Showing posts from September, 2010

Loving Unchosen Neighbors

The Rev. Robert P. Travis
Eighteenth Sunday after the Pentecost – 8:00 & 10:30
RCL Proper 21 Year C 9/26/2010

1.Text: Jeremiah 32:1-3a,6-15, Psalm 91:1-6,14-16, 1 Timothy 6:6-19, Luke 16:19-31

I was going through my old sermons
and I discovered that the very first
sermon I wrote in Seminary,
was on this same Gospel pericope
we heard today.
I read through that sermon and found some good parts
for today.
But a great deal of the text was disappointing
to me, because it showed me
how immature I was then,
and especially that I had a sort of chip
on my shoulder about wealthy people.
I was fresh out of my experience as a youth minister
at an Episcopal Church on the Northshore of Long Island,
commonly called the Gold Coast of Long Island.
Some of the wealthiest people in the world
live in that town.
You couldn't buy a house, not even a shack,
for less than $600,000.
Parents would commonly buy $80,000 Lexuses
for their children when they turned 16.
And yet, at the Episcopal Church where I worshipped
and serve…

Giving Ourselves to God

Proper 20 Year C Luke 16:1-13
Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
September 19th, 2010
Written by Fr. Brett Backus
Delivered at 8am by Fr. Brett, at 10:30am by Fr. Rob

Giving Ourselves to God

“For the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation
than are the children of light.”

Today's message is about Christian living.
It is about our very real need as Christians
to struggle constantly
with the giving over of ourselves to Christ
in order to make room for God in our hearts.

You know, one of my favorite things
about taking people on mission trips
is being provided with the opportunity
to witness the people we have taken
grow before our very eyes.
Being able to provide people with life altering experiences and having the chance to see
how each individual responds to challenges and changes
as a result of the various challenges that come along
with mission work is both a blessing and a privilege.
One of my favorite challenges,
which presented itself on both the…

The Joy of Repentance

Given at 8am Service
Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost
Proper 19C
September 12, 2010 (Rally Day)
Luke 15:1-10
Fr. Rob Travis

How many of you have ever lost a sheep?

I know I haven't, so it's kind of hard
for me to appreciate the joy
that a shepherd would have,
if he went in search of a lost sheep
and found it.

But the losing money thing,
and finding it,
that makes sense to me,
as long as I realize that a silver coin,
back then, was worth a lot more
than a simple quarter today.
The most common silver coin
was the denarius,
which was what was typically
paid for a day's wage.

So let's say you lost a $100 bill.
I would certainly spend a while
searching for that,
and be pretty thrilled if I found it.

Or let’s take a more recent example,
say you lost a whole lot of money
in the stock market
your retirement savings,

wouldn’t you go about
doing everything you could,
to try to get that money back?
You might even neglect some things
that need your attention
in order to get back what you lost.

That’s t…

The Cost of Discipleship

Proper 18 Year C Luke 14:25-33
The Cost of Discipleship
The Rev. Brett P. Backus

“So therefore, none of you can become my disciple
if you do not give up all your possessions.”

Today's message is about the cost of discipleship. It is about learning to let go of all we love
in order to truly grasp Christ.

So, I had a very hard time preparing today's sermon, a harder time than normal actually. I spent the majority of this week racking my brains as to how to begin this sermon, torturing my poor pregnant wife by using her as a sounding board for my ideas, staring at my computer until my brain went numb, and roaming the halls of the church desperately trying to trick someone else into thinking it was their Sunday to preach (it almost worked on Deacon Amy, by the way). Then, in desperation, and because I could no longer stand the site of my office, I somehow found my way up to our labyrinth sometime late Thursday afternoon. It was there, walking the labyrinth, that I unexpectedly re…