Sermons

The Sixth Sunday of Easter – The Rev. Samuel J. Smith

The Rev. Samuel J. Smith

The Rev. Samuel J. Smith

 The Sixth Sunday of Easter: May 25, 2014

Acts 17:22-31; Psalm 66:7-18; 1 Peter 3:13-22; John 14:15-21

Preacher: The Rev. Samuel J. Smith, Assistant Priest, St. Michael’s Church

 

In a little over a week Don and I will travel to Texas to join in the celebration of my father’s 80th birthday. The event will include my parents, my brothers and their wives, nieces and nephews, and undoubtedly lots of beef and lots of carbohydrates! I also hope that we will find time on that evening to sing together. (more…)

The Fourth Sunday of Easter – The Rev. Samuel J. Smith

The Rev. Samuel J. Smith

The Rev. Samuel J. Smith

The Fourth Sunday of Easter: May 11, 2014

Acts 2:42-47; Psalm 23; 1 Peter 2:19-25; John 10:1-10

Preacher: The Rev. Samuel J. Smith, Assistant Priest, St. Michael’s Church

Every year, on the fourth Sunday of Easter, our lectionary is filled with images of sheep and shepherds. Therefore this is known as Good Shepherd Sunday. And every preacher must pack a few good shepherd sermons in his quiver. I am no different—in fact, I have a doozy of a Good Shepherd Sunday sermon that that I have preached several times—one that, if I may be allowed to brag on myself, won me the preaching prize at The General Theological Seminary in 2009. Who knows? You’ll probably get to hear it next year. But this year, I find myself compelled to take a different approach to this passage. Why? Because there are several upcoming events that highlight shepherds in our midst. (more…)

The Third Sunday of Easter – Christopher Ashley

Christopher Ashley

Christopher Ashley

The Third Sunday of Easter – May 4, 2014

Acts 2:14a,36-41 Psalm 116:1-3, 10-171 Peter 1:17-23 Luke 24:13-35 

Preacher: Christopher Ashley, St. Michael’s Parishioner and Ph.D. student at Union Theological Seminary.

 

The story we’ve just heard is a mystery.

I don’t mean that, primarily, in the religious sense. I mean it more like Agatha Christie, The Wire, SVU. And I say that because of the question that our disciples are asking: Where is the body? (more…)

The Second Sunday of Easter – The Rev. Samuel J. Smith

The Rev. Samuel J. Smith

The Rev. Samuel J. Smith

The Second Sunday of Easter: April 27, 2014

Acts 2:14a, 22-32; Psalm 16; 1 Peter 1:3-9; John 20:19-31

Preacher: The Rev. Samuel J. Smith, Assistant Priest, St. Michael’s Church

Welcome back to church on this second Sunday of Easter.

This day has many names in the church –

The Octave Day of Easter (eighth day of Easter);

Low Sunday (which may refer to the fact that attendance is down on this day as compared to Easter Sunday, or may be a corruption of the word Laudes, the first word of the traditional sequence hymn for this day); (more…)

The Great Vigil of Easter – The Rev. Samuel J. Smith

The Rev. Samuel J. Smith

The Rev. Samuel J. Smith

The Great Vigil of Easter – April 19, 2014

Genesis 1:1-2:4a; Psalm 136:1-9, 23-26; Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-21;  Exodus 15:1-6, 11-13, 17-18; Ezekiel 36:24-28; Psalms 42 and 43; Zephaniah 3:14-20; Psalm 98:1-4, 6-9; Romans 6:3-11; Matthew 28:1-10

Preacher: The Rev. Samuel J. Smith, Assistant Priest, St. Michael’s Church

Every morning is Easter morning from now on.
Every day’s resurrection day, the past is over and gone.
Good-bye guilt, good-bye fear, good riddance!
Hello, Lord! Hello, sun!
I am one of the Easter people, my new life has begun.

I grew up in Central Texas. As many of you recall, my father is a United Methodist minister, so a lot of my identity as a child was tied up in the church. And I remember learning about that identity as a Christian through songs. Songs like that one – Every Morning is Easter Morning – and others you might know, like Deep and Wide, or Jesus Loves Me, or I am the Church. (more…)

Maundy Thursday – The Rev. Jennie Talley

The Rev. Jennie Talley

The Rev. Jennie Talley

Maundy Thursday – April 17, 2014

Exodus 12:1-4, (5-10), 11-14Psalm 116:1, 10-171 Corinthians 11:23-26John 13:1-17, 31b-35 

Preacher: The Rev. Jennie Talley, Senior at The General Theological Seminary and transitional Deacon sponsored for priestly ordination by St. Michael’s Church

As a Christian family, we have spent the last 40 days of Lent challenging ourselves. We have taken time to reflect on our life’s path, and have examined how we might adjust our trajectories to take us into a closer relationship with God. And over the course of these weeks, we have been on a closer journey than usual with Jesus.  We have been with the woman at the well, thirsting for the living water that only Jesus can provide. We have been at Lazarus’ tomb in Bethany, spending the most intimate time with Jesus, watching as he wept at the grief around him, and mourned for his friend. And then we witnessed the joy of Jesus’ restoring life to Lazarus, in all its full richness, with that remarkable depth of life that only faith in God, along with God’s grace can bring. We processed on the streets, joyfully waving palms while welcoming our Jesus into our Jerusalem. Now on this Maundy Thursday night, from this very minute, from this very sacred moment, we step off together and begin our journey — our journey taking us into the next three days that contain some of the holiest of holy moments to be spent with Jesus. (more…)

Palm Sunday – The Rev. Samuel J. Smith

The Rev. Samuel J. Smith

The Rev. Samuel J. Smith

The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday – April 13, 2014

The Liturgy of the Palms: Matthew 21:1-11Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 

The Liturgy of the Word: Isaiah 50:4-9aPsalm 31:9-16Philippians 2:5-11Matthew 27-11-54 

Preacher: The Rev. Samuel J. Smith, Assistant Priest, St. Michael’s Church

Good morning, and welcome to St. Michael’s on this Palm Sunday, as we embark on the most important week of the Christian year. Our liturgy for this day always feels a little, well, schizophrenic to me. I had a conversation with St. Michael’s parishioner Bob Fisher this week in which he referred to this day as, “a double-edged sword of festivity and political theater.” We begin on a high, celebrating Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  And then we plunge immediately down into Holy Week with the recitation of Christ’s Passion. (more…)