St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church, Trinity 19, Oct. 18, 2020 Canon Claude Schroeder
Sermon on Matt.22. 15-22.
I think we have all learned from bitter experience that when it comes to preserving relationships with friends and family, there are two subjects you must never bring up: the one is religion and the other is politics, and never, ever bring these two subjects up at the same time.
That’s a recipe for disaster.
But it’s election time here in Saskatchewan and elsewhere, and our Gospel lesson is all about the intersection between religion and politics as it relates to Jesus Christ.
How could we not talk about religion and politics?
Even under these present ‘unhappy circumstances’, I want to wish you all “Happy Thanksgiving.” Thank you all so much for coming today.
Our tradition of having Thanksgiving Long Week End goes back to 1957, when the Governor General of Canada Vincent Massey, issued a proclamation stating: “A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed – to be observed on the second Monday in October.”
Well, a lot has changed in this country in the last 63 years. For one thing, our connection with the land is not what it used to be. We can come to church at Thanksgiving and sing, “We Plough the Fields and Scatter”, but how many of us plough the fields and scatter? But as it happened, back in May I got to go out with Henry Friesen and Nat Ross and ‘ploughed the fields’ in the community gardens to raise money for our refugee family. We had great harvest of potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini and strawberries in the garden at home. (May have wrecked a few friendships forcing zucchini onto people). And although there is a renewed interest in our culture in things local and organic, overall our relationship with the land is rather tenuous.
St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church, Trinity 17, Oct 4, 2020 Canon Claude Schroeder
Sermon on Matthew 21. 33-46.
In today’s gospel lesson today from St. Matthew, Jesus is in the Temple in Jerusalem addressing the crowds who had come to celebrate the Passover. We are here on the day after Jesus made his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, on what we call Palm Sunday, where and the crowds hailed Jesus as their King.
But no sooner does Jesus enter the city, than he makes a bee line for the Temple where he proceeds to turn over the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons, declaring, “My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of robbers” thus provoking a confrontation with the religious leaders as the ones responsible for the corruption at the centre of the Israel’s spiritual life.
The issue here was one of authority. They asked Jesus, “By what authority do you do these things, and who gave you this authority?”
We are approaching the end of Ordinary Time. We have been working our way through Matthew’s Gospel, and now we find ourselves near the end of the Gospel and the end of Jesus’ ministry. Here in Matthew 21, Jesus has returned triumphantly to Jerusalem. He has been to the Temple already, and driven out the money changers and the people selling animals for offerings. In these last days of his ministry, he will be confronted multiple times by the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the chief priests and elders of the people. They will try to trip him up, to make him say something they can arrest him for. We read about the first in this set of challenges this morning.
St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church, Trinity 15, Sept 20, 2020 Canon Claude Schroeder
As Christians, we believe that through the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of His Son Jesus Christ, and sending of the Holy Spirit, God has established his heavenly kingdom, which is his reign and rule, on this earth and in our midst, thus fulfilling the words of the prophet Isaiah, “Unto us a child is born, into us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders.” (Isaiah 9.6)
That is something in these politically turbulent and indeed chaotic times, and in the upcoming election season, we do well to remember. The government of this world rests upon the shoulders of Jesus Christ. God rules in the kingdoms of men, a kingdom which operates according to an alternative politics, known as “forgiveness” and “ humble service,” and an alternative economics called “gift” or “grace.” Our Christian calling consists into bearing witness to this kingdom, into which we have been baptized as active participants.
St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Trinity 14, Sept 13, 2020 Canon Claude Schroeder Sermon on Matt. 18. 21-35
Peter came to Jesus and asked him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often am I to forgive?”
Peter’s question to Jesus in our lesson today follows on naturally from the instruction Jesus gave his disciples in last week’s lesson: “ If a fellow member of the church sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained a brother.” (Matthew 18. 15)
This is the real test of Christian community. And it’s when, out of love, we go and speak to the person who has wronged us, and engage in the hard work of reconciliation, and restore the relationship. We do so not only for the sake of the relationship, but for the sake of our Christian brother or sister.
St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Canon Claude Schroeder (Matthew 18. 15-21.)
The idea that people should “self-isolate” or “social distance ” is something that not only runs contrary to the social nature of human beings, created for relationship with God and with one another, in community, but also runs entirely contrary to the understanding of the New Testament that salvation, our healing from the infection and wounding of sin, and our rescue from the power of death, is communal experience.
We may sin alone, but we are saved together.
This is what makes this season of “self-isolation” and “social distancing” doubly painful for Christians. Today as we celebrate the Holy Communion at St. Mary’s for the first time in six months, we are painfully aware of those who are not and cannot be with us.
Sermon for St. Mary’s Anglican Date: August 30, 2020 Scriptures: Jeremiah 15:15-21, Psalm 26:1-8, Romans 12:9-21 and Matthew 16: 21-28
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 Wound Incurable
A number of years ago now I saw the movie Field of Dreams and was intrigued by the story it told about Ray, an Iowa corn farmer with only a limited number of acres. One day when Ray was out on the tractor he heard a voice that told him he should build a baseball diamond in the middle of his field. Uncertain, afraid and yet feeling strangely compelled to do so, Ray began ploughing under the young corn and marking out a ball diamond being assured by that same, strange voice which said: “If you build it, they will come!”
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.
There is a video on YouTube I like to watch from time to time called “Cosmic Eye”. It begins with an image of a smiling woman lying on the grass. From there it pulls out, straight up into the air, and continues out, encompassing the park and city she lies in, then the continent, the planet, the solar system, and right out of the Milky Way, past our galaxy and its nearest neighbors, to what we can only guess is what the universe looks like, because it is too far away for us to ever see or get to. The video then zooms back down to the smiling woman again, then carries on into her, through her laughing eye and into her body, carrying on down through her cells and into her DNA, and on down to the quarks we also have to imagine exist, because we can’t see them either!