For seven weeks through October and the beginning of November, we are making our way through the letter to the Hebrews in our New Testament lessons. You may remember such phrases as “In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them,” and “was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek,” and from today, “For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.” Hebrews is not a light read. I’m not sure the creators of the lectionary do us any favours by doling it out chunk by chunk a week at a time. I mean, this month we’ve read 4 verses from chapter one, 7 verses from chapter two, 10 verses from chapter five, 6 verses from chapter 7 today, and 4 verses from chapter 9 next week. We would have had 5 more from chapter 4, except, Thanksgiving. Anyway, my point is, what are we to make of that? It occurred to me to wonder, exactly how much of Hebrews do we read in the whole 3-year cycle of the Revised Common Lectionary? So I looked it up. I think this is really interesting, but I’m a nerd, so your mileage may vary.Continue reading “Trinity 21, 2021 – Sermon”
(Modified 2021-10-17: Added audio recording of this sermon)
St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Trinity 20, October 17, 2021 Revd. Canon Claude Schroeder
The story of Job in the Old Testament, from which our first lesson this morning was taken, is the story of man whose life fell apart, and whose happy, orderly existence was plunged into chaos, and subjected to intense suffering, and who was left wondering, “What did I do to deserve this? Where is God in all of this?”
I think it’s a very timely Scripture for us today in light of the chaos of the times in which we live, where so much of life is seems to be spinning out of control, defying and resisting all our attempts to manage and control, and where we find ourselves struggling to keep from drowning if only emotionally in this sea of chaos in which we have been plunged.Continue reading “Trinity 20, 2021 – Sermon”
(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.Continue reading “Harvest Thanksgiving, 2021 – Sermon”
(Modified 2021-10-03: Added audio recording of this sermon)
St. Mary’s, Regina, Trinity 18, October 3, 2021 Mark 10. 1-15 Revd. Canon Claude Schroeder
I think today’s sermon would be aptly titled, “ Uncomfortable Words: Part 2” following on from “Uncomfortable Words Part 1”, which was last Sunday. This was the bit about causing one of Jesus’ little ones to lose faith in Him, and getting thrown into the sea with a millstone around your neck, and then better to amputate the hand and the foot, and gouge out the eye that causes you to stumble, than to be thrown into hell where the worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched…
And today’s Uncomfortable Word?Continue reading “Trinity 18, 2021 – Sermon”
(Modified 2021-09-26: Added audio recording – sorry about the static!)
We see today in our Gospel reading what we so often encounter in the Gospels. Jesus’ disciples have some small, local concern they want him to address, but Jesus has his mind on the big picture, the cosmic picture.
John the beloved disciple, whose Gospel and letters teach us a great deal about loving one another, has a very unloving complaint. “Jesus, some dude we don’t know is going around casting out demons in your name. We told him to stop, but he won’t. Do something!”Continue reading “Trinity 17, 2021 – Sermon”
(Modified 2021-09-19: Added audio recording of this sermon)
Humble Service is the Seal of New Covenant and Shield Against Sin of Self-Gratification
Jesus answered, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all” (Mark 9:35).
We may ask questions like: First in what, or of what? And last in what, or of what? What is the reference point to that which Jesus is talking about when he passed on this piece of advice to us?Continue reading “Trinity 16, 2021 – Sermon”
(Modified 2021-09-12: Added recording of this sermon.)
St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church, Trinity 15, Sept. 12, 2021 Canon Claude Schroeder
2021 is the year of Mark in our lectionary, where on Sunday mornings at St. Mary’s we have been slowly working our way through St. Mark ‘s Gospel. And so what have we heard and learned so far? Up to this point in the story, Mark has been describing for us the main features of Jesus’ public ministry, which consisted of essentially three things: preaching, teaching, and miracles.
The preaching, the message, which Jesus proclaimed concerned the kingdom of God or the reign and rule of God here on this earth. Jesus said, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe in the Good News.” (Mark 1.15)
Here at St. Mary’s we seek to pass on this message, this good news that through the life, death, resurrection, ascension of Jesus Christ and sending of the Holy Spirit God has established his reign and rule on this earth, having defeated the power of Satan, sin, and death. That’s the kingdom. And it’s here, and it’s now.Continue reading “Trinity 15, 2021 – Sermon”
(Modified 2021-09-05: Added recording of this sermon.)
St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Trinity 14, September 5, 2021 Canon Claude Schroeder
There is a think I certain timeliness to our Scripture readings on this 14th Sunday in the season of Trinitytide in our church calendar, where in our cultural calendar on this Labour Day week-end we are also marking the 85th Sunday in the season of Corona-tide, and the 4th Sunday in the season of federal election-tide.
In our Old Testament reading this morning, God instructed Isaiah to “say to those with a fearful heart,” Be strong, do not fear! “(Isaiah 35.4)
I need to ask you this morning, on a scale of 1 to 10, just how fearful are you with respect to the future? God knows we have reason enough to be afraid. On top of the usual stresses and struggles around health, marriage, family life and work, we now have advent of the 4th wave, with delta variants, our government printing money as if there was no tomorrow, and climate change prophets announcing the end of the world.Continue reading “Trinity 14, 2021 – Sermon”
(Modified 2021-08-29: Added audio recording of this sermon.)
Sometimes when we hear the Bible translated into our own language, it’s helpful to also translate into our time and place.
In listening to the conversation we heard about in the Gospel that was just read, with its references to ritual hand washing and dish washing and washing of groceries you brought home from the market, I found myself getting distracted by the obvious parallels to life under a pandemic, when those aren’t really the connections we need to be making. But then I came across a retelling of the story from a Rev. Charles Hoffacker from Greenbelt Maryland. He’s reimagined what a version of this conversation between Jesus and the Pharisees might sound like in 21st century North America.Continue reading “Trinity 13, 2021 – Sermon”
(Modified 2021-08-22: Added audio recording of this sermon.)