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Hearing the Spirit

Trinity Sunday John 16:12-15
Pentecost Year C May 30, 2010
The Rev. Brett P. Backus

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.”

Today's Gospel message is about Listening. It is about our learning to truly listen to the constant movement of and guidance provided by the Holy Spirit, God, in our every day lives.

So, today is Trinity Sunday, and I am not sure how many of you know this, but because of the difficulty of the subject matter of this day, the doctrine of the Trinity, tradition in clergy circles dictates that the low person on the totem pole or the newest clergy on the block should always get assigned to preach on Trinity Sunday. So, while I am sure that it probably is, I must admit that I currently find myself wondering whether or not it was simply dumb luck or pure coincidence that brought me here before you all to preach this morning!
Now, the tradition that I just mentioned is of course a playful one. However, I want to point out that it also c…

Preach The Gospel At All Times And, When Necessary, Use Words

Pentecost, Year C May 23, 2010
Preach The Gospel At All Times And, When Necessary, Use Words
The Reverend Dr. Howard J. Hess

I. Introduction. When I graduated from Yale Divinity School, a close friend gave me a framed quotation that read: “Preach the Gospel at all times and, when necessary, use words.” It is attributed to St. Francis, although there is no reliable record indicating that he actually spoke these words. It would appear that Francis valued both living and preaching the Gospel and was an extraordinarily powerful preacher. All indications are that Francis relied upon the spoken word to build upon and interpret the actions of a life lived according to the Gospel.

II. This model of using words to clarify what it means to live as disciples of Jesus Christ is at the heart of what happened on the first day of Pentecost. The disciples were gathered together and experienced the powerful coming of The Holy Spirit. It was just as Jesus had promised.

As your Rector, on…

The Significance of the Ascension

Sunday after the Ascension Sermon – 8:00 and 10:30am Church of the Ascension, Knoxville TN
RCL Year C 5/16/2010
Text: Acts 1:1-11, Psalm 47, Ephesians 1:15-23, Luke 24:44-53
The Rev. Robert P. Travis

Our music, readings, and even this message
all celebrate our patronal feast today.
Actually Ascension Day was Thursday,
but we figured more of you would celebrate with us
if we celebrated it on Sunday.
Many churches have a patron, like St. John,
or St. Luke and they celebrate their patron on the Saint's Day.
Our patron is an event in the life of Christ.
So it's kind of different.
And the question has always nagged me,
what is the big deal about the Ascension?

I thought, as I studied our Gospel passage,
“How awesome must that have been?”
I mean, to have the resurrected Jesus
open your mind to understand the scriptures!
How much harder then,
after that experience,
that all of a sudden he was taken away from you.
Like Good Friday, it takes a bit of thinking,
to figure out how the Ascension was a good t…
Easter VI, Year C May 9, 2010
My Peace I Give to You The Reverend Dr. Howard J. Hess

I. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” Jesus’ words are part of his High Priestly Prayer in which he both asked God to sustain his closest followers and invited these same followers to venture more deeply into the gift of reconciliation and peace that he yearned for them to have. Part of why I love Jesus Christ so much is because at a time when it might have been more natural for him to focus on his own needs, he instead prayed for his followers. In fact, he had every reason to be annoyed with them the night before he was to die. They were going to bail on him big time. He knew that, but instead of being angry with them, he actively demonstrated his love by washing their feet. Jesus was and continues to be a lover of souls. I have never fo…