Reflections

What Does God Look Like? – Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 16 JUN 2019

Listen to Fr Rob’s sermon from the evening service – What Does God Look Like?

LESSONS:

First Lesson                 Isaiah 6:1-7

Psalm                            Psalm 29

Second Lesson            Revelation 4:1-11

Gospel                          John 16:5-15

COLLECT: Almighty and everlasting God, you have given to us your servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of your divine Majesty to worship the Unity: Keep us steadfast in this faith and worship, and bring us at last to see you in your one and eternal glory, O Father; who with the Son and the Holy Spirit live and reign, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

A New Season – Reflection for Trinity Sunday 2019

This Sunday we begin the season of Trinity. The liturgical calendar also refers to this season as “Ordinary Time” or the “Sundays after Pentecost.” We move from marking our time moving through the great Feasts which mark the life of Jesus into a season of growth in our ordinary lives.This is the season in which we celebrate the life of the Church.

Like the rhythm and colors of the liturgical calendar, our weekly reflections change also with the seasons. In the seasons Advent and Lent, as we adorn the Table with penitential purple, our reflections focus on the prayer life of the Church. As we move to the Seasons of Christmas and Easter, as we adorn the Table with celebratory white, our reflections move to the Gospel, the Good News for all people which we joyfully celebrate and proclaim. As we move into the seasons following the Feasts of Epiphany and Pentecost, as we adorn the Table with the green of growth, our reflections turn to our life as the community of believers, the church.

During this season of Trinity, our reflections will move through what it means to live as the particular expression of Christ’s church which we name Holy Trinity Anglican Church, San Antonio. We will dig a little deeper into our commitments exploring what it means to be a community that is submitted to the authority of Scripture, formed by liturgy and Sacrament, and bound together on a sacred journey. We will look at what it means to encounter Christ together in the Body and the Blood of the eucharist, as His Body gathered as the Church, in the Word made flesh among us, in prayer and contemplation, and in the least of these. We will close this season by looking at some of our companions on this sacred journey, those among us and those who have gone before.

My prayer during this season of Trinity is that together we would grow in the knowledge and love of God, that we would experience the wonder of His grace, the power of His Spirit, and the Peace of His Kingdom.

Gifts for the Church – Reflection for Pentecost Sunday 2019

We celebrate Pentecost as the birth of the Church, the Body of Christ manifesting the Kingdom of God on Earth by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit initiated the Church by giving gifts that the people gathered in Jerusalem might know the mighty work of God and the power of His Kingdom. The same Spirit gave gifts to the early Church, as Paul describes to the church in Corinth, for the common good. Paul is much more systematic as he tells the church at Ephesus that “He [the Spirit] gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-12).

The same Holy Spirit continues to give gifts to the Church and to this church as He continues to give us apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. Notice this, the Spirit does not give to people a gifting. The Spirit gives people as a gift to the Church. The Spirit may give you as an apostle at some times, a prophet at others, a teacher, pastor or evangelist at others. Let us briefly look at these ways we are given to the church so that we may recognize the work of the Spirit.

The Spirit gives the Church apostles who are sent to declare and manifest the in-breaking Kingdom of God. They are empowered and equipped by the Holy Spirit to “go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons.” (Matthew 10:1-15). The Spirit calls, equips, and gives apostles to call forth the transformation of the world.

The Spirit gives the Church prophets who declare the will of God from His Word to His people in their current circumstances calling us to repentance and to service with special attention to the poor and the outcast. The Spirit calls, equips, and gives prophets to call forth the transformation of our will.

The Spirit gives the Church evangelists who proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom to those who have not heard, to invite them to participate in the Kingdom. The Spirit calls, equips, and gives evangelists to call forth the transformation of our relationships.

The Spirit gives the Church pastors who care for the people of God tending their souls, bringing comfort and healing. The Spirit calls, equips, and gives pastors to call forth the transformation of our souls.

The Spirit, whom Jesus describes as the Spirit of Truth, gives the Church teachers who reveal and describe the Truth from God’s Word and revelation. The Spirit calls, equips, and gives teachers to call forth the transformation of our minds.

As I write this reflection after attending our Diocesan Synod this week, I am more confident than ever that the Spirit has indeed given His Church these gifts. I am also confident as I prayed for each and every one of you, that the Spirit has given you to this parish as apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. I could see the way that each of you has been called, equipped, and given by the Spirit to this parish. I hope you can see this as well, in yourself and in others. One of the great ministries of the Spirit is the ministry of affirmation. Please take some time this week to pray that the Spirit reveal how He has given someone else to this parish in a particular role. Then, I ask you to go and tell them, thank them for their faithfulness, and thank God for His gift. 

The Gift of the Holy Spirit – Sermon at Homy Trinity Anglican Church for Pentecost 2019

Listen to Fr Ed’s Sermon – The Gift of the Holy Spirit

LESSONS:

First Lesson Acts 2:1-11

Psalm Psalm 104:25-32

Second Lesson 1 Corinthians 12:4-13

Gospel John 14:8-17

COLLECT: O God, who on this day taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit: Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Becoming One – Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 2 JUN 2019

Listen to Fr Rob’s sermon from the morning service – Becoming One

LESSONS:

First Lesson                Acts 16:16-34

Psalm                           Psalm 47

Second Lesson           Revelation 22:10-21

Gospel                         John 17:20-26

COLLECT: O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to that place where our Savior Christ has gone before; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Praying with Paul for the Church – Reflection for 2 JUN 2019

A few years ago, my prayer life felt a little stale. I decided that I would pray with Paul for a season. In his epistles, Paul gives the churches to whom he is writing a window into his prayer life and describes the way he is praying for them. I gathered these prayers into a single place and used these to pray for our parish and for the Church. I found that the challenges of the early church were not that different from today’s church. Paul’s prayers reinvigorated my prayers.

This week, representatives, lay and clergy, from the parishes in our diocese will gather in Toronto for our annual Synod. My hope and prayer is that this will be a time of fellowship, renewal, prayer, teaching, encouragement, and worship which draws our focus away from the challenges and trials of the world and towards the hope we share in Christ. 

I can think of no better prayer for this week than the prayers that Paul offers for the church in Ephesus. I invite you to join me (and Paul) in prayer this week as our diocese gathers.

Heavenly Father, I give thanks for this parish, for our archdeaconry, and for our diocese as I remember them in my prayers. I pray that you, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation as we come to know you, so that, with the eyes of our heart enlightened, we may know what is the hope to which he has called us, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. Father, you put this power to work in Christ when you raised him from the dead and seated him at your right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And you have put all things under his feet and have made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. For this reason I bow my knees before you, Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, you may grant that we may be strengthened in our inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith, as we are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that we may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that we may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

How Will you Reveal Yourself? Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 26 MAY 2019

Listen to Fr Rob’s sermon from the morning service – How will you reveal yourself?

LESSONS:

First Lesson               Acts 14:8-18

Psalm                          Psalm 67

Second Lesson          Revelation 21:1-4; 22-22:5

Gospel                        John 14:21-29

COLLECT: O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

A Painting in Me – Reflection for 26 MAY 2019

Who tells you who you are? God calls us His image, His dwelling, His beloved, His children. He has declared this in Creation and redeemed us back into who we are through Christ. However, the world around us and the lies within us tell us that who we are, our value and worth, depends on what we do, how we look, what we have, and what people think about us. Part of the sacred journey is learning to hear and trust the voice of God about us, to let go of the lies we tell ourselves about ourselves, to lovingly call forth in others the Truth of who they are, and allow others to call forth the image of God in us. 

When we listen to any voice other than God’s as a way of knowing our value, worth or identity, we become less than who we are.

A Painting in Me

The palette lies before the artist
Bright colors of joy
Deep ochre of trial
Shades for every friendship
Stark white of tears
Oranges and reds of fiery passion
Cool tones of peace and rest
Gentle hues of love
Garish streaks of pride
The green of growth 
And the purple of regret
The palette of my life
Lies before the artist
The canvas of my calling
Waits stretched upon the easel
The brush of today
Sits posed in His hand
He will paint again
The portrait of Himself
In me

Where Will I Sit? Reflection for 19 MAY 2019


Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. 
(Revelation 19:9)

As the banquet begins
Unsure that I even belong
I find a seat
Hidden in the shadows
The Master comes
With warm embrace
He beckons me
He leads me through the great hall
Greeting each person by name
As we pass a table, He asks,
“Would you sit with those who are blessed
to mourn? They can teach you how to laugh.”
At another table, He asks,
“Would you sit with those who are blessed
with poverty? They can teach you about my Kingdom.”
Again He asks, “Would you sit with those who are blessed
with hunger? They can teach you to be satisfied.”
At a table near the front, He asks,
“Would you sit with those who are blessed
by the curses and violence of others
for my name’s sake? They can teach you true joy.”
When we reach the head table,
He extends his hand to me
As his sleeve falls away,
My gaze is fixed on the hole
where the nail pierced His flesh
“I would have you come with me.
Sit at my table.
Feast on my flesh.
Drink of my blood.
Gaze upon the world from my cross.
I will teach you to suffer love.”

Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.

My Dog Peter – Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 19 MAY 2019

Listen to Fr Ed’s sermon from the morning service – My Dog Peter

LESSONS:

First Lesson                Acts 13:44-52

Psalm                           Psalm 145

Second Lesson           Revelation 19:1-9

Gospel                         John 13:31-35

COLLECT: Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.