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Showing posts from June, 2008


I am off on vacation for the month of July. I will not be posting a sermon. I am heading up to the cottage on Lake Simcoe for some R & R.

Have a wonderful summer!


St. Peter and St. Paul

St. Peter and St. Paul June 29 “Do You Love Me?”
Readings: Ez 34:11-16; Ps 87; 2 Tim 4:1-8; Jn 21:15-19Today we celebrate the martyrdom of two great icons of the church, St. Peter and St. Paul.There is an irony to this joint celebration, for they were very different people.Peter was poor and unlearned; Paul was a scholar.They came to know the risen Christ in very different ways.Most of all, these are two people whose ministries constantly clashed.They headed two distinct Christian missions, one to the Jews, one to the Gentiles.Both came at ministry in very different ways.In their humanity, they give us insight into our own inadequacies when it comes to the faith.Peter is remembered as the one who denied Christ.Paul is known for his persecution of Christians.They were brought to their knees by Christ’s redemptive love.Their faith in the grace of God brought them face to face with the risen Christ.They answered the call of God and preached the word faithfully.Their faith ultimately led to …

Proper 12, Year A

I am not preaching this Sunday. We have our parish picnic, and our deacon is preaching. I am publishing a sermon today that I preached in 2005. I think it still holds good.
Peace or Violence?Readings: Genesis 21:8-21; Psalm 86:1-10, 16-17; Romans 6:1b-11; Matthew 10:24-39The consistent theme throughout the past few weeks has been our relationship to a loving God.We have explored what it means to be called by God.We have been warned about the great cost of discipleship.Nowhere in Scripture does that great cost become more evident than in the readings for today!“I come to bring not peace but a sword,” Jesus reminds us.It is a hard and chilling statement.Conflict at some level and in some circumstances is inevitable.Isn’t this the same Jesus who promised peace?What happened to ‘blessed are the peace makers’?What happened to ‘peace I leave with you’?We spend much of our lives picturing Jesus as the gentle, meek peacemaker.Jesus spoke such words of comfort to the poor, the ill, and the…

Proper 11, Year A

The Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

Our Apostolic Calling
Readings: Genesis 18:1-15; Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19; Romans 5:1-8; Matthew 9:35-10:8We live in improbable times.So many improbable things happen that we simply accept.Consider for example that at the 2000 Olympics in Australia, the Olympic torch was taken underwater.What is more, it stayed alight! But I suspect that we have always lived with a sense that improbable things can and will occur.Scripture is filled with improbable stories, stories which call us to suspend our doubt and risk newness in the ways that we live out our faith.The story of Abraham and Sarah is just such a story.God has promised to make of them a great nation.Yet Sarah remains childless.Then she overhears a conversation between Abraham and a visitor who accepts their hospitality.“Your wife Sarah will have a son,” the stranger tells Abraham.And the eavesdropping Sarah, knowing that she is beyond child bearing age, begins to laugh.We share in that laughter, and we sha…

Proper 10, Year A

The Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

Journeying By StagesReadings: Genesis 12:1-9; Psalm 33:1-12; Romans 4:13-25; Matthew 9:9-13My grandmother was enrapt by the history of her family.She shared that passion with us as we grew up.On her side of the family, we go back in this area to 1803 and on my grandfather’s side to 1797.Both families were pioneers in Muddy York.One family came from Ireland looking for free land and a better life.The other family were United Empire Loyalists.They had already moved once from their homeland to settle in Pennsylvania, and then were uprooted by war and came to Canada looking for freedom.The stories of their hardships are part of our family lore.It reminds me that the glory of human history is in its pioneers.Many motives cause people to uproot their lives and move to a new country.Millions in our world are on the move because they are refugees, people without a home.They move in search of work or to avoid famine or drought.Even in our own country people mov…