Showing posts from June, 2020

Sunday Homily - June 21, 2020 - The Sharp Word of the Lord

The Prophet Jeremiah Icon I. The Holy Scriptures are filled with incredible accounts of God's relationship with humanity.  Whether we think of the stories of Abraham called by God in the book of Genesis,  all the way to the commissioning of St. Paul to the Gentiles by Jesus Christ our Lord,   there is not one bit of the Holy Scriptures that isn't given by holy inspiration    and in which the Holy Spirit speaks through time and time again. When we hear of the "feel-good" stories,  the ones that are comfort and help and assurance,   such as the passage from St. Paul this morning about our hope in the resurrection of Jesus,    it is easy to rest in the consolation of God in this important passage. Even in the midst of hard teaching,   Jesus Christ Our Lord gives clear teaching about not being afraid of anyone,   because we are followers of Jesus who must take up our cross,    who must lose their lives in order to gain them.      Ultimate victory belongs to God,      and

Sunday Homily - June 14, 2020 - Jesus Changes You

St. Augustine of Hippo Icon I. There are some people in the world that are just plain hard to love,  aren't they? They are your best friend one day,  and the next they try to push you away.   Just when you thought they were on the right path,    they disappoint you.  And this certainly isn't unusual,  at least in my limited experience.   There are always those people in our lives    that are really hard to keep loving.     Some of them are immediately related to you, no doubt.  There was a man once who was particularly hard to love  because he was an upper class snobby philosopher and rhetorician. You can tell how far gone he was by the fact that he had a job as a rhetorician,  someone who convinces someone by the elegance and tactics of language,   even when what they are convincing people is WRONG.    All he cared about was having a good argument.  Don't you love people who just want to argue with you all the time? But this man was not just a philosopher and an (ugh) rhet

Trinity Sunday Homily - June 7th, 2020 - "What does the Church believe?"

The Holy Trinity Icon I. "Fr. Mark, what does the Episcopal Church  believe about X?" I can't tell you how many times I've been asked that question. Part of it is a genuine curiosity,  because, let's face it,    we as Episcopalians are a vast minority in our region    as it comes to our particular expression of Christianity.  The vast majority of our brothers and sisters worshiping this morning  are worshiping in a very different way than we do, right?    For the most part,  our friends and neighbors who follow Jesus   are worshiping in a way that would be generally described    as a broadly Protestant and Evangelical way. Speaking from my own experience,  my hometown church undoubtedly is participating in song,   in the reading of the Bible,    in saying our prayers,     but in a way that is not as formal or as full of symbolic ritual      as we do here at Trinity Parish Church.  So, when we get visitors either to our live streams or physically in our services,  

2020.6.4 - The Parable of the Red Wasp

I consider myself a veritable lover of most animals that move on God's green earth.  I grew up with cats in the house (and I currently have a cat). I love horses, and I worked my first job caring and training horses. I always enjoy seeing the local dogs from my neighborhood and the happy tail-wagging that I'm greeted with by the invariably happy puppies. I even enjoy observing the lesser-wanted animals, such as spiders, slugs, ants, and the like. I'm one of those insufferable people that will actively take care of pests by relocation rather than extermination.  In other words, I pick up spiders and put them outside instead of squishing them. Yep, I'm one of those people.  But, there is one particular animal that I cannot stand, no matter what circumstance I run across them Red Wasps. (specifically,  Polistes carolina, if anyone is keeping track). I don't even hate most wasps! "Mud dobbers" that make the small tubes of dirt and mud are totally fine! Common