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Showing posts from May, 2012

"The Passion Story" The Reverend Dr. Howard J. Hess

Easter VI, Year B (May 13, 2012) The Episcopal Church of the Ascension “The Passion Story” The Reverend Dr. Howard J. Hess
I. The Passion Story: Jesus spent his last night as a free man with his closest disciples in community with them. He washed their feet, and he shared a meal with them. He talked gently with them about what was going to happen in the next few hours and days, and he comforted them in his final words about abiding with him and loving one another. He told them that God the Father loved him unconditionally, and that he, in turn, has loved them as deeply and as freely as the Father loved him. Then he gave them a mandate, a mandatum, that they love one another as completely as he loved them. In his final words to the twelve together as a group, Jesus wove together two distinct themes: love and obedience.
II. Now, I wouldn’t dare speak for any of you, but I am often much more comfortable with the love part of all of this than I am with this commandme…

Finding Joy in the In-between Time

The Rev. Robert P. Travis Sunday after the Ascension Sermon – 8:00 and 10:30am Church of the Ascension, Knoxville TN RCL Year B 5/20/2012
Scripture Text: Acts 1:1-11, Psalm 47, Ephesians 1:15-23, Luke 24:44-53 Sermon Text: Our music, readings, and even this message all celebrate our patronal feast today. Actually Ascension Day was Thursday, but we don't celebrate it on that day, and I really don't know why we don't. We're celebrating it today, but you know, it's kind of a struggle to celebrate, because what is Ascension really? It is not a patron saint, the Ascension can't pray for us. If you've thought about it, you come to see it's an ambiguous time, an event in the life of Christ, that is sandwiched between two much bigger events, the Resurrection on the one side, and the Pentecost on the other. Or maybe you've never really thought about it at all.
Some of you might wonder what we as Church of the Ascension are, in a similar light, where have we been, and whe…

Abiding in the Vine of Life

The Rev. Robert P. Travis Easter 5th Sunday Sermon – 8am and 10:30am Church of the Ascension, Knoxville TN RCL Year B 5/06/2012 Scripture Text: Acts 8:26-40, Psalm 22:24-30, 1 John 4:7-21, John 15:1-8
Sermon Text: Have you ever seen a vine grow? How can you live in East Tennessee and not see vines grow? They're all over the place. A vine is such a wonderful metaphor for Jesus Christ, but not just because of the connection to the Eucharistic Wine we immediately go to.
Vines are interesting compared to trees, because they seem to be so much more active. They don't just stay put. If you have a vine that you're trying to control, you know it is hard to keep it growing the way you want it to, you constantly have to prune, or it will go off in all sorts of directions. There is so much life in a vine, it seems like if you look at it from one day to another, it has grown so much! And if a vine has a healthy, old root and stalk, you know it can endure just about anything. …