January 1, 2017

Sermon by the Rev. Amanda Currie Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 Revelation 21:1-6a Matthew 25:31-46 “A Time to Welcome Christ” As we begin a New Year today, the passage from Ecclesiastes seems very appropriate for our reflection on the year past and our looking forward to all that is in store for us in 2017. The author of the Wisdom Book of Ecclesiastes helps us to keep the events of the last year in perspective, remembering that there were good times and challenging times, and that God was with us through them all. “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted…” There is a time and a season for each purpose – good news for those of us who often feel like we are always running short on time. Of course, the poetic listing of those various purposes is familiar to us. Perhaps we’ve encountered the passage in Bible study, or heard it read at a funeral, or maybe we just know the song by Pete Seeger, later covered by the band, “The Byrds”: “To every thing (turn, turn, turn) there is a season (turn, turn, turn) and a time for every purpose under heaven…” But the passage doesn’t end with the listing of those various times, but goes on to reflect on the meaning of our human activities and work. It continues: “What … Read more »

May 2, 2010

Revelation 21:1-6 Psalm 148 John 13:31-35 Behold! Behold! I make all things newbeginning with you, and starting from today.Behold! Behold! I make all things new My promise is true, for I am Christ the way. I am proud of our choir today for being willing to try something new by singing “Cantate Brasilia” this morning. The Latin words, though ancient, were new and challenging for us. And the complicated rhythms of the piece meant that we had to work hard to get them right and up to speed. But it was worth it, I think, to sing a new song to the Lord, and to share the enthusiasm and spirit of another culture in making music to glorify God. Behold! Behold! I make all things new beginning with you, and starting from today. Behold! Behold! I make all things newMy promise is true, for I am Christ the way. It’s strange and new for the minister to be delivering the sermon while sitting in a chair, singing and playing an African djembe drum. I’m not even dressed as usual in an alb and stole, but I’m dressed for worship at camp – in jeans and a bunny hug. I know that new things can be off-putting. We may not be sure whether they are appropriate or not. But I have discovered that praising God can be done with so many different voices and sounds and instruments. And when I bring out the drums at camp or here in the church, … Read more »

May 13, 2007

Acts 16:9-15 Psalm 67 Revelation 21:10, 22 — 22:5 John 5:1-9 As we move through the season of Easter and towards Pentecost, the readings continue to prepare us to function as community without the physical leadership of Jesus. We are invited to participate in our own salvation and to continue to struggle towards a more just and faithful expression of community in Christ. In the Book of Acts, Luke writes about the progress of the early Christian church, and in today’s story he describes the conversion of Lydia, a “faithful woman.” It is the second reading in Acts that features and names a woman. Two weeks ago, we heard about Dorcas, a beloved follower of Jesus who provided clothing for the widows in her community. Luke is noted for his inclusion of women in his writings, and here he portrays Lydia with remarkable agency as she chooses to convert and then actively supports the fledgling Christian community. Agency is a lesson that John reaffirms in his portrayal of a man who is cured on the Sabbath. Jesus asks him, “Do you want to be well?” The man accepts Jesus’ invitation and immediately is freed from physical and spiritual paralysis. Finally, John’s vision in Revelation of a new heaven is one that is without a temple — without any religious structure or institution, for “its temple is the Lord God almighty and the Lamb.” His vision cautions us that our churches never become ends in themselves — that we never get … Read more »