Showing posts from September, 2019

Sunday Homily - September 29, 2019 - A Home Worth Keeping

Stencil of Trinity Parish Church I. I want to tell you a story. Don't worry, it's a true one,  but a story that I think is vitally important   both in history as well as an example to us today. And this story is about a small town in the 19th century  and about a guy named Henry. Now, Henry was born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island in 1820.  He was an intelligent young man,   even so much as to graduate from Brown University in 1842 at 22 years of age. But Henry's work in life was about to change for good.  Because God placed a calling on Henry's life   to the in the spread of the Gospel    as a missionary. Now, when you think "missionary" you might have the temptation  to think that Henry went to some far off place in the world,   like perhaps Asia or Africa. Instead, Henry went as a missionary to none other than  Texas!   He was a missionary to Texas,    specifically Washington County, Texas     in 1849. But he would once again

Sunday Homily - September 22, 2019 - You Cannot Serve Two Masters

I. "No slave can serve two masters;  for a slave will either hate the one and love the other,   or be devoted to the one and despise the other.    You cannot serve God and wealth."     [Luke 16:12-13 NRSV] Now, for you all who have been in church for many years  or for those who may have attended our 7 week "How to Read the Bible" class:   Did you notice something odd about what Jesus just said? Let's think about it again:  "No slave can serve two masters;   for a slave will either hate the one and love the other,    or be devoted to the one and despise the other.     You cannot serve God and wealth." Does anyone else think it is slightly odd that Jesus talks about wealth this way? I mean, wealth as a concept is a-moral:  in other words, wealth isn't a good thing nor a bad thing.   Wealth is simply a concept, often used to describe the state of one's bank account. But, friends, what if I were to tell you that there

Holy Cross Day Homily - September 14, 2019 - The Rev. Patricia Matthews Guest Preaching

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross Icon Holy Cross Day, Saturday, September 14, 2019 Trinity Episcopal Church, Searcy The Rev. Patricia Matthews When I was in fourth grade, I lived about three blocks away from my elementary school. Every morning, I would ride my bike down the road, all by myself. I felt pretty big. But one morning, as I pulled onto the school grounds, I hit the curb, fell off my bike, and landed on a sharp rock. I looked at my knees; both were skinned up and covered in dirt. Then I saw my left hand. It had a huge cut in it. I was scared. I was shaking all over. Now, if this had happened the year before, when I was just a little 3rd grader, I might have reacted differently – might have stayed on the ground, crying, hoping some adult would come help me. But I was a 4th grader, and even 40 years later, I distinctly remember the moment that I made the decision to stand up, dust off my knees, grab my bike, and start walking across the school yard. Blood was runn

Sunday Homily - September 15th, 2019 - Lost and Found

Christ Finds the Lost Sheep  Icon I. I don't like to brag  or toot my own horn about a lot of things.   But there is something I'm particularly confident about:    I am really really good     at losing my keys. I'm telling y'all, it is a daily struggle.  You would think that the advent of pockets would solve that particular problem.   But, oh no, I'm way to skilled to let pockets get in my way    of losing my darn keys constantly! And it isn't for a lack of attempted solutions  that I still lose my keys on a weekly basis! I've had multiple spots in the house where I tell myself,  "Okay, if I'm done with my keys for the day,   I will always put them right here on my dresser."    Well, what do you think I do when the keys aren't on my dresser     and neither are they in my pocket?     Thus ensues the weekly ritual of trying to retrace my steps  rethink my day,   revisit every last nook and cranny of my house, my

Sunday Homily - September 1st, 2019 - Good Parking Spots

The Holy Eucharist Icon I. Have you ever wondered what preachers do when they have a Sunday off? Now, I know what you are thinking:  preachers have Sunday's off?!   Well, for many pastors and preachers,     they do, in fact, need some time to rest and reflect on their preaching ministry      that involves being away from their congregations. But, what I've found, is that committed preachers  often still attend church,   just somewhere else with another group of the Body of Christ. There was a story I heard recently from a colleague  about his Sunday off. This man's name is the Tom,   and Tom is a dynamic preacher, one of the best I personally have ever heard,    and a highly sought after preacher for special occasions. Tom was guest preaching at a church one day,  a big downtown church in the center of a large U.S. city in the south. As he drives up to the church,  he notices that the parking lot is MASSIVE,   cars are packed in like sardines