Showing posts from October, 2014
We Give Because of What We Have Been GivenYear A; October 26, 2014 Episcopal Church of the Ascension The Reverend Dr. Howard J. Hess
I. Introduction. Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” These words are part of a prayer called “the SHEMA” found in Dt 6:4-9, which is prayed twice daily by all pious Jews. To the Shema Jesus added a passage from Lev (19.18): “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” In the context of Hebrew understanding, “love” is an action verb. No only does one “feel” love, but one acts vigorously out of love. This kind of active love was described by Dr. Miroslov Volf here at Ascension two weeks ago as all about the giving and receiving of gifts. Such gift giving has been initiated by God in creation, personified in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ who became one of us, and exemplified by God’s sending the Holy Spirit to enliven us. As Miraslov Volf so eloquently writes, we give because God…
The 13th Sunday after Pentecost September 7, 2014 Episcopal Church of the Ascension The Reverend Dr. Howard J. Hess For the Ministry of the Church
Introduction. Today is Rally Day ~ the day we celebrate the re-gathering of our community as we enter into a new program year and leave summer vacations behind. We worship in two different places this morning ~ here at 8, and at Grace Point, our Diocesan Camp, at 10:30. In observance of this day, our lectionary readings come from the Book of Common Prayer in a section entitled “For Special Occasions.” These readings celebrate who we are, why we exist, and what we are to be about.
II. So who are we ~ this community that calls itself The Episcopal Church of the Ascension? My basic response is that we are a thriving community of believers situated here on the top of a hill, committed to be a place in which the Gospel of Jesus Christ is proclaimed and enacted. We are Christ-followers, and as Paul tells us in Ephesians, Christ Jesus is our corne…