Showing posts from October, 2011

Giving without Praise

The Rev. Robert P. Travis20th Sunday After Pentecost Sermon – 8:00 and 10:30amChurch of the Ascension, Knoxville TNRCL Proper 26 Year A 10/30/2011Text: Micah 3:5-12, Psalm 43, 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13, Matthew 6:24-34Sermon Text:When I read this gospel passage, knowing I’d have to preach on it, I have to admit I felt apprehensive. Not only have I never preached on this before,but over the years I’ve received strong criticism citing exactly these words from Jesus. Pointing to this passage, I have, on several occasions had devout protestants ask me “Why do people call you “father” in your church,don’t you know Jesus said “call no one ‘father’ on earth?”As if to point out how they are more Christian than we are.I often thought they were somehow missing the point,but could never quite put my finger on what they were missing.Maybe some of you teachers and instructors,were concerned when you heard Jesus tell usnot to be called teacher, or instructor either?So I began this week, not sure o…

What do you know about Jesus?

The Rev. Amy Morehous
Church of the Ascension
Proper 25, Year A
October 23, 2011

You come along. . . tearing your shirt. . . yelling about
Where do you get that stuff?
What do you know about Jesus?

--- Carl Sandburg, “To a Contemporary Bunkshooter”

That deceptively simple and angry beginning sounds like something we might read online, doesn’t it? Has anyone here heard it before? It’s actually the beginning of a poem first published in 1916 by Nobel laureate, Carl Sandburg. It’s a sometimes angry, sometimes sarcastic screed of a poem against false preachers - people preaching a false Gospel, and putting words in the mouth of Christ. Someone who is the exact opposite of Paul’s description of a minister of the Gospel.

I can’t quote the whole poem here. There’s definitely not any love in it, and it uses several words that I can’t use at the dinner table. It is a fast gallop of a poem, full of slashing words and images. It makes of itself an interesting para…
The Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost: Proper 24 Year AMatthew 22:15-22 Christ's Own Forever
“And to God the things that are God's.”So, I am going to start today's sermon off by doing something that is a little bit unconventional, at least by Episcopalian standards. I am going ask for you all, the congregation, to do something participatory this morning. So what I would like you all to do right now is to reach out in front of you and grab that nice little red book we call the Book of Common Prayer which is in front of you, and I would like each of you to turn to page 308. Now this is a section of our prayer book that most of us are pretty familiar with. The page you are looking at contains the words and prayers which are said towards the end of a Holy Baptism. They are the very words that were prayed over each of us at the time of our own baptisms, both in the Episcopal Church and in many others. What I want to ask of each of you this morning, is for you to read aloud…
Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost October 2, 2011The Truth of the Matter Is, There Are Consequences The Reverend Dr. Howard J. Hess
I. Introduction. The Truth of the Matter Is, There Are Consequences When we turn away from God and God’s Son. This week I met with the Wednesday Women’s Bible Study to consider today’s lectionary readings. As always, the discussion was lively and thought provoking. Shortly into the study, one of the participants asked, “Where is the good news or the joy in all of this?” She was astute – today’s parable demonstrates greed, stubbornness, murder, and ultimate retribution. The answer I gave was this: “The good news is in the truth of today’s readings, because knowing the truth, particularly God’s truth, will always ultimately set us free.” Were I in the study now, I would add to my answer that one aspect of God’s truth is God’s persistent, constant offer of grace.
II. What then is the truth of God found in today’s parable from Matthew? God has created us; Go…