Easter 2022 – Sermon

Acts 10:34-43​
Psalm 118:1-2,14-24​​
1 Cor.  15:19-26
John 20:1-18
​​April 17, 2022
​ St. Mary’s Regina
Easter Day
Year C
Revd. Paula Foster

Alleluia!  He is Risen, the Lord is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!   That’s our shout, our cry, our joyous exclamation today.  Three days after He died, the tomb is empty…..our Lord Jesus is risen!  It’s amazing, it’s baffling,  and yet it’s unbelievably true.  We celebrate The Resurrection of Jesus  along side millions of Christians throughout the world today.  We all know the story,..most of us have heard it all our lives, but do you believe it? Does it make you stop and think about your life and the way you live? What do you believe about God and about Jesus…about the cross……and about the empty tomb?  (Pause)

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Maundy Thursday, 2022 – Sermon

Maundy Thursday   St. Mary’s Regina    Rvd. Paula Foster

April 14, 2022

​This is a holy, sacred time and a holy, sacred place.   This time and place are both holy and sacred because of two gifts that God has given each one of us.  The first of these gifts is the ability to remember.  What would we be if we could not remember the events, people and places we encounter in our lives?  We’d be only creatures who react out of instinct for self-preservation like any other animal.  

​But because we CAN remember, we are not just creatures of the present, but people with a past and memories that influence, guide and shape our lives in the present and for the future.  We remember the joys and the sorrows of our upbringing, of our growing up and going out into the world.  At a deeply fundamental level, our memories root us and help us define who we are as people.  We become separated from ourselves without our memory and that is part of the tragedy of diseases that destroy our ability to remember.  

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Palm Sunday, 2022 – Sermon

Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 31:9-16
Philippians 2:5-11
Luke 22:14-23:56 
April 10, 2022
St. Mary’s Regina 
Palm Sunday
Year C
Revd. Paula Foster

​Anyone visiting us today might wonder what we are doing because our liturgy is quite different this morning from at any other time of the year.  You were handed a palm branch (or a palm cross) as you came in the doors. There are two gospel readings; one that tells of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem and the other covering the events of several days in time. 

There is much happening this morning because today marks the beginning of Holy Week, the most important week within the Christian church. Christians all over the world come together this week to reflect on and participate in the events of the final week of our Lord Jesus’ life. 

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Quinquagesima 2022 – Sermon

Exodus 34:29-35​​
Psalm 99
2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2
Luke 9:28-43a
February 27, 2022
St. Mary’s Regina
Transfiguration Sunday
Year C
Revd. Paula Foster

From our first reading this morning we hear these words: “when Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses (returning from the mountain), the skin of his face was shining, and they were afraid to come near him.” From the gospel of Luke we hear these words: “And while Jesus was praying, the appearance of his face changed and his clothes became dazzling white…and the disciples were afraid.”  Both men climb a mountain; Moses by himself and Jesus with three close companions. Both men encounter God.  Moses returns with physical evidence of his conversation…..the 10 Commandments carved in stone and a face that shone with a brightness that was hard to look at.  Jesus has witnesses, but they are terrified by what they saw and heard and kept silent about it all until a later time. 

Obviously, coming face to face….having an encounter with God changes us.  It results in a transfiguration that is difficult if not impossible to explain.  I suspect that it can be intimidating to look into eyes that have seen God’s glory….seen the world as God sees the world…..seen us as God sees us. Moses’ face shone because “the Lord had been speaking to him.” 

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Septuagesima 2022 – Sermon

Jeremiah 17:5-10
Psalm 11
Corinthians 15:12-20
Luke 6:17-26
February 13,2022
St. Mary’s Regina
Epiphany 6
Year C

            I have been to the Holy Land.  Six years ago, the clergy of the Diocese of Saskatoon went together on a pilgrimage to see the land where Jesus lived and taught.  I saw for myself how much of Jerusalem can be seen from the Mount of Olives and whether the Jordan is a rushing river or a flowing stream.  I saw the physical land around Tiberias where tradition holds that Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount (according to Matthew) or the Sermon on the Plain (according to Luke).  It is the same sermon recorded in three of the gospels and in my mind there is a difference between a mountain and a plain.

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Epiphany 5, 2022 – Sermon

Isaiah 6:1-13
Psalm 138
1 Cor. 15:1-11
Luke 15:1-11  
February 6, 2022
St. Mary’s Regina
Epiphany V
Year C

            There have been a few glitches in my life this week.  I won’t list them, but I was unexpectedly called to preach this morning because of illness. So in full disclosure, I have borrowed a large portion of this morning’s message, written by Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor,in her book “Home by Another Way” pp 39-41. 

Have you ever had a day when no matter what you tried, you could not get your work done?  A day when all your plans and schemes and lists and organization skills were in place and still, at the end of the day, you had nothing to show for all your hard work? Do you remember the feelings you felt?  Were you discouraged, frustrated, angry and tired?  Were  there other people depending on you and so they felt let down?  Our failures often have a domino effect on other folks.  That is what has happened to Simon and James and John and unnamed others…the village fishermen…when they pushed their boats onto Lake Gennesaret to go fishing.  

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Epiphany 4, 2022 – Sermon

Jeremiah 1:4-10
Psalm 71: 1-6
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Luke 4:21-30
January 30, 2022
St. Mary’s Regina
Epiphany 4
Year C 

            Faith, hope and love abide, these three, but the greatest of these is Love.  Faith, hope and love…these three remain…outlast all other things, but the greatest of these is Love. These words are beautiful words, familiar words. They hold a truth that most of us appreciate and value. The truth is that love is very powerful.  

L-O-V-E is one of the most over used words in our English language.  We use the word Love to describe the things in our life for which we feel passion and there is quite a range of things that we love.  We love certain foods, sports, activities, books and of course, people.  I love chocolate and I love my family but the two feelings are hardly comparable.  And yet we use the same four letter word to describe them both. 

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Baptism of the Lord, 2022 – Sermon

(Modified 2022-01-10: Added audio recording)

Isaiah 43:1-7
Psalm 29
Acts 8:14-17
Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

January 9, 2022
St. Mary’s Regina
Baptism of our Lord
Year C

Audio recording of this sermon

Within the season of Epiphany, we celebrate the Baptism of our Lord. It is one of the traditional times for baptism in our church year.  Most, if not all of us have been baptized. (If you haven’t and are interested in baptism, please see me after the service.)  Most of us have been witnesses to many baptisms over the years. Some of us are God-parents or sponsors. We ourselves were presented for baptism by parents or someone who cared about us or for us.  We, in turn, have presented our children for baptism and perhaps grandchildren…I had the privilege of baptizing my grandson Owen and Boyd had the privilege of baptizing all but one of his grandchildren.  We know that Baptism is a holy time within families and for the people of God.

           When we present our children or ourselves for baptism, we are responding to the gentle call of God…to begin a journey with God. Baptism marks the beginning of a life long journey of discovery for us as we learn to love God.  As we learn to love God, we discover that we too, are the beloved of God.  Therefore, Baptism is a time of joy within the church as well as a time of celebration for families.  We warmly welcome the newly baptized who are brought, by faith, into the family of God.  So with these thoughts in mind, let us turn our attention to the baptism of our Lord and his call to ministry.

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Christmas 2, 2022 – Sermon

Isaiah 60: 1-6
Psalm 72:1-14
Ephesians 3:1-12
Matthew 2: 1-12
January 2, 2022
St. Mary’s Regina
Epiphany Sunday
Year C

         Whenever people gather in groups, it is almost inevitable that one will hear stories.  Stories are the vehicle that we human beings most commonly use to make sense of the world in which we live.  Through stories told around kitchen tables over cups of coffee or tea, or maybe something a wee bit stronger, we share some of the things that have shaped and informed our lives, both present and past and these stories become our family histories.  In my family I have noticed that through the years, some of the details of the events are changed depending on who is telling the stories and even though it makes for lively discussions on occasion…the inherent truth it holds for us doesn’t change.  This is one of the ways that families pass on the values and traditions that have shaped and formed their lives.  

Story telling is so important that we are taught from a young age to listen carefully and respectfully when someone is telling a story. Stories are powerful. Survivors of all sorts of trauma often need to tell their story in order to move forward from the event. A dear friend of mine once told me that we will re-tell or relive a traumatic event/story until we can make some kind of sense of what happened OR until we can find a safe place to store it inside us. It is a well-documented fact that being able to share our story often leads to healing and restoration.  There is something powerfully sacred in the telling/sharing as well as in the listening. And I believe THAT is evidence of God’s grace in the world.   

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