Trinity 22 Sermon

Sermon for St. Mary’s Anglican

Date:  Nov 8, 2020

Scriptures:  Amos 5:18-24, Psalm 70:1-5, I Thessalonians 4:13-18 and Matthew 25:1-13

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.

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The Wise and the Foolish

            When I began my preparations for this sermon on Monday, the sun was shining brightly and the temperature was +16. It is November so I knew that the autumn weather would not last and that the cold winter weather would come – I just didn’t know it was going to come as suddenly as The Weather Network is predicting it will come. I am speaking this to you on Friday evening and as yet there is no sign of the blizzard but when it comes, there will be no doubt that one season is ending and another is beginning.

            In Matthew chapter 24 Jesus also talks about an end and a beginning: it is the “end of the age” and what is in the future is the “the coming of the Son of Man”. These are chronologically imprecise phrases and Jesus does not make them as historically specific as his disciples would like Him to. Despite this, various Christians down through the ages have speculated as to when exactly all the things Jesus talks about in these chapters, will actually take place. 

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Sermon – All Saints Day – Nov 1, 2020

St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church, All Saints, Nov.1, 2020  Canon Claude Schroeder

So today, we have great cause for celebration at St. Mary’s. 

Earlier this morning we celebrated the baptism of Sophia, and now in this service we are celebrating the great and wonderful Feast of All Saints, or as it used to be called “The Feast of All Hallows”, from which we get the word Hallowe’en.

There is no trick or treating going on at the church this morning. 

God has something much better in store for us. 

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Sermon – Trinity 20, 2020

I was listening to the Mockingbird podcast this week, and the host quoted from an online newsletter called “The Unfurling,” written by a woman called Mo Perry.  In this article, Perry talks about the strange times we are living in, and how it has affected us.  She says: “Everyone is doing their own calculus when making their choices about how to live these days. Some have concluded — by evaluating their personal risk factors and interpreting the news headlines and local public health stats — that they don’t want to go into shops or walk outdoors in crowded areas. They want to get their groceries and other essentials delivered, stay in, and minimize contact with others. 

Others have looked at their own constellation of factors and needs, and come to different conclusions. There’s a huge spectrum of ways people feel about the right balance between sensible precautions and what they need to do for their own economic, mental, physical, and relational wellbeing. 

It seems to me that the vast majority of us are trying to navigate our individual circumstances as responsibly as possible, even if one person’s idea of what that looks like for them is different from another’s.  

The virus is one thing that can hurt us, but there are others. Fear, shame, loneliness, anxiety, depression, poverty, isolation…I posed this question on Facebook and Twitter: “Do you feel like you have to hide (or are less inclined to share) pleasurable or fun activities you do outside your home?” The answers were striking. The folks who said no all explained that they’re not doing anything risky, so they have nothing to hide.

A lot of other folks said yes. And the reasons they gave were only partially about [being] risk-sham[ed]; they also mentioned wanting to be seen as appropriately somber in these dark times.

All this seems to add up to a new relationship we’ve communally developed with social media. It’s a place we go to demonstrate our goodness, display our adherence to the rules, and show our fealty to the approved positions on social issues.

Our real lives — the parts that are messy, fun, joyful, playful, morally ambiguous, less than perfectly ethically vetted — stay in the shadows.”

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Sermon – Trinity 19, 2020

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? 

So here we go…

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Sermon – Trinity 18, 2020

St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church, Trinity 18, Oct. 10, 2020 Canon Claude Schroeder

Lectionary Readings: Isiah 25. 1-9, Philippians 3. 4-14, Matthew 22. 1-14.

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.

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Trinity 17 2020 Sermon on Matthew 21. 33-46

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?” 

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Trinity 16 Sermon

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.

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Sermon on Matthew 20.10-16 (Trinity 15, 2020)

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.

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St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Trinity 14, Sept 13, 2020  
Canon Claude Schroeder
Sermon on Matt. 18. 21-35

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 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.

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Sermon for Trinity 13 – September 6, 2020

St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Canon Claude Schroeder (Matthew 18. 15-21.)

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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.

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