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Sunday, 08 October 2017
Passage: John 3:1-6
Duration: 14 mins 45 secs
This week, our readings center on baptism: on being born again by water and spirit; on new hearts and new spirit; on new creations and new ministries; on new access to the presence and peace of God. In baptism we share in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We repent of our sins and leave behind the false idols and identities we have collected, and receive instead our new identity as member of Christ, beloved of God and redeemed. Each week we proclaim the creed to refresh our memory of who we are, by proclaiming the God who defines our new identity.
Sunday, 01 October 2017
Passage: John 15:9-16
Duration: 21 mins 58 secs
Bishop Todd Hunter's sermon at the institution of the Very Rev. Rob Patterson as the Dean of the NorCal Deanery.
Sunday, 01 October 2017
Passage: Luke 10:1-2
Duration: 22 mins 30 secs
Bishop Todd Hunter's sermon at the institution of the Rev. Cindy Stansbury as Rector of St. James. (The twenty seconds has low sound quality then it improves.)
Sunday, 24 September 2017
Duration: 15 mins 17 secs
Since the Fall, there is a sense of futility involved in any work, even work done for the kingdom of God. A house cleaned, gets messy the next day (or sometimes the next hour), software breaks, new bugs are found, children need feeding, customers and patients need help again and again, everyday there is new paperwork to do, and it wears on us. Sometimes the work we do and the results we get don’t seem to line up and we don’t like the feeling that our work is for nothing, not appreciated, or never ending. In our readings this week, we find three accounts of people, Jonah, Paul and the vineyard day workers, wrestling with whether the work they are doing for God matters, is fair, or should continue. Fortunately, there is an answer.
Sunday, 17 September 2017
Duration: 17 mins 40 secs
This week, our readings address the basis of Christian forgiveness. Why do we forgive, when do we forgive, how many times do we forgive? It is easy to think of forgiveness as a side benefit of being a Christian, or as a gift of generosity we may give someone from the goodness of our soul, or as something we withhold until our sense of fairness is appeased. But forgiveness is not a side issue, it is at the core of our life in Christ, in all our relationships, and it flows not from us in our goodness, but from God, and an awareness of our need for it in our own lives. We have mercy because He had mercy and it is to God that we and our brothers and sisters in Christ are accountable, not to our own corrupted and insufficient sense of justice.
Sunday, 10 September 2017
Duration: 10 mins 24 secs
This week’s readings address issues of community, love, reconciliation and accountability in our lives and in our church. Again Jesus speaks of the authority of loosing and binding given to the church He also speaks of the power of having two of us agree on anything and the promise to be present whenever two or three of us gathered in His name. It is a heady responsibility, and one that has been misused in many times and places. In the name of this doctrine, the church has at times slid into being unloving, and destructive. The only way for a community to safely wield this authority without wounding others, is by incarnating the love of the Father, by the power of the Spirit, in the Name of the Son.
Sunday, 03 September 2017
Duration: 16 mins 52 secs
Last Sunday, we got to hear Simon, by the grace of God, answer the question of, “who do you say I am?” and get it right. In response, Jesus gives him a new name, Peter, and a new responsibility to loose and bind. This week, we hear Peter try to use his new authority to correct Jesus, to release him from the path He’s on and tempt Jesus to sidestep the cross. In his less than infinite wisdom, Peter wants Jesus to sidestep the most important event in human history. As the church, we are given authority to bind and release sins, but not to thwart the purpose and will of God. Likewise, as people, we do not have a choice about in what moment in history we are born and live; we only have a choice of how we will live in that moment. I encourage you to read Romans 12 (last week, we read the first half, and this week we’ll read the second half) as a description of how we should live in times like these, both as individuals, and even more so, as the Body of Christ in this place.
Sunday, 27 August 2017
Knowing the right question is critical. Jesus asks Peter The Question on which all rests. "Who do you say that I am?" The Creeds were written to answer this question. Our church was started because of how we answered this question. The great divisions within contemporary Christianity are because of how people answer this question. Revisiting this question is important for believers as it helps us reset ourselves firmly on a foundation that makes the greatest difference. What a great question to preach on for my final sermon as Rector of St. James. Perfect, just perfect. - Fr. Ed
Sunday, 20 August 2017
Duration: 24 mins 3 secs
Winston Church Hill famously said “Never, ever ever ever ever give up.” Persistence is an important part of any great achievement. Few great accomplishments occur without effort that has to press through problems. Persistence is also an import aspect of Faith. In this week's Gospel Jesus responds to a persistent mother and gives her what she seeks. On Sunday I will be reflecting on this week's Gospel and my own faith experience as I begin the slow work of planting a church in Hawaii. - Fr. Ed
Sunday, 13 August 2017
Duration: 16 mins 47 secs
This week, we read of Elijah trying explain to God his very reasonable plan of hiding in a cave indefinitely due to really difficult circumstances; and the Lord shows him more extreme circumstances and sends him on his way with a new plan. Peter is in a boat with the other disciples and sees Jesus walking past them on water in a storm, and his reasonable plan is to demand that Jesus prove that he is the Lord. Jesus does so by ordering Peter to get out the boat, into the storm, and also to walk on water. Peter gets it partly right, but is not actually ready to follow through on the plan he started. There is a saying: “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. Sometimes, it is hard to hear God and it feels like we are thwarted on all sides. Other times, the word of God is on our very lips, in our hearts and in our lives as we proclaim Jesus as Lord and Savior. Sometimes is it His plans which we are following and all the pieces come together to call and equip us to do more than we can by ourselves.
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