Text Sermons

Sermon – Sunday July 13, 2014/Rev. Charleston D. Wilson

In the Name of the Living God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

I think it’s safe to say that if you are an Episcopalian who faithfully attends mass during the long Florida summer when, judging by our summer numbers, clearly most Episcopalians take the summer off, you in fact want to bear the good, vibrant fruit of the gospel in your lives. Your very presence here [this evening/this morning] testifies to the fact that you’d like to be a better disciple.

But even if you’re one of those who prefers going to mass only at Christmas and Easter, and so you’re here today against your will because your husband or wife made you, I have yet to meet a single Christian (or any modern, global citizen for that matter) that doesn’t deep down really want to produce some good fruit – even if they have no clue where to start.

I mean come on, be honest; who doesn’t want to be a better person? It’s all the rage, is it not? Continue reading ‘Sermon – Sunday July 13, 2014/Rev. Charleston D. Wilson’ »

Sermon – Sunday July 6, 2014/Rev. C. Read Heydt

Two thousand years ago a thirty-year-old rabbi went up a hill in northern Galilee to declare to his disciples a “higher righteousness” than the Law of Moses. You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. The overwhelming human response … in his time and ours … is predictable. “No chance!”

Two-hundred-thirty-eight years ago a 33-year-old delegate from Virginia to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia gathered with his peers to hear a public declaration, penned by his hand, assert that “all men are created equal”, and that government exists to secure the happiness of the people, and derives its just powers from the consent of the people. The overwhelming response from governments … in his time and ours … is also predictable. “No chance.”

What do the proclamations of these two men … separated by millenniums and continents … have in common? Continue reading ‘Sermon – Sunday July 6, 2014/Rev. C. Read Heydt’ »

Sermon – Sunday June 29, 2014/Rev. Charleston D. Wilson

In the Name of the Living God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

I have always wondered what makes certain people do some of the wild and crazy things I’ve seen them doing. And I’m not talking about seeing a loved one on the five o’clock news for doing something shocking or finding out your teenage daughter has posted a wild and racy picture on Facebook. I’m talking about the equally amazing (and certainly wild) things that disciples of Jesus Christ have done (and continue to do) for the sake of the gospel and building up the Church.

And we have before us this morning two wild and astonishing readings (one from Genesis and one from St. Matthew’s gospel) that describe in vivid (some of us may say horrifying) detail what risks followers of God are willing to take in order to be genuine disciples.

In the case of Abraham we see an unshakable faith; one that trusted in God amidst the most unimaginable set of circumstances and a willingness to sacrifice even his own son, Isaac, in order to obey God. In St Matthew’s gospel Jesus tells us about another amazing thing that disciples are called to do: to be welcoming and to be welcomed.

The Revised Standard Version, from which I read, uses the word, “receive,” instead of welcome, but in Greek the word is closer to the way we use the word, “welcome.” And that word for “welcome” (or “receive”) is mentioned six times within two sentences. Continue reading ‘Sermon – Sunday June 29, 2014/Rev. Charleston D. Wilson’ »

Sermon – Sunday June 22, 2014/Rev. Ralph Strohm

Good morning church! I’m Father Ralph Strohm, one of the retired priests ‘’In Residence” here at Redeemer. I quasi-retired to Florida a year and a half ago, after serving parishes in the dioceses of West Virginia, and in western New York, Buffalo and Rochester.

On this first full day and first Sunday of summer, first a little background on this Sunday in the church year.

The title of this Sunday is “The Second Sunday after Pentecost.” It comes after two high feast Sundays, Trinity Sunday and the Day of Pentecost.

On Trinity Sunday, last Sunday, we again reviewed the doctrine of the trinity, expressed in its traditional words of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but also suggesting the multi-dimensional nature of God.

Two Sundays ago was Pentecost. If you were in church on Pentecost you experienced a red tongue of fire hovering over your head and a violent wind right here in the nave and sanctuary of Redeemer! Remember? The coming of the Holy Spirit.

This Second Sunday after Pentecost is a transitional Sunday, moving us into a new church season numbered by consecutive Sundays “after Pentecost” and known by our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters as “Ordinary Time.”

I have always liked to call this part of the church year, about one half of the year, depending on whether Easter is earlier or later, the “boots on the ground” season.

The focus is on discipleship. We’re not in the Advent/Christmas/ Epiphany or the Lent/Holy Week/Easter celebratory cycles. Rather, this new season is all about striving to live as disciples of Jesus in ordinary, daily life.

We’re trying to walk in our own sandals next to Jesus as he teaches us on our journey.

As “boots on the ground” continues through the summer and fall, we will encounter Bible readings which sometimes affirm our understandings of Christian discipleship, but sometimes challenge us to new understandings. Continue reading ‘Sermon – Sunday June 22, 2014/Rev. Ralph Strohm’ »

Sermon – Trinity Sunday 15 June, 2014/Rev. Charleston D. Wilson

In the Name of the Living God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

For each of the last five years or so, I’ve somehow found myself preaching on this principal feast, the Solemnity of the Most Blessed Trinity. And, without fail, I’ve done what most preachers are tempted to do on this most unenviable preachment of the Church Year. Using grand theological terms and lots of long quotes from our ancient formularies, I’ve fancied myself describing the indescribable and explaining the inexplicable adequately and effectively by simply conveying a super-abundance of information that, I suppose, was designed to cover everything we ever needed to know about the nature of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity but were afraid to ask.

And that approach, I confess to Almighty God and to you, has been absolutely and utterly disastrous.

In hindsight, it finally hit me this week what’s been wrong all along. Continue reading ‘Sermon – Trinity Sunday 15 June, 2014/Rev. Charleston D. Wilson’ »

Sermon – The Day of Pentecost – Sunday June 8, 2014/Rev. Richard C. Marsden

How many of you woke up on Friday and immediately gave thanks for the life-changing events that happened on that day? Probably a few of us!

When Gail and I were traveling in France some five years ago, we were surprised at how many of the people we met, of all ages, were acutely aware of the significance of that day, 6 June, in their history. Some talked about it like it had happened yesterday.

June 6 1944. These people remembered it because D-Day was the day that changed their lives. Europe had been living under the evil of Nazism for four years. They had lost their freedom, their identities, many lost their lives, under this brutal tyranny. Not enough could be said of the evil and oppression that Hitler and his Nazi ideals wrought on the lives it engulfed.

The D-Day invasion was an inconceivable concentration of power; the largest mobilization of men and material in the history of the world. And we will never see the like again. Continue reading ‘Sermon – The Day of Pentecost – Sunday June 8, 2014/Rev. Richard C. Marsden’ »

Sermon – Sunday June 1, 2014/Rev. David S. Bumsted

May the God of peace hold me by my right hand and guide me. Who is a shepherd to shepherds, and a guide to guides. In the name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Good evening/morning. The past month has been full of memorable events here at Redeemer and in our parish’s community. Youth Sunday was fantastic, we had a great bishop’s visit, and of course we had celebration for Fr. Robinson’s 20th anniversary as rector. Now, there’s no need to make a big deal out of this or anything, but maybe it’s worth pointing out that today is my first anniversary on staff at Redeemer. Now, I know it’s nineteen fewer than the bossman, I do feel like I won the record for fastest year ever. Continue reading ‘Sermon – Sunday June 1, 2014/Rev. David S. Bumsted’ »

Sermon – Ascension Day – 29 May, 2014/Rev. Richard C. Marsden

It has been forty days now since the first reports of Jesus’ resurrection from the tomb. In that time, he has appeared to numerous of his disciples, in and around Jerusalem.
He has for the most part convinced those that have followed him that he in fact died, and after three days had arisen from the dead; and that he was neither a ghost or apparition, nor merely a man who was perceived dead and then resuscitated.

All the evidence points to the reality that he was God, both completely God and completely man, who in fact died and was resurrected a new corporeal reality.
And on this last physical day on earth for a while, he meets with his disciples to give them last minute instructions. Continue reading ‘Sermon – Ascension Day – 29 May, 2014/Rev. Richard C. Marsden’ »

Sermon – Sunday 25 May, 2014/Very Rev. Fredrick A. Robinson

There’s a great new movie playing in theaters now titled Million Dollar Arm. Jon Hamm, whom you may know as the main character in the T. V. series Mad Men, plays the role of a sports agent, J. B. Bernstein, whose once active clients have all retired. He and his two assistants haven’t brought in any new clients for a couple of years and they’re facing the possibility of having to close the business.

Continue reading ‘Sermon – Sunday 25 May, 2014/Very Rev. Fredrick A. Robinson’ »

Sermon – Sunday 11 May, 2014/Rev. Richard C. Marsden

This Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Easter in the church, is called Good Shepherd Sunday. Every year the readings come from the 10th chapter in the Gospel of John, and focus on two subjects: sheep, and shepherd.

Most of us don’t know much about sheep, nor shepherds for that matter. It’s just not in our experience, especially in Florida. Our doctors tell us we can’t eat lamb because it’s too high in cholesterol, and it really doesn’t get cold enough for long enough that wool clothes are in great demand here.

But some years ago, Gail and I had the privilege to travel in Ireland. And there are sheep in Ireland. In the west and northwest of the Republic sheep were literally everywhere, on the hill sides, on the roads. They are as plentiful there as cockroaches here!

And they looked anything but white and fluffy. Continue reading ‘Sermon – Sunday 11 May, 2014/Rev. Richard C. Marsden’ »