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Sunday, 10 September 2017
Duration: 10 mins 24 secs
This week’s readings address issues of community, love, reconciliation and accountability in our lives and in our church. Again Jesus speaks of the authority of loosing and binding given to the church He also speaks of the power of having two of us agree on anything and the promise to be present whenever two or three of us gathered in His name. It is a heady responsibility, and one that has been misused in many times and places. In the name of this doctrine, the church has at times slid into being unloving, and destructive. The only way for a community to safely wield this authority without wounding others, is by incarnating the love of the Father, by the power of the Spirit, in the Name of the Son.
Sunday, 03 September 2017
Duration: 16 mins 52 secs
Last Sunday, we got to hear Simon, by the grace of God, answer the question of, “who do you say I am?” and get it right. In response, Jesus gives him a new name, Peter, and a new responsibility to loose and bind. This week, we hear Peter try to use his new authority to correct Jesus, to release him from the path He’s on and tempt Jesus to sidestep the cross. In his less than infinite wisdom, Peter wants Jesus to sidestep the most important event in human history. As the church, we are given authority to bind and release sins, but not to thwart the purpose and will of God. Likewise, as people, we do not have a choice about in what moment in history we are born and live; we only have a choice of how we will live in that moment. I encourage you to read Romans 12 (last week, we read the first half, and this week we’ll read the second half) as a description of how we should live in times like these, both as individuals, and even more so, as the Body of Christ in this place.
Sunday, 27 August 2017
Knowing the right question is critical. Jesus asks Peter The Question on which all rests. "Who do you say that I am?" The Creeds were written to answer this question. Our church was started because of how we answered this question. The great divisions within contemporary Christianity are because of how people answer this question. Revisiting this question is important for believers as it helps us reset ourselves firmly on a foundation that makes the greatest difference. What a great question to preach on for my final sermon as Rector of St. James. Perfect, just perfect. - Fr. Ed
Sunday, 20 August 2017
Duration: 24 mins 3 secs
Winston Church Hill famously said “Never, ever ever ever ever give up.” Persistence is an important part of any great achievement. Few great accomplishments occur without effort that has to press through problems. Persistence is also an import aspect of Faith. In this week's Gospel Jesus responds to a persistent mother and gives her what she seeks. On Sunday I will be reflecting on this week's Gospel and my own faith experience as I begin the slow work of planting a church in Hawaii. - Fr. Ed
Sunday, 13 August 2017
Duration: 16 mins 47 secs
This week, we read of Elijah trying explain to God his very reasonable plan of hiding in a cave indefinitely due to really difficult circumstances; and the Lord shows him more extreme circumstances and sends him on his way with a new plan. Peter is in a boat with the other disciples and sees Jesus walking past them on water in a storm, and his reasonable plan is to demand that Jesus prove that he is the Lord. Jesus does so by ordering Peter to get out the boat, into the storm, and also to walk on water. Peter gets it partly right, but is not actually ready to follow through on the plan he started. There is a saying: “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. Sometimes, it is hard to hear God and it feels like we are thwarted on all sides. Other times, the word of God is on our very lips, in our hearts and in our lives as we proclaim Jesus as Lord and Savior. Sometimes is it His plans which we are following and all the pieces come together to call and equip us to do more than we can by ourselves.
Sunday, 06 August 2017
Duration: 14 mins 50 secs
The Lord’s provision is not skimpy or thin. It is not for only a small select few, or only for certain groups of people. God first made a covenant with Israel, that they would be his people; but he also made them to be light to nations they didn’t even know. In our Gospel reading, Jesus has compassion on the crowds and heals when he wants to be alone. And when they are hungry, he takes what is small and insufficient, and multiplies it until the whole crowd is fed. The compassion and provision of the Lord is indeed great. Like the disciples, like the Israelites, as the people of God, we are the instrument of his grace, compassion and provision for people that we don’t yet know.
Sunday, 30 July 2017
Duration: 20 mins 34 secs
This week, we have an amazing collection of readings, from the wisdom of Solomon, to the psalmist’s love of God’s word, to the Spirit interceding for us according to the will of God, to the parables that describe the Kingdom of God as precious, hidden and growing, in stories of mustard seeds, pearls, and leaven hidden in flour. What we have and what we seek and what we grow into in this new life in Christ is absolutely amazing. God provides what we need to accomplish His will, even shaping us into instruments of his grace and love. Come join us this Sunday as we worship and learn and find healing and fellowship in the Body of Christ. In the meantime, I invite you to read and dwell on our scriptures appointed for this week: 1 Kings 3:5-12 Psalm 119:129-136 Romans 8:26-39 Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52
Sunday, 23 July 2017
Duration: 10 mins 37 secs
This Sunday’s Gospel carries on from last week’s parable of the sower and describes God’s patience with us. This is the foundation of our patience with one another and with those whom we love and pray for. The gospel also helps us to remember not to confuse patience with approval. Still the biggest message is patience. There is also in this gospel a strong basis for church planting, and a peak into my motivation to move to Hawaii. - Fr. Ed
Sunday, 16 July 2017
Duration: 20 mins 37 secs
This weeks gospel is one of my favorite passages --The parable of the sower. It is one of eight parables that appear in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. It is one that Jesus took time to explain to his disciples. The Gospel of Mark is only 16 chapters long and this parable occupies half a chapter! Simply put, this parable is central to Jesus' teaching. In the book I am taking forever to write, this parable will have it's own chapter. This parable is about faith and offers important insights into the nature of faithfulness. I hope you will come and worship at St. James and reflect with me on the nature of faith. - Fr. Ed
Sunday, 09 July 2017
Duration: 13 mins 27 secs
In this week's Gospel, Jesus compares the religious leaders of the day to children in the market shouting and complaining that other people won't care and respond the way they want them to. It reminds me of some of the threads I've read on social media. Most people want to be good moral people, but in a sea of competing, conflicting, inconsistent world views, pleasing everyone is a hopeless endeavor. Someone will always be disappointed in you, someone will always be judging you. In response, Jesus invites us to be yoked with him... to hear and follow one voice, one heart, one love.
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