Raising Lazarus- John 11

Ezekiel37:1-14; Romans 8:6-11; John 11:1-45
We speak about different kinds of death. 

Obviously, there is bodily death. Our heart stops beating. Our brain stops working. We breathe our last breath. We grow cold. … But we also speak about death in other ways.

Sometimes when a loved one dies we say things like, "A part of me died with them". The pain of grief can hurt to the point that we feel forever changed. The person we were before our grief is no more. Part of us has died. We can feel like our hopes and dreams dissolve when the person we wanted to share them with can no longer be a part of them.

We sometimes speak about the death of a relationship. When two people stop caring about each other, trying to revive the relationship can feel like trying to re-animate a corpse.

We sometimes say we feel “dead inside”. We can feel like we are zombies walking around, going through the same motions, doing the same things over and over, but not real…

Let us Pray

Let us pray:

O most mighty and merciful God, in this time of grievous sickness, we flee unto thee for succor. Deliver us, we beseech thee, from our peril; give strength and skill to all those who minister to the sick; prosper the means made use of for their cure; and grant that, perceiving how frail and uncertain our life is, we may apply our hearts unto that heavenly wisdom which leadeth to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (1928 American BCP, 45).

O Almighty and merciful God, with whom are the issues of life and death: Grant us, we beseech thee, help and deliverance in this time of grievous sickness and mortality, and sanctify to us this affliction, that in our sore distress we may turn our hearts unto thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (1929 Scottish BCP, 42).
Almighty and merciful God, in your goodness keep us, we pray, from all things that may hurt us, that we, being ready both in mind and body, may accomplish with free hearts those things which belong to yo…

Lent 4- John 9- Jesus heals a blind man

1 Samuel 16:1-13; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41
All of our readings today talk about seeing. They talk about obscuring sight (such as darkness) and illumination (when light reveals what had been hidden in the darkness).

In our Old Testament reading the prophet Samuel is told to go to Jesse of Bethlehem and anoint one of his sons as the next king of Israel. The prophet Samuel thinks he sees the obvious choice, but God says, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Sam 16:7). Unexpectedly, the youngest son, who they did not even consider bringing along, is the one chosen by God.

Our Epistle reading is all about darkness and light. “For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light” (Eph 5:8).

And in our Gospel reading, just before healing a blind man, Jesus states, “I am the light of t…

Lent 1- Anatomy of Temptation

Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7; Romans5:12-19; Matthew4:1-11
Our Genesis reading and our Gospel reading tell us a lot about temptation. I want to share something that I found particularly helpful.

When we think about temptation, we often think about being tempted to do something bad. Maybe we are tempted to cheat on our spouse. Or maybe we are tempted in anger to yell at someone we disagree with. … However, what our readings show us is that when someone is tempted to cheat on their spouse, they aren’t usually tempted by “adultery”. They think they are ‘following their heart’. They think they are chasing love. They aren’t tempted to do something bad; they are actually tempted to do something good. That is why we justify our sins. We will say things like, “well, the heart wants what the heart wants. You can’t help who you fall in love with”. We are tempted by something good.

Likewise, if we are tempted to yell at someone, we aren’t tempted to be angry and mean. Usually, we think we are being a…

Gift of the Spirit- Mercy/Compasssion

Exodus 24:12-18; Ephesians 2:4-6; Matthew 17:1-9 Ministry Specialties Test Discover Your God-Given Gifts by Don Fortune & Katie Fortune
Today is our last Sunday in our sermon series on the Spiritual Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Today is also the day we consider the Transfiguration, which is what we just read about in the Gospel reading. All through the season of Epiphany we see glimpses of who Jesus really is. The Transfiguration is the pinnacle of the season of Epiphany. In the Transfiguration we see an important revelation of who Jesus is. The presence of Moses and Elijah show Jesus as the one the Law and the Prophets point to. He is their fulfillment. He is in line with what God has been doing all along. The shining clothes of Jesus express his heavenly origin and destination- He is a heavenly being. The voice of God directs the attention of the disciples to Jesus- “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!”. …

It see…

Gifts of the Spirit- Leadership

Sirach15:15-20; 1 Peter 5:2-4; John 21:15-19

Ministry Specialties Test
Discover Your God-Given Gifts by Don Fortune & Katie Fortune
We are continuing with our sermon series on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This week we are looking at the gift of leadership. When we turn to the Bible there are a number of examples of leadership that would be beneficial to look at. The obvious example for all the gifts given to the body of Christ is, of course, Jesus. But there are many others, as well.

In our Gospel reading we see Jesus reinstating Peter as a disciple (Jesus re-calls him- “follow me”) and gives him responsibilities as a leader. To counter his three denials, he proclaims his love for Jesus three times. And each time Jesus tells him to care for the flock- “feed my lams”, “tend my sheep”, “feed my sheep”. And we hear Peter’s message to leaders in his letter appropriately using the same imagery- 
“…tend the flock of God that is in your charge, exerci…

Gifts of the Spirit- Giving

Isaiah 58:1-12; 2 Corinthians 8:1-5; Matthew 6:19-21, 24  Ministry Specialties Test
Discover Your God-Given Gifts by Don Fortune & Katie Fortune

We are continuing our sermon series on the Spiritual Gifts of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives people gifts that help with the work of the church. No one is given all the gifts, but when we all work together then we are much more effective as we do God’s work in the world.

This week we are looking at the gift of giving. Every Christian is called to be a giving person, just as all Christians are called to be people who serve. And just as some Christians have a special gift for service, so some of us have a special gift for giving.

Giving is an important discipline for all Christians in the life of the church. Christians give because God wants us to learn to be generous people. Giving is a spiritual discipline that trains us to be thankful and to act and think in way that express our belief that al…