First Sunday of Advent
Sermon / December 2, 2018

Advent 1, 2018 Luke 21:25-31 Today begins the new year of our church calendar, the first Sunday of Advent. Happy new year! The season, which is largely ignored by the world, is a time of preparation for the coming of the Lord. When we speak of the coming of the Lord, there is of course our annual celebration of the Holy Nativity, the Christmas, and there is the second coming, the one foretold in the Gospel we heard today. St. Luke quoted the words of Jesus in his prophecy of his coming back to the world for the day of redemption. “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars,” Jesus said. There was a sign in the stars when Jesus was born, too. Matthew chapter 2 tells of the Wise Men from the East who said, “We have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him.” The signs we heard about today are more like the end of the world type. It’s the kind of thing that makes you want to duck and cover. Those of us who lived through the cold war know what that is all about. But Jesus says to stand…

Christ the King
Sermon / November 25, 2018

John 18:33-37 Christ the King Sunday Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” This the last Sunday of our Church year, and it is Christ the King Sunday. We heard in the Gospel today that Jesus, the Son of Man, one day will come and sit on his throne. The concept of a King is not well known in this country, since we rejected the notion of royalty when our country was founded. In other parts of he world, there are kings that may be royal in name only, and do not have true authority over the Kingdom. In Middle East, some countries are still ruled by a King, for example the King of Saudi Arabia, a man named Salman, and his son, the Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman, are the sovereigns of the nation. Today we heard about Pontius Pilate’s inquiry into this kingdom business with Jesus. He wanted to know if Jesus was claiming to be an earthly king, one that might be a threat to the Emperor…

But take heed; I have told you all things beforehand
Sermon / November 18, 2018

Mark 13:14-23 We are nearing the end of the liturgical year, being the 26th Sunday after Pentecost. Next Sunday will celebrate Christ the King, which caps off the year with a reminder of who is our true King, the one who loves us, protects us, and saves us. The reading from the Gospel of St. Mark today is from chapter 13, where there is a long discourse of Jesus teaching about the end times. This occurs on the Mount of Olives, East of Jerusalem. At the very beginning of this chapter, Jesus came out of the temple, where the widow had just placed her two coins, when a disciple said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and wonderful buildings.” I can imagine the big smile on this disciples face when he said this! Then I  can imagine the frown when he heard Jesus’ answer. This great building will be thrown down so that no stone remains on top of another. This is a prophecy of the destruction of the temple that was to come. According to a certain Roman historian, the temple was destroyed in around 70 AD by the Romans after a revolt by the Jews. Sometime later…