The Prophet Mary

St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church
Chelsea, Alabama
Sunday, December 23, 2018

The Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year C)
First Lesson: Micah 5:2-5a
Canticle 15: The Song of Mary
Second Lesson: Hebrews 10:5-10
Gospel: Luke 1:39-55

Now, O Lord, take my lips and speak with them. Take our minds and think through them. Take our hearts and set them on fire for your Gospel. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

mary as prophet, detailIf you’ll indulge me this morning, I’d like to begin my sermon by sharing with you a poem by one of my favorite contemporary poets, Malcolm Guite, who also serves as a priest in the Church of England. The title of this poem is “The Visitation.”

Here is a meeting made of hidden joys,
Of lightenings cloistered in a narrow place,
From quiet hearts the sudden flame of praise
And in the womb the quickening kick of grace.
Two women on the very edge of things
Unnoticed and unknown to men of power,
But in their flesh the hidden Spirit sings
And in their lives the buds of blessing flower
And Mary stands with all we call ‘too young’,
Elizabeth with all called ‘past their prime’.
They sing today for all the great unsung,
Women who turned eternity to time,
Favoured of heaven, outcast on the earth,
Prophets who bring the best in us to birth. Continue reading

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A Sermon for the Third Sunday after Pentecost

The Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest
Abilene, Texas
Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Third Sunday after Pentecost + Year C
First Lesson: I Kings 17:8-16
Psalm 146
Second Lesson: Galatians 1:11-24
Gospel: Luke 7:11-17

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

0515-Orange-landingNext Sunday will mark the one-year anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood, and as I reflect on the year that has passed, I’m reminded of something that one of my former rectors once told me as I was discerning a call to ordained ministry, a memory that has stuck with me to this day. One day, as we were having a discussion in her office about what it means to be a priest in Christ’s Church, she pointed to a wooden crucifix hanging on the wall and shared with me something that a former priest of hers once told her. She said, “to be a priest, you have to be willing to ‘look good on wood.’”

Now, I will admit that, at first, I was a bit confused. “Look good on wood?” I thought. “What in the world is she talking about?” It was only after a few moments that I began to understand. She was saying that, to be a priest, you have to be willing to go to the cross with Jesus, to lay down your life so that others may come to know the love of God. Continue reading