Sermon Blog

08
Dec

Throwing the first stone

Scripture: Isaiah 65: 17-25; John 8: 1-11 Throwing the first stone can lead to terrible consequences.  Jesus avoided a woman’s death when he challenged the Temple officials on throwing the first stone at a woman taken in adultery. But this is more than a Biblical story. This Advent, my thoughts have been on what kind […]

01
Dec

Advent: Second Coming or birth in a stable?

Advent 1: Scripture: Matthew 7: 7-20 Today we consider different ideas about Advent: Second Coming or birth in a stable.   Last week, I said that Jewish people in Jesus’ time had many different thoughts about what the Messiah would be like. They included the following ideas: Military king like David, who would defeat the Romans […]

24
Nov

Gospel of Matthew – Introduction to the text

Please note: this is an introduction to the text, not to doctrine or faith Gospel of Matthew: what is it and when was it written? • Probably written ~ 85 CE; author unknown (unlikely the tax collector, cf. 9: 1). • Matthew, like Luke, draws heavily on Mark. Therefore Mark (estimated ~65-70 CE) must predate […]

17
Nov

God will show up: miracles happen

Scripture: Isaiah 12: 2-6; Psalm 13; Luke 20: 45-21:8 Miracles happen.  God will show up.  That’s what Bill Cliff, Bishop of Brandon, Manitoba said at last week’s Synod meeting.  It’s something an Indigenous elder had told him when he moved from southern Ontario to a diocese whose northern half is majority Indigenous.  A parish can […]

10
Nov

Remembrance and thoughts on an afterlife

Remembrance Day; Scripture: Luke 20: 27-38 Remembrance Day invites us to remember Canadians who served – and especially those who died – in wars. Several months ago, I spoke on the subject of sacrifice, meaning to make holy. The idea is that those who died in war made themselves holy in a greater cause. This […]

03
Nov

Saintliness, and how to seek it out

Scripture: Luke 19: 1-10, Ephesians 1: 15-23 Three ideas about saintliness come together today. It’s All Saints. The Gospel story recounts Zacchaeus meeting Jesus, and we baptize Riley Hogg. What is saintliness? In the letter to his church in Ephesus, Paul wrote about of both living and dead saints.“I have heard of your faith in […]

27
Oct

Pharisee and tax collector: fat cats and thin cats

Scripture: Luke 18: 9-14  Pharisees and tax collectors were at opposite ends of society in Jesus’ day: examples of fat cats and thin cats.  The story has much relevance for today, when we consider social unrest around the world.  In today’s Gospel, a Pharisee and a tax collector are praying in the Temple. The Pharisee […]

20
Oct

The widow and the unjust judge: interpretation

Scripture: Luke 18: 1-8; Jeremiah 31: 27-34 The parable of the widow and the unjust judge “The parable of the widow and the unjust judge” is the heading of today’s Gospel reading in my Bible.  Jesus tells a story about an unethical judge, who refuses to hear the case of a widow. The story is […]

13
Oct

Thanksgiving: don’t be like those lepers

Scripture: Deuteronomy 8: 7-18, Luke 17: 11-19 Today’s Scriptures are almost uniquely appropriate to Thanksgiving weekend. In the piece from Deuteronomy, Moses told the Israelites that they must never forget that God gave them the Promised Land. He reminded them not to get swell-headed. “Do not say to yourself, ‘My power and my abilities got […]

06
Oct

Doctrinal Christians or Gospel Christians?

Scripture: Luke 17: 1-10 Today, I want to muse on where we choose the most important ideas from Scripture.  These ideas determine whether we see ourselves mainly as Doctrinal Christians or Gospel Christians.  They affect what we believe and how we behave as Christians. The heading of today’s Gospel in my Bible is Some Sayings […]