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”
By Susie Henderson
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)
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
Keith Nunn, Nov 26, 2017.
In case the lectionary readings today didn’t tip you off, this Sunday is called the Reign of Christ. This is the last stop before we start the cycle over with Mary’s story and the infant Jesus.
Co-incidentally, the first sermon I delivered after entering theological education was on the reign of Christ. At that time, I felt a need and pressure to justify my position through scripture. Not so much anymore. However, I do feel a need to maintain the conversation with scripture in general and with the person of Jesus Christ in particular.
Today, in spite of my infamous reputation for jettisoning the lectionary, I have kept all the appointed readings, albeit in abridged form. The straightforward interpretation of these texts probably makes most of us somewhat uncomfortable—I know it does me. I’ll return to them shortly, however. Continue reading What do we do with the King of Kings?
None of our lessons, not even the Psalm, were appointed for reading today. So, I’ll start by revealing the hidden agenda behind today’s worship: Driving our hearts and minds towards the third of our strategic planning sessions for Holy Trinity. That session begins just after today’s worship service ends. Continue reading Homily: November 18 2017