Proper 7, Year A, Church of the Holy Spirit, Nashville

“So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Matt. 10:31).

Jesus has a lot to say in our Gospel today about “fear” and “being afraid”.  People were anxious in his time, and they are anxious today. Jesus mentions “fear” or “being afraid” three times in our Gospel. He’s not just speaking to everybody, but particularly to his disciples, who are following him in some dangerous times. He’s sending the twelve … Read more

Proper 6, Year A, Church of the Resurrection, Franklin

“These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him” (Matt. 10:2-4).

We have several listings of the names of Jesus’ earliest followers, preserved in the New Testament: our Gospel reading today is … Read more

Trinity Sunday, Year A, Trinity Church, Clarksville

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you” (2 Cor. 13:13).

William Alexander Percy wrote some years ago with great fondness and feeling about his experience as an undergraduate at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. As recounted in his memoir Lanterns on the Levee, this young man from Mississippi formed deep friendships at Sewanee, learned important lessons, … Read more

The Feast of Pentecost, Year A, St. Paul’s Church, Franklin

“You send forth your Spirit, and they are created; * and so you renew the face of the earth” (Ps. 104:31).

When I look out the window of my kitchen these last few weeks I see lightning bugs; at least, that’s what I grew up calling them. My wife Caroline calls them fireflies, which must be what they call them up north; they’re also called glow worms in some other places. Whatever they’re called, as … Read more

The Seventh Sunday of Easter, Year A, St. Philip’s Church, Donelson

“When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James” (Acts 1:13).

In 1995, a thirty year old British woman named Ann Daniels, a former assistant branch manager at a bank, and a recent mother of triplets, read an advertisement seeking applications from “ordinary … Read more

The Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year A, St. Bartholomew’s Church, Nashville

“This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive” (Jo. 14:17).

The Holy Spirit is alive and well during the Easter Season. Some old-fashioned versions of the Christian Year make us wait until Pentecost to talk about the Spirit, in keeping with St. Luke’s account in Acts, but John’s Gospel doesn’t keep us waiting. From the very evening of the Day of Resurrection Jesus is giving the Holy Spirit to the disciples who … Read more

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

“Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do” (Jo. 14:12).

Our society is prone to euphemism, to finding new and more obscure ways of describing fairly straightforward things. I heard one the other day that was new to me, “kinetic military operations”. I suspect this euphemism has its origin in the Department of Defense, who are veteran producers of euphemism, but it’s been used … Read more

The Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year A, Church of the Good Shepherd, Brentwood

“Those who had been baptized devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42).

There it is, right up front in our first reading this morning: the key to the life of the church. The reading is from the Acts of the Apostles, which tells the story of the early Christians in Jerusalem in the days following Jesus’ Resurrection. We learn a lot about the Jerusalem … Read more

Daughters of the King Spring Assembly, St. Philip’s Church, Donelson

“God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all” (1 Jo. 1:5).

The celebration of saints’ days is encouraged by the church, especially during the Fifty Days of the Easter Season. We’re told that the lives of the saints manifest and continue the triumph of Jesus’ death and Resurrection, illustrating the meaning of the Paschal mystery that we celebrate at Eastertide. In other words, Jesus lives out in the saints the fullness … Read more

The Second Sunday of Easter, Year A, Otey Memorial Parish, Sewanee

“For you will not abandon me to the grave, * nor let your holy one see the Pit” (Ps. 16:10; Acts 2:27).

On Easter Day this year it was announced that the final resting place of two Archbishops of Canterbury had been discovered at St. Mary’s Church in Lambeth, next to the Archbishop’s residence at Lambeth Palace in London. The remains of Richard Bancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1604-1610, and John Moore, Archbishop from 1783-1805, … Read more