A Sermon for the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

The Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest
Abilene, Texas
Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Seventh Sunday after Pentecost + Year C
First Lesson: II Kings 5:1-14
Psalm 30
Second Lesson: Galatians 6:1-16
Gospel: Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

✠ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Quote above the main entrance to the Immanuel Chapel at Virginia Seminary.

It is a tradition at the Virginia Theological Seminary that every spring, on the evening before commencement, the graduating seniors are recognized and commissioned in a liturgy called the Service for the Mission of the Church.

As you might imagine, one of the purposes of having such a service is to send forth those who have come to seminary to be formed for ordained ministry, but actually, what I love most about this service is that there is no mention of ordination at any point during the liturgy. On the contrary, the Service for the Mission of the Church focuses on the ministry of all baptized Christians and the mission to which we are called – to “Go ye into all the World and Preach the Gospel.” You can find these iconic words from the Gospel of Mark printed above the main doorway of the chapel at the seminary, serving as a reminder to those who enter that all who are baptized into the Body of Christ are sent forth and commissioned to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus by word and example. Continue reading