Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sermon: Pentecost 2 2013

Here is my sermon from last Sunday, Pentecost 2, 2013. Bishop Yu was making his annual visitation, so I was thinking about how the Gospel for the day (Jesus healing the Centurion's Slave, Luke 7.1-10) could teach us about the Bishop-Parish relationship. Also on my mind were the brilliantly theatrical Elijah vs. 450 Prophets of Baal passage (1 Kings 18.20-39) and Paul's defensive-sounding opening in his Letter to the Galatians (Galatians 1.1-12).

By the way, Our awesome "Leader of the Readers" had assigned herself to the Elijah reading and decided to dramatize it. She didn't even feel the need to ask me, which is why she is so awesome.

After my sermon, during the response time, there were some really good reflections from people, but I don't feel it's appropriate for me to share those online at this point. Maybe some day. But this week they noted that basically sometimes we are the outsiders, and sometimes we are the insiders, and understanding which position we occupy in which context is important.

A visiting seminary professor paid me the great compliment of saying that our Liturgy of the Word (the first half of the service leading up to the Offertory) was more "robust" than a typical Anglican Church. He was particularly impressed with the quality of the readings, psalmody, and my responsive sermon. Certainly a richer engagement with the scriptural Word has been a priority of mine for the past two years or so.

So it was a very successful visit with the Bishop, and I think it reflected many of the best qualities of Messiah.

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