Trinity 9, 2022 – Sermon

SERMON –For St. Mary’s Anglican – Aug 14,2022

TEXTS:  Isaiah 5:1-7, Psalm 80: 1,2 & 8-18, Hebrews 11:29- 40 and Luke 12:49-56

Audio recording of this sermon

Opening prayer:  Let the words of my mouth…

By Faith

Nero Claudius was the Emperor of the Roman Empire from 37 AD to 54 AD. During his time as the ruler in Rome, the Empire had control over all the nations bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Nero’s authority stretched from Spain in the west to Turkey and Egypt in the east and thus included France, Italy, Greece and all the countries on the northern edge of the continent of Africa. Roman garrisons, governors and administrative officials extended far and wide.  

At the same time that Nero held this incredible position of power and was seen almost like a god, there was another historical figure although much smaller in terms of his political power or influence.  This man was Saul who soon after his encounter with Jesus, became known as Paul and it was he who carried the message of the gospel to various parts of the Empire. Paul though did not seek political power but devoted himself to talking about God and about God sending his son Jesus to die for sins of the world.  This is not the stuff that brings you political power or even makes you popular. The suffering he endured was incredible and in the end he died, it is believed, in Rome, perhaps as a result of Emperor Nero’s policies in regard to these lowly Christians.

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Trinity 3, 2022 – Sermon

Audio recording of this sermon

SERMON –For St. Mary’s Anglican, July 3,2022
TEXTS:  II Kings 5:1-15a, Psalm 30, Galatians 6: 7-16 & Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

Opening prayer:  Let the words of my mouth…

Intro:  At a time when the news headlines tells us about the horrors of the war in Ukraine, the death of a group of 50 or so Mexican people trying to enter the USA in a large truck, the terror of mass shootings, the suffering of those caught in the internal conflict in Sudan and other parts of Africa and the difficulties faced by families in Canada who are struggling with inflationary prices or with family who have overdosed on opiods – at such a time as this, you might ask yourself as I have “where is God?” “Is there a God in this world who still heals the broken hearted, rescues the desperate, brings forth justice or executes righteous?”

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Trinity 22, 2021 – Sermon

(Modified 2021-10-31: Added audio recording of sermon.)

Sermon for St. Mary’s Anglican – by Henry Friesen – Oct 31, 2021

Scriptures:  Ruth 1:1-18, Psalm 119:1-8, Hebrews 9:11-14 and Mark 12:28-34

Audio recording of this sermon

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts together, be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, our strength and our redeemer.

It Is Our Choice

            In the poem entitled “The Road Not Taken” the American poet Robert Frost included these famous lines: Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the differenceThese short lines have become famous because they speak to the universal human reality of choice; we as human beings have the ability to freely make choices and we do so  every day. In addition we know that those choices have consequences, they will affect our future. Now the choice we make as to the kind of car or house we buy may not have a huge impact on our lives, at least not compared to the choice we make as to a career, a life partner or our convictions in regard to faith. The latter choices are loaded with the potential of deeply affecting our lives at both an intellectual and emotional level. As I get older – and of course I am not old YET – I recognize so clearly that the choices I made at several key junctures have greatly affected my life: they have “made all the difference.”

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Trinity 7, 2021 – Sermon

(Modified 2021-07-18: Added audio recording of this sermon.)

Sermon for St. Mary’s Anglican – by Henry Friesen July 18, 2021

Scriptures Lessons: Jermiah 23:1-6, Psalm 23, Ephesians 2:11-22 and Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

Audio recording of this sermon

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts together, be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, our strength and our redeemer.

Caring for the Scattered

            When I read our Old Testament lesson earlier this week I was struck with the word “scattered” which Jeremiah uses to describe the actions of some of Israel’s shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture, says the Lord.” I looked up the word “scatter” and found that it can also mean dispersed, dissolved or spread. In English we use the word to mean objects randomly lying around as in leaves scattered on the ground or clothes scattered all over the laundry room floor.

            God, through Jeremiah the prophet uses the word to describe a group of people who are spread apart or dispersed and I think it is the opposite of a group of people who are united in both body and spirit; a group that feels comfortable and safe in the place where they live. 

            This morning I want to us to think about this word together. Even if we do not consider ourselves to be shepherds or leaders perhaps there are ways in which we contribute to a kind of “scattering” and more importantly, perhaps there are ways in which we can work to alleviate those who feel as if they have been scattered, dispersed or simply lost and uncertain.

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Trinity 2021 – Sermon

Sermon for St. Mary’s Anglican – by Henry Friesen, May 30, 2021

Scriptures for Trinity Sunday:  Isaiah 6:1-8, Psalm 29, Romans 8:12-17 and John 3:1-17

Pre-recorded sermon audio

Entering Into the Mystery

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts together, be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, our strength and our redeemer.

            When Claude asked me to preach this morning he suggested that this Sunday is Trinity Sunday and that it is therefore a preacher’s favourite Sunday. He was laughing when he said this knowing full well that preaching about or at least trying to explain the Trinity is filled with theological land mines; a preacher is sure to say something that many theologians and students of the Bible would take issue with.

            Claude assured me though that our liturgy and in particular our affirmation of faith via the Nicene Creed would make clear the correct doctrine in regard to the Trinity so that even if I wandered a little, we would be OK!

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Easter 2, 2021 – Sermon

SERMON – for the Second Sunday of Easter, April 11, 2021

TEXTS:  Acts 4:32-35, Psalm 133, I John 1:1-10, 2:1-2 & John 20: 19 31

Pre-recorded sermon audio

Opening prayer:  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts together be acceptable in Your sight O Lord, our Strength and our Redeemer. Amen

“Seeing and Believing”

            One of the things I love about spring is that it means that I soon will be able to cultivate my garden plot and put seeds into the ground. I like to get my hands in the dirt, I like the feel of the texture of the garden soil, and I like to scratch out a furrow and carefully place my seeds there and then cover them up and tamp the ground firmly. To me it is like putting them to bed and tucking them in firmly so that they will be surrounded by moist soil and ready to respond to the warm sun. 

            The next step is always a little difficult for me; I have to now wait for the seeds to germinate and for those first tiny shoots of the plants to push their way to the surface. I have no choice, I have to wait because I simply cannot make them germinate immediately, in fact I can’t make them germinate at all – the best that I can do is hope that I have put them in the right environment so that they can come to life.

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Epiphany 5, 2021 – Sermon

Sermon for St. Mary’s Anglican – by Henry Friesen           February 7, 2021

Scriptures for the 5th Sunday of Epiphany:  Isaiah 40:21-31, Psalm 147: 1-11, I Corinthians 9:16-23 and  Mark1:29-39

Sermon audio

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts together, be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, our strength and our redeemer.

Questions That Push Us Toward God

            Asking the right question is one of the most incisive ways to get to the heart of any issue or problem. Your family Doctor listens to your explanation but then begins to ask pointed questions – the better the questions, the more certain her or she is about what the treatment options are. Parents can only understand their child if they ask the questions that will reveal what is really going on with their child, what is behind their discomfort, anxiousness or sadness. I suggest to you this morning that good questions will also reveal your spiritual malaise or areas where you and I have forgotten the reality of God’s presence.

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Christmas 2 Sermon

Sermon for St. Mary’s Anglican
Date:  January 3, 2021
Scriptures:  Jeremiah 31:7-14, Psalm 147: 12-20, Ephesians 1:3-14 & John 1:1-18
Prepared by Henry Friesen

Sermon audio

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts together, be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, our strength and our redeemer.

My sermon this morning is based on the words of the Lord given to the prophet Jeremiah and recorded in chapter 31. I have given it the title:  There is a Future

            Several weeks ago now I saw a political cartoon that I thought so clearly captured the feeling of what the past year has felt like to me. The cartoon was of two boxers inside a boxing ring.  One of the boxers was a huge fellow with broad shoulders, great big muscles and a large set of boxing gloves. The gloves looked strangely like the microscopic images of the coronavirus particles that we see time and again on TV or on websites and in news articles.  You know, the round ball-shaped image with what looks like mushrooms or small suction cups sticking out of the round surface – that is what the boxing gloves looked like on the big boxer; he was clearly the winner. His opponent in the ring was very small in comparison; he had small gloves, a terribly bruised face and a battered body.  The boxing match has been very one-sided. What made the cartoon so vivid for me was that on the back of big boxer was the number 2020 while on the back of the small boxer was simply “the world”.

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Trinity 22 Sermon

Sermon for St. Mary’s Anglican

Date:  Nov 8, 2020

Scriptures:  Amos 5:18-24, Psalm 70:1-5, I Thessalonians 4:13-18 and Matthew 25:1-13

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts together, be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, our strength and our redeemer.

Sermon audio player

The Wise and the Foolish

            When I began my preparations for this sermon on Monday, the sun was shining brightly and the temperature was +16. It is November so I knew that the autumn weather would not last and that the cold winter weather would come – I just didn’t know it was going to come as suddenly as The Weather Network is predicting it will come. I am speaking this to you on Friday evening and as yet there is no sign of the blizzard but when it comes, there will be no doubt that one season is ending and another is beginning.

            In Matthew chapter 24 Jesus also talks about an end and a beginning: it is the “end of the age” and what is in the future is the “the coming of the Son of Man”. These are chronologically imprecise phrases and Jesus does not make them as historically specific as his disciples would like Him to. Despite this, various Christians down through the ages have speculated as to when exactly all the things Jesus talks about in these chapters, will actually take place. 

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