William Whitla

Ian Sowton

For Ian Sowton at 90

For Ian Sowton at 90

Some saints were farmers
like Serenus the gardener who shares your day, dear Ian.
They ploughed the land like billy-o
scattering the seed where fall it will
and harvesting the growth, if any,
in due season, tares and all.

And some moved kings and potentates,
and prelates too, as did bird-preaching Frances,
pushing Sultans, Popes, and a priest or two
to grant his brothers space; their kingdoms peace;
their people just a crêche or two
to see the mystery unfold.

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Freedom to Love

+In the name of God our Maker, Jesus Living, and the Fulfilling Spirit, Amen.

[When Sherman said that we were cutting things down to make the service shorter, I thought that here was a chance for me to expand the homily—and I have a bit—especially here to make the connections clearer— though those of you who heard it, will recognize that I moved from the text more than just here and there—and what was also apparent (I am sure), was that I was cutting like mad as I was preaching—even when we had some competition from one or more of our visitors]Read More »Freedom to Love

Justification, Wrath and the Water of Life (Homily for Lent 3, March 23rd)

Bill Whitla’s Homily at Holy Trinity for Lent 3, March 23, 2014

Exodus 17:1-7

Grumbling people quarrelling with Moses

Demanding water to drink in the wilderness

Moses striking the rock so water will come out of it.

Using the same rod with which he smote the Nile. to poison it, now is used for fresh water to save the people of Israel.

People are testing Moses, but fundamentally testing God by asking Is the Lord among us or not?

It’s a good question about whether this testing and quarrelling —or the striking of the rock, becomes the reason that Moses cannot enter into the Promised Land (see Deut. 32: 48–52; see also Deut 20).

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