Showing posts from February, 2011

Generous and Gracious

The Rev. Amy Hodges Morehous
Epiphany 7, Year A
Church of the Ascension
February 20, 2011

We have been talking for several Sundays about Christ’s call to us in the Sermon on the Mount. Christ’s call to us to do the impossible, as Fr. Brett pointed out last week. And now we get this from Jesus. “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Well, that seems simple.

“Be perfect." Except the Greek doesn’t actually mean “without imperfection” or “without flaw.” Perfect, in that sense, is not what Jesus is asking here. God does not expect flawlessness of any of us. Perfect here means whole, or complete. Eugene Peterson, in his artful paraphrase of the Bible, The Message, says it like this: “In a word, what I’m saying is: Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” Generously and graciously.

So, that’s a relief, isn’t it? Generous, and gracious. We can do th…

Strive by not Striving

The Rev. Robert P. Travis
8th Sunday of Epiphany Sermon – 8:00 and 10:30am
Based on Isaiah 49:8-16a, Psalm 131, Matthew 6:24-34

Sermon Text:
When we lived in Orlando,
sometimes Jackie and I would take the kids
to this state park just outside the city,
called Wekiva Springs.
It was truly a paradise,
with towering palm trees,
and vines and lush growth,
flowers and green plants
all surrounding a cool spring,
out of which flowed a meandering stream.

In the hottest days of summer,
those steamy central Florida days,
where the temperature is always 96 degrees,
and the humidity is an oppressive 90%,
this spring would always
be 70 something degrees,
so when all the backyard pools
were like bath water,
and even the ocean had become
to hot to swim in,
the spring would offer some refreshment.

This week when I was praying
with our Centering Prayer Group,
I had an image of that spring
come into my mind.
Specifically, I was sitting by the source,
a little pool where the spring
bubbled up from underground,
before i…

Salt of the Earth, Light of the World

The Rev. Robert P. Travis
5th Sunday of Epiphany Sermon – 8:00 and 10:30am
Based on Isaiah 58:1-9a, Matthew 5:13-20

Sermon Text:
Last week Fr. Howard talked to us
about the beatitudes from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount
and he rightly identified many here as being
among those who mourn, and are comforted,
and among those who are merciful, who will receive mercy.
Sometimes when we hear these Gospel passages,
out of the greater context in which they sit,
we can miss who Jesus is talking to.
So it was great that Fr. Howard,
pointed out that Jesus is talking to us, His followers,
in the beatitudes.

And he continues today, continuing, if you will
the same sermon.
But like many sermons,
we have a part in which we are comforted,
and a part in which we are challenged to do something.
Somehow, the way this worked out,
Howard got to express the comforting part,
But I get to speak about the hard, challenging part.

Thank God, that Jesus often put his
challenging words in uplifting ways.
I'm not inclined to do th…