Sermons

The Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost – Jennie Talley

The Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost : August 11, 2013

Isaiah 1:1, 10-20; Psalm 50:1-8, 23-24; Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16; Luke 12:32-40

Preacher: Jennie Talley, Summer Seminarian Intern at St. Michael’s Church and Senior M. Div. student at the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church. 

 

All too often our world seems so full of fear and anxiety. There is a continuous onslaught of breaking bad news: terrorist threats, economic and climate woes, social injustice, health concerns, hunger and starvation, too much poverty and death.  So Jesus’ words to us, his disciples, are soothing, and they feel more necessary than ever: “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom,” God’s entire kingdom. What a gift! But perhaps this promise is sometimes too hard to believe. Even though we are prayerful Christians, perhaps sometimes it is hard to see God in our tumultuous world. Sometimes we find it difficult to remember that God just didn’t create the whole thing and flee. Indeed, a few of us at times become functional atheists, having only so much confidence that God is present and attentive to our lives. We often operate in a bubble of self-sufficiency and sometimes act as if everything depends on our figuring out a situation and making something happen within our own human constructs, within the world we can see. And we forget God’s presence in all of it. I’ve been known to do this when I first sit down to write a sermon and it happened again just this week, as a matter of fact. But when the struggle becomes too great, and it always does, I’m then reminded to call upon God for help. (more…)

The Eleventh Sunday of Pentecost – The Rev. Richard S. Kemmler

The Eleventh Sunday of Pentecost: August 4, 2013

Hosea 11:1-11; Ps 107:1-9; Colossians 3:1-11; Luke 12:13-21

Preacher: The Rev. Richard S. Kemmler

 

            In response to a rather abrupt question from a man in the crowd around Jesus that day, I can imagine that Jesus might have first looked at him with a slight smile of indulgence on his face before replying:  “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you.”  And then, turning to speak to all those gathered around him, he uttered these dire sounding words: “Take care!  Be on your guard against all kinds of greed, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” Then, in his usual way, Jesus followed up with a parable, the parable that we have just heard this morning. (more…)

The Tenth Sunday after Pentecost – The Rev. Samuel J. Smith

The Tenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 9c): July 28, 2013

Hosea 1:2-10; Psalm 85; Colossians 2:6-19; Luke 11:1-13

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

 

“Jesus was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” (Luke 11:1) What a good question. Don’t you wish you could have been there to hear the answer yourself? I have always found prayer to be mysterious. And I guess that you, like me, have asked more than once, “am I doing this right?” (more…)

The Eighth Sunday After Pentecost – Jennie Talley

The Eighth Sunday after Pentecost: July 14, 2013

Amos 7:7-17; Psalm 82; Colossians 1:1-14; Luke 10:25-37

Preacher: Jennie Talley, Summer Seminarian Intern at St. Michael’s Church and Senior M. Div. student at the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church

(The recording is of the sermon preached at the 10:00 am service.  The sermon text which follows was preached at 6:00 pm.)

Just a few years ago Wesley Autrey saved a stranger’s life.  Autrey, a 51-year old African American Vietnam vet saw a 20-year old man suffer a seizure, and fall onto the subway tracks. Risking his own life, Autrey jumped down onto the tracks. With the honking train approaching, Autrey covered the victim with his body, pinning him down in the gutter between two tracks, while the oncoming subway train rolled over them both, with only an inch to spare. Wesley Autrey was rightfully hailed by onlookers and the media, alike, as a “Good Samaritan” for his brave and selfless actions in rescuing a stranger. (more…)

The Seventh Sunday after Pentecost – The Rev. Samuel J. Smith

The Seventh Sunday after Pentecost: July 7, 2013

2 Kings 5:1-14; Psalm 30; Galatians 6:1-16; Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

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

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

Hello, St. Michael’s! How wonderful it is to see you here. I have been at St. Michael’s for a whole week now, and I have really been anticipating this moment, when I would stand in this magnificent pulpit, and see all of you, and once again have the privilege of proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ, but now in this most wonderful place.

And I’ve learned this place is wonderful not only because of the incredible stained glass, and the impressive bell tower, and the significant history on this corner in the middle of Manhattan. I’ve learned that what makes this church particularly special, and what makes me the envy of many of my clergy colleagues, is the spirit of this place.

(more…)

The Fifth Sunday after Pentecost – Jennie Talley

 

The Fifth Sunday after Pentecost: June 23, 2013

1 Kings 19:1-15a; Psalm 42; Galatians 3:23-29; Luke 8:26-39

 Preacher: Jennie Talley, Summer Seminarian Intern at St. Michael’s Church and Senior M.Div. student at the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church

 

Shame… It is such a difficult word to say and to hear. Shame… It is a painful sensation that we have all experienced, and some of us experience it more than others. Shame seems to have appeared early on — when Adam and Eve hid from God behind the trees in the Garden. A little dose of shame now and again is probably a reasonable amount, for people who don’t experience shame at all are thought to have no capacity for compassion or empathy.

(more…)