Holy Trinity Anglican Church

Sermons and Reflections

Where Do You Get That Living Water? – Reflection on John 4:5-42 – March 19th, 2017

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Jesus sits at Jacob’s well and talks to a woman who other self-respecting people would not. He engages in conversation and not argument. In today’s language, we might say that He was more interested in connecting than converting.

In this scandalous conversation, He promises living water, water which will quench thirst forever, water which wells up inside and flows over into others.  She asks about religious controversy. He talks about true worship. She admits to the behaviors that make her a social outcast. He responds with love and understanding. She introduces Jesus to the town in such a way that they want to hear what He has to say. Ultimately, they say, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”

When I am quiet enough to be honest with myself, I have to admit that I am more often thirsty than overflowing. As I look a little more deeply, I realize that I am usually more concerned with the religious controversies around worship than actually meeting God in worship. I am more interested in who is in and who is out than how to love and understand. I am more interested in introducing Jesus in a way that others hear what I have to say. I am more interested in people hearing from me about Jesus than in them hearing Jesus speak for Himself into their lives.

The glass sits before me, will I choose to be thirsty on my own terms rather than be overflowing on God’s terms?

Would We Recognize Jesus? Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 12 March 2017

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Today’s Sermon – Would We Recognize Jesus?

LESSONS:

First Lesson        Genesis 12:1-4a

Psalm                    Psalm 121

Second Lesson    Romans 4:1-5,13-17

Gospel                  John 3:1-17

COLLECT: O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

To Be Reborn – Reflection for 12 March 2017

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What does it mean to be born again? To be born of the Holy Spirit, is it painful? This rebirth thing sounds hinkey. Are you sure that it is for real?
These are questions that many are uncomfortable with as they feel they will embarrass themselves if they admit to being reborn.

Do Anglicans believe in rebirth? Let me answer with a question, do you accept the bible or buffet shop it for your faith?
This rebirth thing does it hurt? Yes, like the dickens! When you are reborn you give up the past of your life and accept Christ as your life in the present. Giving up old ideas and beliefs that have no structure in the scriptures is painful. Pride is one of the first parts of life that gets excised along with the idea or concept that you can do everything yourself and don’t need anyone’s help. Asking for help is one of the painful issues of rebirth. To insist that you can do everything yourself denies the fact that you are not the creator of all and it robs an opportunity for someone else to be a part of God’s grace.

Somewhere in the midst of faith there comes a point where you either cut bait or fish. Faith no longer has qualifiers, it is or it is not. To be born again is to be a new creation in Christ. Christ quits being only in the mouth and now Christ consumes the entire being. Where the idea of living without Christ in your life is not an option as you can not fathom living without the presence of the Holy Ghost in your life. You can not see the morning without praising God for the beauty of the day, be it rain, snow, ice, sun, it does not matter as you now view it as magnificent creation and an assurance of God’s presence in your world. Yes, be brave and be reborn in the Holy Spirit and become a new creation.

A Good Recipe -Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 5 March 2017

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Today’s Sermon – A Good Recipe

LESSONS:

First Lesson        Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7

Psalm                   Psalm 32

Second Lesson   Romans 5:12-19

Gospel                 Matthew 4:1-11

COLLECT: Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan: Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

It’s Just Not Fair – Reflection for 5 March 2017

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It just doesn’t seem fair. It’s almost like Bill Belichek stole Satan’s playbook, videotaped all of his sideline signals, and then gave them to us. In the Garden, we see that crafty serpent challenge God’s word, twist God’s word, and finally question God’s love and goodness. Then once he sees a little opening, he pounces with doubt, fear, blame, and shame. In the wilderness, we see the same tactics once again. Only this time, Jesus stands firm in the knowledge and love of God. We’ve seen how the devil works, and we’ve seen how to beat him. Why don’t we just use this season of Lent to focus all of our efforts on defeating Satan since we know all of his tricks? Perhaps if we fast enough or pray enough or give enough or serve enough, we can be good enough this time.

This is the danger of Lent, the temptation to think that we can make ourselves holy by our own efforts. We are reminded in the invitation to Lent in the Ash Wednesday service that the church uses this time to prepare for Easter, to reconcile with those separated from the fellowship, and to prepare new converts for baptism. I am tempted to try to fulfill those baptismal vows to renounce the devil, the empty promises of the world, and the sinful desires of the flesh all by myself to prove myself worthy. When I inevitably fail, I am tempted to give up completely. Fortunately, Paul reminds us that our righteousness is completed in Christ. We have nothing left to prove.

The unfairness is actually more like being on a four-man best ball scramble with Jordan Spieth, Arnold Palmer, and Tiger Woods as the other three players. I know that my contribution to that team would not impact the outcome at all. For me, this is the hardest part of the Gospel. I get all of the benefit while Jesus did all of the work. In response, I try to hold parts of my life back from God until I can make them right on my own. The disciplines of Lent help me to recognize the impossibility and foolishness of this attempt. For me the best part of Lent is when I stop striving against the unfairness of God’s love for me and start resting in the grace of His love for all of us.

Getting the Question Right – Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church Ash Wednesday evening

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Sermon from Evening Celebration of Ash Wednesday – Getting the Question Right

The Lessons:

First Lesson        Isaiah 58:1-12

Psalm                   Psalm 103

Second Lesson   1 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10

Gospel                 Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

The Collect:

Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Repairing the Breach – Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church For Ash Wednesday 2017

frontpage1400x700SepiaSermon from Noon Celebration of Ash Wednesday – Repairing the Breach

The Lessons:

First Lesson        Isaiah 58:1-12

Psalm                   Psalm 103

Second Lesson   1 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10

Gospel                 Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

The Collect:

Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Called and Sent – Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 26 FEB 2017

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Today’s Sermon – Called and Sent

LESSONS:

First Lesson         Exodus 24:12-18

Psalm                    Psalm 99

Second Lesson    2 Peter 1:16-21

Gospel                  Matthew 17:1-9

COLLECT: O God, who before the passion of your only begotten Son revealed his glory upon the holy mountain: Grant to us that we, beholding by faith the light of his countenance, may be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his likeness from glory to glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Mountain Top News – Reflection for 26 February 2017

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The old gospel hymn ‘GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN’ is the retelling of the greatest story

ever told. The hymn tells us to seek the highest places and once there proclaim that Christ is born.

Moses ascended the mountain, Jesus goes up the mountain, Peter, James and John have been to the mountain top and witnessed the glory of God and lived to tell about it. They heard the voice from the cloud. They saw Moses and Elijah, the pillars of the Jewish Faith with Jesus! They know the truth and they still made mistakes, all this gives hope in a time of chaos.

Go tell it, what do I tell, the good news that salvation has arrived. Go shout from the mountain top, we have been redeemed, by God through his son, Jesus the Christ. Go tell it on the mountain that the Holy Light of the Creator is in the world. Go to the highest place, physically, spiritually, emotionally and proclaim that Jesus Christ is born, never to die again and is raised to life everlasting. This is the good news that the hymn speaks of, everyday, not just at Christmas time.

From the mountain top death has no place to hide. From the top there are no shadows of ‘what if’ or ‘I can’t forgive myself’, as the Holy Light shines on all.

The Holy invites people into relationship with a promise of redemption. The message is simple and adheres to the principle of K.I.S.S. or better known as ‘keep it simple stupid’, Jesus Christ was born, died on a cross accepting my sins as though they were his, buried (very important as the dead stink) was raised from the grave and walked among the disciples eating and drinking, something that ghosts don’t do, ascended into the clouds (the physical manifestations for God’s presence into the creation) seated on the right hand of God, never to die again! From there Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to dwell within us.

Rejoice and again I say rejoice, Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, we are redeemed and marked as God’s own.

I Have a Plan – Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 19 FEB 2017

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Today’s Sermon – I Have a Plan

LESSONS:

First Lesson         Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18

Psalm                    Psalm 119:33-40

Second Lesson    1 Corinthians 3:10-11,16-23

Gospel                  Matthew 5:38-48

COLLECT: O Lord, you have taught us that without love whatever we do is worth nothing: Send your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts your greatest gift, which is love, the true bond of peace and of all virtue, without which whoever lives is accounted dead before you. Grant this for the sake of your only Son Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.