Sermons

Good Friday – The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

Good Friday: March 25, 2016, noon

Isaiah 52:13-53:12 | Hebrews 10:16-25 | John 18:1-19:42 | Psalm 22

 Preacher: The Rev. Katharine Flexer, Rector of St. Michael’s Church

And so we come to the end of a very familiar story.

The whole drama has unfolded and we, the ordinary people, have just dragged along with it. Leaders debate with one another, political forces operate, soldiers and bureaucrats exercise their petty brutal power, and we just sort of go along with it. We get caught up in the crowd’s emotion, yelling out hateful things without really understanding what we’re saying. We quail when put on the spot about our loyalties, denying that we have a stake in the game. We follow and stand around and watch while the violence and killing happens – or run off and try to block it out. We don’t ever do anything to change the story, and it doesn’t seem as though there really is anything we can do anyway. (more…)

Maundy Thursday – The Rev. Leigh Mackintosh

The Rev. Leigh Mackintosh

The Rev. Leigh Mackintosh

Maundy Thursday: March 24, 2016

Exodus 12:1-4, (5-10), 11-14 | 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 | John 13:1-17, 31b-35 | Psalm 116:1, 10-17

Preacher: The Rev. Leigh Mackintosh, Associate Rector of St. Michael’s Church

“I give you a new commandment, love one another just as I have loved you.”  Easy enough to remember, but tough to put into practice.

In his book, The Living Reminder: Service and Prayer in Memory of Jesus Christ, Henri Nouwen explores ways of following Jesus command to love one another by remembering the love of Christ as we live out our daily lives with others.  Tonight, I’d like to share with you a few of his ideas and reflections in the hopes that it will nurture your own practice of loving one another as God loves. (more…)

The Fifth Sunday in Lent – Anne Marie Witchger

Anne Marie Witchger

Anne Marie Witchger

The Fifth Sunday in Lent: March 13, 2016

Isaiah 43:16-21 | Psalm 126 | Philippians 3:4b-14 | John 12:1-8

Preacher: Anne Marie Witchger, sponsored for priestly ordination by St. Michael’s Church

The Gospel reading for today appears to be an interaction between Jesus and Mary and Judas—Mary anoints Jesus with expensive perfume in an intimate and loving way, Judas, who ultimately betrays Jesus, challenges her actions for selfish reasons, and Jesus defends Mary. But one thing I learned in seminary is that sometimes the people at the focus of the passage are just as important as those who are out of focus. I think this story is actually very much about someone who is out of focus.

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The Fourth Sunday in Lent – The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Fourth Sunday in Lent: March 6, 2016

Joshua 5:9-12 | Psalm 32 | 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 | Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

Preacher: The Rev. Katharine Flexer, Rector of St. Michael’s Church

Ok, so before we can really take a crack at this story, we need to take a poll. How many of us are youngest children? How many of you are oldest children? How many of you are parents? How many of you are the fatted calf? Just kidding. Revealing. At the vestry retreat last weekend we talked about our birth order in our families, and you will not be surprised to hear that many of your vestry are oldest children. The responsible ones, the ones who feel the need to be in charge, the ones who think they know best. That’s your vestry. Your rector, however, is a youngest child. Yep, that’s right. The spoiled one, the one the parents were too tired to set curfews for or say no to, the one who pretty much always got her way in the family and yet was still loved anyway. We’re going to have a great year together, the vestry and I. (more…)

The First Sunday in Lent – The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The First Sunday in Lent – February 14, 2016

Deuteronomy 26:1-11 | Romans 10:8b-13 | Luke 4:1-13 | Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16

Preacher: The Rev. Katharine Flexer, Rector of St. Michael’s Church

Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan: Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save. Amen.

Here we are in the season of Lent, the season of penitence and renewal. Here’s what I like about Lent: it’s a time to get honest. As I said to some of you on Ash Wednesday, with all the work we do buoying our self-esteem, feeling positive about life, and living like we’ll go on forever, sometimes it’s a relief to just acknowledge that we’re actually pretty messed up and we’re going to die anyway. We can stop beating around the bush and pretending and just be honest. Maybe this sounds morbid and negative to you, but for some reason, I’m finding it appealing this year. I can’t do everything after all? Oh, phew.

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Ash Wednesday: The Rev. Leigh Mackintosh

The Rev. Leigh Mackintosh

The Rev. Leigh Mackintosh

Ash Wednesday: February 10, 2016

Isaiah 58:1-12 | 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10 | Matthew 6:1-6,16-21 | Psalm 103 or 103:8-14

Preacher: The Rev. Leigh Mackintosh, Associate Rector of St. Michael’s Church

“Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

These familiar words on Ash Wednesday often leave us on a rather somber, sober note.
For the memory of dust reminds us of our own mortality—that fated day when we all must return to the earth and become dust once more. The memory of dust reminds us of our own imperfect, sinful nature—the dirty dust from which we are formed follows us throughout our lives. (more…)

The Last Sunday after the Epiphany – The Rev. Leigh Mackintosh

The Rev. Leigh Mackintosh

The Rev. Leigh Mackintosh

The Last Sunday after the Epiphany: February 7, 2016

Exodus 34:29-35 | 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2 | Luke 9:28-43a | Psalm 99

Preacher: The Rev. Leigh Mackintosh, Associate Rector of St. Michael’s Church

Serene Light, shining in the ground of our being: draw us to yourself; draw us past the snares of the senses, out of the mazes of the mind. Free us from symbols, words,
that we may discover the Signified, the Word unspoken, in the darkness that surrounds the ground of our being. Amen.

One of the most powerful, inspiring moments in all of Scripture is the Transfiguration. (more…)

The Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany – The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany: January 31, 2016

Jeremiah 1:4-10 | Psalm 71:1-6 | 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a* | Luke 4:14-21 

*The Epistle is taken from the previous Sunday, when the Annual Meeting was originally scheduled. The Annual Meeting was transferred due to the blizzard the day before.

Preacher: The Rev. Katharine Flexer, Rector of St. Michael’s Church

A reading from the letter to St Michael’s:

If the Altar Guild were to say to the Choir, ‘Because I cannot sing, I do not belong to the church,’ that would not make it any less a part of the church. If the Sunday School were to say to the Vestry, ‘Because I cannot count money, I do not belong to the church,’ that would not make it any less a part of the church. If the whole body were a Vestry, where would the music be? If the whole body were acolytes, where would the money be? As it is, there are many ministries, but one church. The Saturday Kitchen cannot say to the Bible Study, ‘I have no need of you,’ nor again the Cemetery to the church staff, ‘I have no need of you’…Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. (more…)

The Third Sunday after the Epiphany – The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Third Sunday after the Epiphany – January 24, 2016

Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10 | 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a | Luke 4:14-21 | Psalm 19

Preacher: The Rev. Katharine Flexer, Rector of St. Michael’s Church

The Spirit of the Lord is upon us
To bring good news to the poor.
He has sent us to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

Jesus begins his ministry in his hometown of Nazareth. He has returned from his time in the wilderness, filled with the Holy Spirit, clear on his vocation, ready to step into the work God has for him. He begins to teach, and news about him begins to spread, and everyone praises him. So he comes to the place he grew up, where he is known, and reads from this passage in Isaiah, and then begins to preach: ‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’

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