22 Sepember 2019
Readings: Amos 8:4-7 Psalm 113 Bonhoeffer (Letters and Papers from Prison) Luke 16:1-13
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.
Continue reading Climbing Over Walls (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)
Continue reading Refugee Ministry Sunday Homily
- 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.
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.
Continue reading THE CLIMATE CHANGE CRISIS: A BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE
2019.08.04 Holy Trinity
Transfiguration – A visit with dragons
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.
Continue reading A Visit with Dragons: Homily for Transfiguration
Acts 11:1-18 Psalm 148 Revelation 21:1-6 John 13:31-35
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.
Continue reading Getting out of God’s Way (Homily for Easter 5)