(Modified 2021-10-10: Added audio recording of this sermon)
(Following the sermon text below is an Appendix with supporting material.)
St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church. October 10, 2021. Sermon on Matthew 6:25-33
May the Spirit of God the Father and of Son, the crucified, risen and ascended Lord Jesus Christ, our true and everlasting righteousness, inspire us to listen and understand the Word of life that nourishes and preserves our bodies and souls into eternal life. Amen.
The opening sentence to the Gospel reading today, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25), seems contradictory to the Canadian cultural and social spirit for the Thanksgiving weekend, where the emphasis is mostly about celebrating the human merits and everything else, we think is a result of our success.
(Modified 2021-08-15: Added audio recording of this sermon.)
You might have realized the change in the altar colour and clergy vestment from green last Sunday to white this Sunday. This feels and looks really unusual for a Trinity Sunday.
The reason for the change in colour is because we are celebrating the Feast of Mary the Virgin, the Mother of God (Theotokos) Jesus Christ. We are learning more about the person, attributes and role of Mary the Virgin through her own song of praise, commonly known as the Magnificat.
In the Anglican tradition, we sing or say the Magnificat mostly during the Evening Prayer, where we open our hearts and minds to the Lord, our God, loudly raising our voices, saying: “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour…” (BCP 21).
We put ourselves in the shoes of Mary, the blessed servant of the Lord whose acceptance of the word of God has become a great example of discipleship. Her song becomes our song, her praise our praise, her humility our humility, her fear our fear, and her joy our joy.
(Modified 2021-08-08: Added audio recording of this sermon)
St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church, Regina.
Tenth Sunday after Trinity – August 8, 2021
Rev. Nathaniel Athian Deng Mayen
“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35).
What comes to your mind when you read this promise from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? I immediately think of the Holy Communion, where we break the bread and share the cup of wine in accordance with the Lord’s institution until He comes again to establish the kingdom prepared for us from eternity through the plan of our loving and merciful God to sustain us in Christ.
(Modified 2021-06-20: Added audio recording of sermon)
Third Sunday after Trinity, June 20, 2021. St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church, Regina. Nathaniel Athian Deng Mayen
Brothers and sisters, I submit to you a brief overview of the interpretation of suffering and loss of different kinds from Apostle Paul’s teaching before we can spend some time with the Gospel of Mark in some kind of Bible Study preaching.
The greatest distortion to the gospel message comes from the ‘prosperity gospel’ preachers who teach a misguided view of Christianity that the individuals who have been blessed by or have faith in Christ do not (should not) suffer. In this context, God’s blessing for and faith of the believers are sold as some kind of commodity whose outcome is individual ‘happiness’, good health, and prosperity.
Time to clear out the Temple: Sermon on John 2:13-22. Third Sunday in Lent. St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church, Regina. Rev. Nathaniel Athian Deng Mayen.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer (Psalms 19: 14).
Brothers and sisters, the gospel reading calls us to attune our desires and needs to the Lord, where our salvation comes. It is time to clear out the Temple to set a room in our hearts for the teachings of our crucified and risen Lord, Jesus Christ.
When the rector emailed me the readings for this Third Sunday in Lent, he commented, “Time to clear out the Temple!” This is a great gospel declaration that I would like to keep as the title for the sermon. It is appropriate for the Gospel of John that proclaims the death and resurrection of Jesus in the beginning of the ministry relative to the Synoptic Gospels that narrate the story closer to the end of Jesus’ ministry (Mk. 11:11-19; Matt. 21:12-13; and Luke 19:45-48).
Dear beloved brothers and sisters, the gospel reading today invites us to appreciate our collective identity, the Church as the inheritance of God, in which we find our eternal rest.
Who are you? This is a very common question, especially from the people who want to put others down. It calls into question the whole essence of a person: human ancestry, country of origin, attitude, or ability to react against injustice and oppression…The stakes are even higher and more pressing when you are a foreigner, an immigrant, a refugee, a person with disability, a person of Aboriginal descent, or any other person that is different in the dominant culture, whom a lot of people have little understanding about their identity and loyalty. Jesus Christ takes on all these oppressed identities: He comes down from heaven. He is not of this world. He is a refugee.
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Welcome to the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost in the name of the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.
Dear brothers and sisters, Apostle Peter invites us to be “hospitable to one another” and “serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.” (1 Peter 4:9-10)This apostolic and prophetic request for love, compassionate, hospitality and generosity portrays a familiar scene to most of us.
As a nation, we welcome the refugees and asylum seekers to feel comfortable as they integrate into the Canadian society. As individuals, we invite friends and family members, throwing up parties for remembering significant life events, such as birthdays and anniversaries for marriage.
Death is that mystery which transcends human experience and knowledge. Nobody knows a particular instance they may announce their passing, “It is finished!” Let us hold to that thought for a moment because we will revisit it in our discussion about the life of Moses, Paul, Jesus and the Christian saints.
Imagine you are Moses who received the saddest news of your death, that you will not enjoy fruits of liberation: “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ’I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see I’t with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it” (Deut. 34: 4).