The Very Rev. Ed McNeill
Luke 1:26-38
9 mins 41 secs
Views: 93
The Fourth Sunday of Advent is all about God's in-breaking into a disordered world. The Angel Gabriel appears to Mary and tells her that she will bear the Son of God. Gabriel tells her "For nothing will be impossible with God." (Luke 1:37) Tom Cruise's movie franchise "Mission Impossible" is a thrilling action packed celebration that what seems impossible is barely possible with the right training, cool technology, and outrageous daring. None of that is true of this week's Good News. This is all about God. Only God could do this and that God did this reveals His heart for a broken world. Mary shows us what the right response is to God's activity.
The Very Rev. Ed McNeill
John 1:6-8 & John 1:19-28
14 mins 34 secs
Views: 100
John was the forerunner for Jesus. His role, his one job, was to prepare the way for the Messiah and to announce his arrival. He told people that the Messiah stood among them and they did now know him. Knowing Jesus is the point of discipleship. Knowing another person takes familiarity and study. Familiarity comes from spending time together and study leads to deeper appreciation. A popular book for marriage these past few years is "The FIve Love Languages". Truly there is a lot of effort that goes into loving and appreciating others. Knowing Jesus and being known by him is not a mystery or particulary difficult thing to do, and it is our Advent discipline.
The Very Rev. Ed McNeill
Mark 1:1-8
17 mins 14 secs
Views: 115
Come and get ready. Many families have traditions around Christmas. Some families drive to a favorite tree farm in the Santa Cruz Mountains to choose their tree. Others enjoy heirloom ornaments and decorations. Young families often think carefully about the new traditions they want to start as they grow into a family together. Everyone, it seems, has unique ways of preparing. This week we hear how John prepared the way for Jesus and assist with the preparation for his second coming as we worship together. Our worship together prepares the way. We prepare our own hearts and, by our shared proclamation, prepare the world for His return in glory.
The Very Rev. Ed McNeill
Mark 13:24-47
15 mins 35 secs
Views: 97
Advent, and the church calendar, begins with the ending in sight. Our Gospel focuses on the Coming of Jesus, accompanied with Angels, to bring to an end this age and to usher in the new creation. The Gospel reminds us to remain ready for this day, to persevere in our discipleship so that we are ready in the long expected moment of His return.
The Very Rev. Ed McNeill
Matthew 25:31-46
10 mins 49 secs
Views: 132
We mark the end of our liturgical year celebrating Jesus' Lordship. Our Gospel reminds us that this is a sobering truth we can rejoice in to the degree that our faith allows. As Lord of Lords and King of Kings, Jesus Christ bears in himself the responsibility of the judgment we will all one day face. So lift up your heads, rejoice, and look forward to that great day of justice.
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Matthew 25:14-30
13 mins 39 secs
Views: 120
More on the Parable of the Talents
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Matthew 25:14-39
11 mins 6 secs
Views: 136
It is not easy to live life nearing the edge of an invisible precipice. Our sense of emotional stability in the midst of daily change is partially based on the internal sense that life on Earth will continue pretty much as it has for millennia. However, all our readings this Sunday remind us that this world, this life, will not continue indefinitely. The master will return, the day of the Lord will arrive, and we will be accountable for how we have used the resources of our lives: our time, our talents, and opportunities. How do we faithfully live in the face of this uncomfortable truth?
The Very Rev. Ed McNeill
Matthew 25:1-13
12 mins 44 secs
Views: 107
Greatness is 90% effort and 10% talent or so the saying goes. Would it surprise you to learn that Faithfulness also involves a lot of effort? Salvation is by faith alone and faith involves effort. Now its true that we are not saved by our works but by faith. Confused yet? Most people are when it comes to the nature of faith and the role of works. In this Sunday's Gospel we hear Jesus tell a parable about the importance of persistence and the shape of our attitudes. Fr. Ed will reflect on this and also try to clear up some of the confusion surrounding Faith and Works.
If you met someone who didn’t understand Christianity, how would you describe the Good News? Many Christians would talk about going to Heaven, or living a better way of life. But Christ’s message was so much more! This week we’ll celebrate All Saints Sunday with joy for Christ’s message that allows us to live lives of joy and hope for the future of our world.
The Very Rev. Ed McNeill
Matthew 22:34-46
16 mins 43 secs
Views: 104
Much of what Jesus taught in Jerusalem was familiar yet shocking. The established religious leaders were familial with the verses Jesus quoted yet shocked by the application Jesus used them for. In this week’s Gospel Jesus combines two verses in a way that brings a new meaning into sharp focus. He is asked to summarize the law and in doing so gives us the Great Commandment. Like the Lord’s Prayer this teaching is unique to Jesus and provides guidance to his church. Following Jesus makes us sympathize with the Pharisees a bit as we too often hear verses brought into sharp meaning that calls us to reform of our lives and spiritual growth. This is always a challenge that leads to joy. It also brings into focus the appropriate attitude we ought to have to Scripture. Please join us and prepare for a pleasant shock.