Proper 14, Year C, St. James’ Church, Sewanee

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Lk. 12:32).

At the 1924 Paris Olympic Games, the Scottish sportsman Eric Liddell won a Gold Medal in the four hundred-meter run. Liddell was not only an athlete but also a Christian missionary, who went on after winning the run to a ministry and a life in China, one that was cut short by the Japanese occupation … Read more

Proper 13, Year C, St. Anselm’s Church, Nashville

“Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity” (Eccles. 1:2).

This morning we have a rare reading from Ecclesiastes, from the wisdom tradition of ancient Israel: in fact, in our Sunday lectionary it’s the only reading from this Old Testament book. The wisdom tradition is larger than just Ecclesiastes, however, and includes Proverbs, some of the Psalms, as well as Apocryphal books like Wisdom and Sirach from which the church reads.

 … Read more

Proper 8, Year C, Church of Our Saviour, Gallatin

“He picked up the mantle of Elijah” (1 Kings 2:13).

Our first reading this morning is a story of succession, the passage of authority from one prophet to another, the handing over of a commission to the next in line. Elijah the prophet is at the end of his ministry, having labored long against evil King Ahab of Israel. Elijah had confronted the king for patronizing false gods; had performed miracles of healing; had spoken … Read more

Proper 7, Year C, St. Paul’s Church, Murfreesboro

“Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you” (Lk. 8:39).

“I love to tell the story,” goes the old hymn; “`Twill be my theme in glory/ To tell the old, old story/ Of Jesus and his love.” The hymn reminds us of the importance of story in the Christian life, on multiple levels. Our Lord himself told many stories in the course of his ministry: the parable of the Good … Read more

Trinity Sunday, Year C, Trinity Parish, Clarksville

“The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of long ago” (Prov. 8:22).

The first Soviet cosmonaut when he returned to earth from space is supposed to have said that he had looked for God while on his flight but hadn’t seen him. Conversely, I’ve had at least one parishioner who told me he felt closer to God on the golf course than he did in church. One suspects that people think … Read more

The Feast of Pentecost, Year C, Church of the Resurrection, Franklin

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever. This is the Spirit of truth” (Jo. 14:17).

Easter ends with Pentecost, the final day of the season: fifty days during which the church reads from the Gospel of John, and invites her members to go deeper in and further on in the mystery of our salvation. John’s Gospel lends itself to such a project, because it … Read more

The Seventh Sunday of Easter, Year C, St. Bartholomew’s Church, Nashville

“The glory that you have given me I have given them” (Jo. 17:22).

It’s an ancient custom in the Easter season to read from the Fourth Gospel, the Gospel of John. The Church’s instinct is that this telling of the story offers us a deep reflection that’s suited to this season: a deep meditation on the meaning of Jesus’ ministry and on his death and resurrection. Easter, after all, is a season that lasts for … Read more

The Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year C, Grace Chapel, Rossview

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you *” (Jo. 14:27).

Easter is a season of fifty days, stretching from Easter Day all the way to Pentecost. We have fifty days to let Easter soak in; to learn the lessons of the season. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is big news; so big that it is difficult to take it all in on a single day. In fact, it’s impossible … Read more

The Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year C, Celebration of New Ministry, Church of the Holy Spirit, Nashville

“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few” (Lk. 10:1).

God is generous in his dealings with his People. He gives good gifts in abundance. The Psalmist says, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want” (Ps. 23:1). God gives us everything that we need. God forgives all our sins; again, as it says in the psalms, “He forgives all your sins, and heals all your infirmities” (Ps. 103:3). … Read more

The Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year C, St. George’s Church, Nashville

“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another” (Jo. 13:34).

Every Easter Season we read from the Gospel of John: this is an ancient Church practice which is readily explicable. John’s Gospel gives us not only a narrative of events in Jesus’ life and ministry, but also provides a profound meditation on the meaning of his work. Bishop Gore once remarked that the Gospel of John was like a foreign country (William … Read more