Showing posts from September, 2013

Angels... really?

Genesis 28:10-17; Revelation12:7-12; John 1:47-51 Hear the sermon here

 Today we celebrate the feast of St. Michael and All Angels. It is a topic that tends to divide people into extremes.  People tend to be obsessed with angels, so they read books about angels and try to communicate with them. If you walk through the New Age section in the bookstore you will find numerous books on angels and tarot cards based on angels. On the other extreme, people place angels into the same category as unicorns, faeries, and leprechauns. To them the idea of angels being real is an offence to rationality and science.           As we heard from our readings angels are present throughout the Bible, They also appear in the experiences of the saints throughout history. If they are so present in the Bible and throughout the history of the church it is a serious matter to deny their existence. But, we also want to use our minds as we approach the topic of angels and not allow our imagination to fill the void.…

Luke 16- God and money

Luke 16:1-13, 19-31 Hear the sermon here.

Jesus’ parables have a way of sticking with you. It’s as if they have barbs. They roll around in our minds and hearts. There are parts we like about them and parts we don’t like and there are parts we just plain don’t understand. But, eventually, if we spend enough time with them they start to unfold and reveal their purpose.     There are parts we don’t like about this first parable. The hero is a manager that mismanages his master’s money and then gets fired. When he finds out he’s fired he makes some shifty deals that result in his boss losing more money, but the end result is that because the manager makes these deals people owe him favors.  When he is tossed out of his master’s house he will have people who owe him a favor and who will open their door to him. Then, confusingly, the master praises the manager. Jesus then tells us “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little …

Luke 15- Lost and found

Luke 15:1-10 Hear the sermon here

In our Gospel reading today we hear Jesus speak about things that are lost and the joy of finding those things. A shepherd loses his sheep and a woman loses her coin. Both are overjoyed to find what they had lost. I’ve been thinking a lot this week about things that are lost.  As some of you are aware, last week my car was stolen from behind our house. I went outside on Saturday morning to come to the men’s breakfast and I noticed my car wasn’t where I had parked it. I wondered for a moment if I parked it in front of the house, but no. I came to accept the fact that my car had been stolen along with the children’s car seats and a bunch of tools that were in the trunk. My mind raced as I tried to figure out how I was going to make all my appointments for the upcoming week, and how was I going to take my children to school. I realized life was going to get logistically challenging. I was also talking to my insurance company and discovered that my car wasn…

The High Cost of Discipleship- Luke 14

Luke 14:25-33

“Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“The only man who has the right to say that he is justified by grace alone is the man who has left all to follow Christ.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

For some time I have been reflecting on an image that seems to come back to my mind regularly- Is prayer in my life like a spice or a marinade? Do I live my life my way and then sprinkle some spirituality on top of it? Or, do I soak my whole life in prayer so that every piece of it is drenched in spirituality? I hear Jesus’ call on my life and I can feel that he is calling me deeper and deeper into himself. I’m afraid that too often prayer in my life is a spice that rests on top rather than a marinade that penetrates deeply into my soul. So, I strive, and am called to strive for a deeper life with God. I strive for a life that is more and more marinated in God.                  A German theologian and pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, w…

Luke 14- Know your place

Luke14:1, 7-14
Hear the sermon here

I have make a bit of a confession to make. The other day I was driving and I noticed that my lane was ending because of construction, so I turned on my signal light to get into the other lane. I noticed that a corvette was coming up quickly in the lane I was trying to get into. I left my signal light blinking thinking they would slow down and let me into their lane. Well, they didn’t let me in. I had to slow down and get in behind them just as I was coming up the barricade.  I started to think about the pride of the person driving the Corvette. I imagined how they felt that people should get out of their way and how the normal rules of courtesy don’t apply to them because they drive a fancy car. … Then I noticed something else inside myself. I felt proud to drive my 20 year old Honda, and I felt proud to not be that inconsiderate Corvette driver. I sometimes feel the same way about this Hummer that parks in the “busses only”, “no idling”, “no stopping…