Gifts of God

The Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 16

This sermon originally appeared on Sermons That Work.

If you ever have the chance to visit the Holy Land, you will walk in the footsteps of Jesus and learn about the complicated world in which he lived. You’ll visit the Garden of Gethsemane, the Upper Room, and about fifteen sites claiming to be Lazarus’ tomb. You’ll also likely visit Cana, the place where Jesus is said to have turned containers of water into wine for a wedding feast. At the gift shop, you may even try some “Cana Wedding Wine,” but it is not recommended.

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Make Yourself at Home

The 9th Sunday After Pentecost (Proper 11B)

The first thing I do when I check into a hotel room is unpack. I hang up my buttoned shirts and neatly fold my pants and tees into drawers; I empty out my bag of toiletries and plug in all of my devices. I do this because I don’t like living out of a suitcase—I want to feel settled and at home. Continue reading “Make Yourself at Home”

Being the Church

The Feast of Pentecost

Today is the Feast of Pentecost, what is often called “The Birthday of the Church.” Some would say that the birthday of the Church was when the women rushed back to the other disciples from that empty tomb to proclaim that Jesus had risen, indeed.

Others would say that the Church began when Jesus emerged from the Jordan, washed in the waters of the baptism by John, ready to gather his team of men and women to learn from him and become his representatives in First Century Palestine.

And then there are those who would argue that the Church began long before Jesus—that the Church began when God made a sacred covenant with Abram and Sarai, promising a long line of descendants through whom God would show the world that redemption is always possible, that God always seeks to be one with her people, and that God calls us to seek oneness with each other.

But on that day of Pentecost, those disciples gathered in one place. They had been together many times before, but now Jesus had risen from the dead, now Jesus had ascended into heaven, and now they were about to begin a new chapter in their life together, and they knew it—they didn’t know what was coming, but they knew something was on the way, and they knew their Lord was with them every step of the way.

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The Space Between

The Seventh Sunday of Easter

The window in the north transept depicts the Ascension of Jesus, which we observed on Thursday. The window depicts those who knew Jesus for most of his recorded years of ministry, who were with him before his arrest, who grieved after his execution, and who rejoiced at those moments of resurrection. Those apostles watch Jesus ascend into the sky on a cloud. Jesus disappears from their sight for who knows how long, and the disciples seem to shout, “Hey wait up! Where are you going?”

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