Sermons

Disrupting Empire – Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem as political theatre

As Canadians and Christians we feel a lot of social pressure to be nice. To not cause trouble. Especially for folks who seem nice. Nobody should be distressed. Let’s keep everything, on the surface anyway, agreeable and pleasant. Well that’s nice isn’t it? Sometimes it’s even a good thing. But sometimes what is required is real honesty. Whether that’s telling our true feelings to a friend who needs to know, or speaking a difficult truth to those in power. Or even challenging our own assumptions.

However, that desire to smooth things over can be overwhelming at times. We may choose silence or couched words over challenging conversation. Or we may avoid someone or something altogether rather than offering a challenge and engagement that might spark personal growth or a healed relationship.Read More »Disrupting Empire – Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem as political theatre

On the Edge of Wilderness

Isaiah 58:1-12, Mark 1: 1-13

You and I, we are standing on the edge of the wilderness with Jesus; you and I, on this first day of Lent, driven by the Spirit; you and I, on this Ash Wednesday, made of earth and water.  Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.  Today, whatever our justice ministry, we are invited, reminded, compelled, driven to enter into the wilderness to confirm our identity, to remember our names, and to reclaim our integrity, finding each other along the way.
Read More »On the Edge of Wilderness

“Not in the Bible!”

This past week, I posted a short note on the Holy Trinity e-list with observations from my past weekend at Canterbury Cathedral – the ‘Mother Church’ of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

As we are in the midst of a conversation here at Holy Trinity on liturgical formation – how we shape and express our faith in worship services – Lee very kindly invited me to share a few thoughts from Canterbury this morning. We will continue the conversation after the service in our adult forum.Read More »“Not in the Bible!”

Refugee Service Homily

Holy Family RefugeesHomily given by Sherman Hesselgrave at a service held at St James Cathedral, Toronto, on February 1st, 2015, The Eve of the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus, to recognize parishes in the Diocese that have been engaged in ministry with refugees.

Malachi 3:1-4    Psalm 84:2-3, 5-6      Hebrews 2:14-18      Luke 2:22-40

In 1956, the Hungarian Revolution started with thousands of students marching peacefully through the streets of Budapest demanding an end to the Soviet occupation of Hungary. It was October 23rd, the day I turned four years old. The revolution had a short life, however. Twelve days later Nikita Khrushchev sent in the Red Army and the Hungarian forces were defeated. 200,000 Hungarians fled to the West, and about 6,000 of those refugees found their way to Ontario. We lived in Fort William at the time, and my father was the pastor of a Lutheran congregation that helped to settle one of those families. Their son was a little older than I, and I can still (believe it or not) visualize the red and green checked shirt that they gave me as a gift. I was too young to understand the political complexities, but I knew that this family who spoke a different language had come from far away and they needed our help making a new start.Read More »Refugee Service Homily