Trinity 9, 2023 – Sermon

SERMON –For St. Mary’s Anglican​​​        ​​Aug 6, 2023

TEXTS:  I Corinthians 10:1-17 and Luke 16:1-10

Opening prayer:  Let the words of my mouth…

What is in our hearts before we act?

​The city of Jericho looked formidable to Joshua and the people of Israel and yet their hopes were high. After all they had participated in a long and detailed preparation for the entry into the Promised Land. Moses had spoken to them at length and reminded them that God was with them and that this was they were the generation and this was their time to realize the promise of God for a land of their own.

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Pentecost, 2023 – Sermon

Audio recording of this sermon

SERMON –For St. Mary’s Anglican​​​        ​​May 28, 2023

TEXTS:  Acts 2: 1-21

Opening prayer:  Let the words of my mouth…

The Day of Pentecost

About two weeks ago one of the boys in my granddaughter’s kindergarten class lost his grandmother. Let’s call him Bobby. Bobby had been babysat by his grandmother since he was a baby and was still going there every school day up until the week before his grandma died. For about a week Bobby stayed home and wanted to stay home even a few more days but his mother said to him: “you need to go back to school. Your kindergarten classmates will welcome you back and they will help you to feel okay about being in school again.”

So Bobby took his mother’s hand and went back to school. When the got to the school they were still holding hands. Together they walked down to the kindergarten room. They were a little late because of Bobby’s reluctance but then they were at the door.  And when they came in, 3 of his friends –I’ll call them Eva, Vassey and Sally – came right over and gave him a hug!

It was a beautiful moment and a wonderful expression of understanding and love.

It was a moment in history that will never be repeated in quite the same way by these little kindergarten students.  But its meaning will carry forward and hopefully, they will all be involved in situations where love and understanding are given and received.

Today’s lesson from Acts, I suggest is also a “moment in history” that will not be repeated in exactly the same way but will introduce a conviction and a presence that has extended through the centuries and is with us today.

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Epiphany 3, 2022 – Sermon

Audio recording of this sermon

Date:  January 22, 2023
Scriptures:  Romans 12:16-21 and Matthew 8:1-13
Prepared by Henry Friesen

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.

​A couple of years ago now we all became aware of Zoom or a similar computer App that would allow us to have a conversation or a meeting with people right from our own home. The camera on the computer allowed the other person to see us and see the room we were sitting in. It was quite a new idea but of course with Covid restrictions in place, it caught on very quickly. I remember then that one day in the on-line news there was an example of such a conversation:  a man was sitting at his computer, talking to his boss or perhaps colleague about business matters related to his company’s plans and policies. It was obviously important work and necessary but suddenly in the background, a young child entered the room and said something like “Daddy I need help!” In that moment everything changed: for a while the man and even us who were watching this little video clip were interested in this new phenomena of communicating virtually and working from home and the next moment we were part of a small human drama in the life of a father and his child. Both aspects of that scenario were important but very different. It was important for the man to participate in his work but equally important to be a Dad to his child.

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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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