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Showing posts from August, 2010

Who is More Distinguished?

Proper 17 Year C
Hebrews 13:1-8,15-16, Luke 14:1,7-14
Fr. Robert P. Travis
Sermon Text:
How many of you know the name Karl Barth?
You may have heard of him, or you may not have,
as he is one of the most famous theologians of the 20th
Century.
He was a pastor, preacher and teacher from
Switzerland, who also taught at
the most highly regarded German Universities.
He lectured in this country at Princeton,
and the University of Chicago.

The majority of Barth’s life
was spent teaching and writing,
with some public lecturing and preaching.
His major writings include the commentary on Romans,
[and] Church Dogmatics (a multi–volume systematic theology of nearly seventy–five hundred pages...”
(Douglas, J. D., Comfort, P. W., & Mitchell, D. (1997, c1992). Who's who in Christian history. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House.)

But in the last decade before he retired,
he also spent time preaching in his local prison.
I guess you could say he wanted a captive audience.

I'm going to tell you a story about Bar…

True Sabbath

Proper 16 Year C Luke 13:10-17
True Sabbath
The Rev. Brett P. Backus

“And the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing.”

Today's message is about true sabbath. It is about both our ability and necessity
as Christians to successfully encounter God in and through God's work. Sabbath.
So, in the Backus family, church participation was not really a choice. I was so used to this idea in fact, that when my bedroom door would open, at what seemed to a teenager to be some ungodly hour, and my mother would tell me plainly that it was time to get up for church, I didn't even try to argue or fuss because I already knew that this battle in particular was a complete and utter waste of time. Though it seemed unpleasant at the time, as I reflect on this family discipline, I am now very thankful. I am thankful for the respect for and value of the sabbath day that has been instilled in me over the course of my life by my parents. However, I must admit that…

Wild Grapes in the Fields of the Lord

The Rev. Amy Morehous
Proper 15, Year C
Church of the Ascension
August 16, 2010


What words we have before us in the scripture readings today, the ‘love-song about a vineyard’, according to Isaiah. Trampled. Ravaged. Burned. Rebuked. Tortured. Flogged. Stoned. Killed. What on earth could we find of meaning in these accounts of desolation, and violence and rebuke? However could we reconcile a loving God with these words of warning, and judgement, and violence? Particularly knowing that Paul means for some of those horrific words to be reassuring. You think you have it bad now, you Hebrews ! Just remember what your predecessors went through, and be reassured! I don’t know about you, but that is sometimes the kind of comforting I can do without.

Like most families, today I’m focused on new beginnings - new classes, new teachers. In fact, in a few moments, we will bless all the children headed back to school, to face all those shiny new pencils, shiny new friends, and shiny new anxieties that e…

Living without your Possessions Owning You

Fr. Robert P. Travis
August 1, 2010

The last time August began with this Gospel
was on a Sunday morning in 2004.
What if you had made plans in 2004,
about what you would do with your treasure then,
to enjoy it comfortably for the rest of your life?
Would you have found that things had changed by 2010?

But in spite of these financial challenges,
The Psalmist tells us this morning
“Consider well the mercies of the Lord.”
And from Paul we hear,
“Set your minds on things that are above,
not on things that are on earth,
for you have died and your life his hidden
with Christ in God.”

By being baptized into the death of Jesus,
we are invited into a new life,
that is different from all those around us.

Because seem very much like the people living
a merely human life around us,
It is hard to consider the mercies of God,
and to set our minds on things that are above,
especially in the place we live in the world today.
It is hard to set our minds on things that are above,
when the things on earth, our things, are s…