Category Archives: Reflections

We Are A Covenant People (Homily for Lent I)

Readings:   Genesis 9:8-17     Psalm 25:1-10    Mark1:9-15

Starting over. 

Beginning a new chapter. 

Turning over a new leaf. 

Under new management. 

Re-boot. 

Reset. 

Repent.

We have so many different ways of talking about making a fresh start, and as many reasons for wanting or needing to. Disruptive technology puts someone out of a job. Manufacturing moves to a different continent. The market crashes. A Marriage ends. You win the lottery. Continue reading We Are A Covenant People (Homily for Lent I)

Lent 2018 at Holy Trinity: We Are A Covenant People

Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day coincide this year. With two service times—12:15 PM and 6:00 PM—you can still make a Valentine’s dinner reservation.

The ashes for Ash Wednesday are made by burning the palm branches from last Palm Sunday. With the words, “Remember you are dust, and to dust you will return,” we are reminded of our mortality.

On the Sundays in Lent, the appointed Hebrew Scripture readings in Year B focus on covenants: the covenant with Noah on February 18, the covenant with Abram/Abraham and Sarai/Sarah on February 25th, the covenant with Moses (the 10 Commandments) on March 4th, the covenant in the wilderness on March 11th, and the new covenant that Jeremiah foretells on March 18th. Continue reading Lent 2018 at Holy Trinity: We Are A Covenant People

“echoes of cosmic events”

Epiphany Sermon 2018

by Joanna Manning

Today’s celebration of the Epiphany has always been one of my
favourites. I find it’s full of mystery, and it speaks to the
imagination and the poetic.

The word ‘Epiphany’ means ‘manifestation’ or ‘revelation.’ In
today’s feast there are traditionally have been three levels of
revelation that have been celebrated. First, the Magi are led to
the manger and the light of Christ is manifested to the gentiles.
Then Epiphany is often linked with the Baptism of Christ by
John, and the launch of Jesus’ public ministry, with the
testimony of the voice from heaven confirming that ‘This is my
Beloved Son’ followed by the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in
the form of a dove. Epiphany is also linked with John’s account
of the Marriage Feast of Cana, where Jesus first manifests his
power to the disciples by turning water into wine, a symbol of
the wedding feast that joins heaven and earth, God and
humankind, into a new and joyous union. Continue reading “echoes of cosmic events”

Broken-hearted Blessings (Homily for Advent 3)

By Susie Henderson

Readings:

  • Isaiah 61: 1-4, 8-11
  • The Sweetness that Remains: Orange Blossom Honey Blessing in The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief by Jan Richardson
  • John 1 :6-8, 19-28

ROSEMARY FOR REMEMBRANCE

They say that grief is the tax on love — if you love you grieve, no getting around it. I brought rosemary today to honour the losses that we all carry and may be particularly mindful of at this time of year.

Rosemary — has a long history and there are many stories tied to this fragrant herb. Historically it has been thought to strengthen memory and that tie to remembrance and it has been included in both the wedding bouquet and the funeral garland.

Medicinally the camphor in rosemary has helped to clear congestion. In our house it mostly comes out with a little lemon to season Jennifer’s favorite roast chicken.

Today I offer it as a sign of remembrance, a scent that lingers, a way to witness that death is not the end of love. Death is not the end of love.

During this reflection, I invite you, if you’d like, to come forward and make yourself a mini wreath of remembrance that you can take home for a christmas tree or to place somewhere in your line of sight, a sign of the presence of those who have gone before us, still present, still missed, still remembered in our holiday times. You can make it during the service or just pick up the pieces to put it together when you get home. Continue reading Broken-hearted Blessings (Homily for Advent 3)

Anger as Fuel for Hope: Homily for Advent 1

Isaiah 64:1-9
Mark 13:24-37

Some of you may be a bit leery of an Advent homily entitled “Anger as Fuel for Hope.” Isn’t ‘anger’ one of the seven deadly sins, I hear you ask? Isn’t Advent the rehearsal for the angelic choirs singing about peace on earth, and the arrival of the Prince of Peace. Why buzz kill the season’s hopeful mood? Why, indeed?

Well, for one reason, today’s scripture readings are reminders of the pain and suffering that humans have inflicted upon one another since forever, and testimonials to an understanding or acknowledgement that it will take a wisdom greater than our own to set things right, perhaps even a transcendent wisdom. “O that you would tear open the heavens and come down!” the prophet Isaiah cries out. The story of Christmas has become so romanticized, its rough edges filed down, its scandalous message tied with a bow, the rough places steam-rolled, that it could be the work product of Walt Disney. Continue reading Anger as Fuel for Hope: Homily for Advent 1