All posts by shesselgrave

Climbing Over Walls (Homily)

22 Sepember 2019

Readings: Amos 8:4-7 Psalm 113 Bonhoeffer (Letters and Papers from Prison) Luke 16:1-13

For the noontime Eucharist on Wednesdays, we usually commemorate a saint who is remembered on the church calendar that week. Last Wednesday, we used the propers for St Ninian. The short biography in For All the Saints, told us that Ninian was “a fifth-century bishop who was the first to preach the gospel in western Scotland. He originally came from England, then a province of the Roman empire, and spent many years in centres of Christian culture like Rome and southern Gaul. At that time the leaders of the Church tended to think that people who lived outside the boundaries of the Roman empire were not worth converting to Christ. In Britain this attitude was visibly reinforced by Hadrian’s Wall, a string of stone forts built across the northern boundary of England, in order to keep out the Scottish tribes. But one day Ninian either climbed over or sailed around this wall and headed into barbarian territory in order to bring the gospel to the enemies of his culture.” The spunkiness of Ninian’s extramural adventure caught my attention. We live in a time when there is an ocean of rhetoric about walls. I have lived long enough to remember when the Berlin wall was erected, and I own a chunk of the wall from when it was torn down in 1989. Walls are real or imagined, bricks and mortar, as well as metaphorical.

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Refugee Ministry Sunday Homily

September 15, 2019
Holy Trinity Refugee Committee Sermon
Katherine Assad and Rob Shropshire
(Note: the Scotiabank Marathon fundraiser will be on October 20 –
Donate here: https://secure.e2rm.com/registrant/TeamFundraisingPage.aspx?teamID=878153#&panel1-1)

  • Jo (coordinating) gets up to introduce the sermon – “…Katherine and Rob.” She calls us up, but we aren’t there. She is surprised. She calls us.
  • Katherine jogs in, chipper. Runs around the sanctuary and up to the lectern, calling for Rob to catch up.
  • Rob enters, wheezing, struggling. Struggles up to join Katherine at the podium, out of breath.
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THE CLIMATE CHANGE CRISIS: A BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE

Michael Creal’s homily on September 8, 2019

Readings: Deut 30:15-20 Psalm 1 Philemon 1-21 Lk 14:25-33

At the time when Lee, in a moment of some desperation, asked me to do the homily for this Sunday, I just happened to be brooding over the climate change crisis. I looked at the readings for today and these words from the Deuteronomy passage jumped out: “This day I have set before you life and death, therefore choose life that you and your descendents may live” – those words provided a sharp focus for what I was thinking about. In the case of today’s reading from Deuteronomy that choice for the Israelites – between life and death – was a question of honouring or not honouring the covenant that Moses put before the people. Honouring it meant choosing life and living in accordance with the Law, or rejecting it with the destructive consequences that could follow. Renewing the Covenant and confronting that choice was something that the Jewish people faced repeatedly in the course of their history . Today, the stark choice of choosing life is something we face. What I think that means for us, I’ll come to in a moment.

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A Visit with Dragons: Homily for Transfiguration

2019.08.04 Holy Trinity

Transfiguration – A visit with dragons

Peter Haresnape

Readings: Psalm 99, 2 Peter 1:16-19, Luke 9:28-36, The Peace of Wild Things (Wendell Berry)

A few weeks ago I met up with Tim, a friend from Christian Peacemaker Teams who I haven’t seen for several years. As we caught up on our lives we compared our networks of Christian activists and peacemakers, noting the connections, discussing the mentors and inspirational people we interact with. Tim referred to ‘holding the dragon close’. He explained that a dragon is an influential and powerful person in your life who is somewhat dangerous.

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Getting out of God’s Way (Homily for Easter 5)

Acts 11:1-18     Psalm 148      Revelation 21:1-6     John 13:31-35

Sherman Hesselgrave

If there is one thing today’s scripture readings have in common, it is about God doing something NEW. “I give you a new commandment: love one another.” “Look, I make all things new.” And then there’s Peter, who clued in to the new thing God was doing after the third memo.

Jesus warned his disciples that God would be doing new things in the future, things they were not ready even to think about while he was yet with them. And, sure enough, it didn’t take long. One afternoon, while he was enjoying his siesta, God gave Peter a vision, which Peter interpreted as a test of his faithfulness to Jewish dietary laws. [A reproduction of Fran Sowton’s painting of Peter’s vision at Joppa is the featured image for this post.] When Peter came to realize that it was not a test, but a message, specifically a message that God was making the circle wider, and he needed Peter to be onside, he made the necessary adjustments, and embraced the new scope of the mission. In this instance, it was Peter’s own religious upbringing that got in God’s way—a phenomenon we will encounter repeatedly throughout Church history.

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