Easter 6, 2021 – Sermon

(Modified 2021-05-09: Added recorded audio of sermon.)

Recorded audio of sermon.

St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Fifth Sunday after Easter, May 9, 2021 Canon Claude Schroeder

So today we have come to the Fifth and final Sunday in the season of Easter, where we have been rejoicing and celebrating and reflecting together on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 

Alleluia! Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed. Alleluia!

Now today is also a very happy day, as we welcome little Gunnar, and his parents Karen and Steve who have come as enquirers into baptism, who are here with Art and Marion, and we send greetings today to Steve’s mom and dad, Karen and Kelley. The memory of that fabulous wedding we celebrated at St. Mary’s almost two summers ago, still brings a smile to my face.

As we look into the Scriptures one of the things we see is how it is that God reveals Himself to us, and how that revelation then gets passed on through the generations. A couple has a child, and in addition to providing him with shelter, food, drink, clothing, love, and affection, they initiate him into the mysteries of the Christian faith, and hand on that revelation.  Baptism is the sacrament of this initiation, the result of which is that the child undergoes a “second birth,” a spiritual birth from above,” where, emerging from the womb of the Church, his now a child of God by adoption. Like any good mother, the Church, nurtures that child with the pure milk of the Gospel so that he might grow up in his salvation. (1 Peter 2.2). O taste and see the Lord is good.  Happy are they who trust in Him. And on and on it goes throughout the generations.

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Easter 5, 2021 – Sermon

(Modified 2021-05-22: Added audio recording of sermon.)

Audio recording of sermon

Several years ago, some researchers asked a group of children to explain what love is.  The results have been passing around the internet ever since.  

Karl, age 5: “Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.”

Chrissy, age 6: “Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.”

Emily, age 8: “Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more.”  She went on to comment, “My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss.”

Some of the answers were quite wise.

Billy, age 4: “When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.”

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Easter 4, 2021 – Sermon

(Modified 2021-04-25: Added recorded audio.)

St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church, April 25, 2021 , Third Sunday after Easter 

Revd.Canon Claude Schroeder

Recorded audio – Sermon

So today is the Third Sunday after Easter, and we are at the half way point in the season of Easter. Aside from Trinity season, the 50 days of Easter comprise the longest season on our calendar, and with good reason, given the centrality of the Resurrection for our faith. As St. Paul wrote, “If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied.” (1 Cor. 15.19) But if Jesus Christ is risen from the dead, that changes everything, and there is more going in the world and in our lives than meets the eye.

I was standing in the chancel on Tuesday after Morning Prayer this week, beholding the sunlight shining through and illuminating the Resurrection window here at St. Mary’s, which is tucked off in the corner to the right of the altar.  Facing the Resurrection window on the opposite side tucked in the corner to the left of the altar is the Annunciation window. It made me wonder, “What were they thinking?” Here we have the two central mysteries of our faith, the Incarnation and Resurrection of the Son of God represented in places where nobody hardly gets to seem them, unless you steal a glance when you come up for communion. How strange!  But then it hit me. This is exactly right, because both the Annunciation and the Resurrection were events that took place in secret, hidden from public view. Nobody saw what happened, and yet there were witnesses, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Apostles, who testified to these mighty acts of God.

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Easter 3, 2021 – Sermon

(Modified 2021-04-18: Added audio recording.)

St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Second Sunday after Easter, April 18, 2021 Canon Claude Schroeder

Lectionary: Acts 3. 12-19, 1 John 3. 1-7, Luke 24. 36-48

Audio recording of sermon.

Today we are continuing our celebration of Easter, which is a 50-day celebration, leading up to the Feast of Pentecost and the celebration of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles.

It’s clear from the Gospels that when Jesus appears to the apostles to manifest His resurrection, the initial reaction in each case was not one of faith, but rather of fear, of doubt, and un-belief. There is something comforting in this, because ever since the apostles went to bear witness to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, a common and predictable response has been fear, doubt, and unbelief!

 “You don’t expect me to believe that, do you?”

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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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Easter 2021 – Sermon

(Modified 2021-04-04: Added audio recording of sermon.)

St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church, Easter Sunday, April4, 2021
Revd. Canon Claude Schroeder

Sermon audio

It was 8.30 in the morning on April 16, 1927 that a police officer and his wife welcomed their third and youngest child, a boy, into the world in their home at 11 Schulstasse, in the tiny village of Marktl-an -Inn, in Bavaria, Germany. The police officer’s name was Joseph and his wife’s name was Maria, or Mary, and they named their son, Joseph Aloisius.

April 16, 1927 was a Saturday morning, but not just any Saturday. It was Holy Saturday, the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, the day after the Son of God was tortured and executed on a Cross, when His Body lay buried in the tomb.

That same day, Joseph and Maria brought their son to the church to be baptized at the Easter Vigil ceremonies, a providential connection in that as he was born at 8.30 in the morning, and at that time the anticipated liturgy was also celebrated in the morning. Having emerged from the womb of his mother, to be born in the flesh, he would emerge almost immediately from the womb of the Church to be born anew by ‘water and the spirit’, through the waters of baptism. As a result, the first full day of Joseph’s life, both on earth and in the Church…was Easter. 

Small wonder that Joseph Aloisius would one day become Pope Benedict XVI.

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Palm Sunday 2021 – Sermon

(Updated 2021-03-28: Added audio)

St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Palm Sunday, March 28, 2021 Canon Claude Schroeder

Sermon Audio

From today’s reading of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark:

“There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment thus wasted?For this ointment might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and given to the poor.” And they reproached her. But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me….she has anointed my body beforehand for burying. And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.” (Mark 14. 46, 8-9)

In an article entitled, “The Christian Art of Dying”, the British Orthodox priest and theologian John Behr argues that, “in discussing the ages of the spiritual life, nothing is as important or as difficult as facing the reality of death.”

I don’t think any of us would dispute this. We shift nervously in our seats whenever the subject comes up, but it’s a subject that has certainly reared its ugly head under COVID, where from some, stepping outside the doors of one’s house, means courting death.

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Lent 5, 2021 – Sermon

(Modified 2021-03-21: Added audio)

Sermon Audio

I had a bad-attitude day on Friday.  I say a “bad-attitude day” and not a “bad day” because objectively, by every measure, Friday was a very good day.  I got to work from home.  It was a beautiful, sunny spring day.  I played board games online with dear friends I haven’t seen in person in over a year.  And I came to church in the quiet and the evening light to pray.  But despite everything objectively seeming quite lovely, I was in a snit pretty much from the word go.  I felt resentful and put-upon.  I felt smothered by obligations when all I wanted was for the world to leave me alone.  And round about the time I was dragging myself resentfully downstairs to the car to come to church for Evening Prayer, I started to lecture myself.  You have no earthly reason to feel this way, I sensibly pointed out.  You chose this work and these relationships.  And there can be no argument that by any objective measure, your life is not only “not that bad,” it’s pretty damn privileged.  So what are you whining about?

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Lent 4, 2021 – Sermon

St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church, Lent 4, 2021 Revd. Canon Claude Schroeder
Lectionary: Numbers 21. 4-9, Psalm 107, Ephesians 2. 1-10, John 3. 14-21

Sermon audio

A warm welcome to you all on this the Fourth Sunday in the season of Lent, in the year of our Lord, 2021!

Isn’t this just what we all have been waiting for?

Well, not really.

This may be the Fourth Sunday in Lent, but it is also the 52nd Sunday in the season of Corona-tide. It is one year ago now that we went into lockdown, and closed the doors of the church.

Hasn’t this been fun?

No. It has not been fun. Corona-tide has forced upon us all manner of self-denial, such that we might say, it’s been a year-long Lent.

Warren Buffet, the famous investment guru once said, “It’s only when the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming without trunks.” Well, in these last 12 months the tide has certainly gone out of our lives. Things hidden have been revealed. The true state of things has been uncovered, and not just the quality of care given to the elderly in long-term care, but the quality and character of our relationships, attitudes, and commitments, and not to mention the state of our souls…

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Lent 3, 2021 – Sermon

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. 

Sermon Audio

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). 

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