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

“We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us– and we ought to lay down our lives for one another” (1 Jo. 3:16).

This is a homiletical set-up if there ever was one: Good Shepherd Sunday a few weeks before the retirement of a long-serving and highly-regarded rector. Not just any priest, but one who planted the church and who has served faithfully for over twenty years as the pastor of … Read more

Feast of St. Anselm of Canterbury, Spring Assembly, Daughters of the King, St. George’s, Nashville

“I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants” (Matt. 11:25).

Can you prove the existence of God? I think most of us would say that God is not like a mathematical proof, where two and two must equal four. God can’t be “proved” like that, or people convinced through logic. Nor is it enough to look around … Read more

The Third Sunday of Easter, Year B, St. Paul’s Church, Franklin

“Little children, let no one deceive you” (1 Jo. 3:7).

“Fake news” is a thing these days. I guess we’ve all heard about it. There are several strands. First, politicians accuse the news media of creating its own news, promoting items that are not really newsworthy or perhaps not even true, but interjected into the news cycle for frankly partisan purposes. For its part, the mainstream media accuses these same politicians of promoting misleading falsehoods … Read more

The Feast of the Annunciation, St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School

“Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word’” (Lk. 1:38).

What a difference one person can make. This truth is brought to mind by our celebration of the Feast of the Annunciation this morning, when the angel of the Lord appears to Mary to bring her the astonishing news that she is to be the Mother of the Savior. God’s mighty act of … Read more

The Second Sunday of Easter, Year B, The Church of the Resurrection, Franklin

“This life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it” (1 Jo. 1:2).

“Gosh”; “zounds”; “gadzooks”: these are all words of exclamation, of surprise, mild expletives that sound like they belong in the mouth of a character from a P.G. Wodehouse novel or (maybe) from Batman or Scooby Doo. After all, some of the dialogue between Batman and Robin in the TV series of yesteryear was so ridiculous that the show didn’t … Read more

The Easter Vigil, Year B, Christ Church Cathedral, Nashville

“Alleluia. Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia” (The Book of Common Prayer).

“Alleluia” is an Easter word. In the Episcopal Church it’s left out of the liturgy during Lent, mostly so it can strike us with redoubled force during Eastertide. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. We use it at other times apart from Easter, of course, but in this season we also add it to places where it doesn’t normally appear. … Read more

Chrism Mass and Renewal of Vows, Christ Church Cathedral

“Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (Lk. 4:21).

It’s an electrifying scene, isn’t it? Jesus in the synagogue in Nazareth, his hometown and home church, so to speak, reading from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Luke’s Gospel is the only one that tells the story of Jesus’ visit to the synagogue in just this way, letting us know what the reading was, how “he unrolled the scroll and found the place … Read more

The Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year B, St. Andrew’s Church, New Johnsonville

“The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah” (Jer. 31:31).

“Breakdown”: I suppose most of us are familiar with the statement “My car broke down”. Mechanical problems happen. Unless you really understand your car engine what happens under the hood is probably pretty mysterious, adequately covered by the statement: “My car broke down”.

We also talk about the “breakdown” … Read more

The Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year B, Christ Church, Alto & Trinity Church, Winchester

“The people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you” (Num. 21:7).

When archaeologists excavate one of the ancient sites in the Middle East, they discover different strata of civilization. What’s uncovered reveals things about the people who’ve lived there: what kind of tools they used, what sort of goods they made, even the kinds of food they ate. Sometimes digging down into an ancient garbage dump … Read more

The Third Sunday in Lent, Year B, St. Luke’s Church, Springfield & Grace Chapel, Clarksville

“Then God spoke all these words” (Ex. 20:1).

Caroline and I celebrated our thirty-second wedding anniversary this year: not one of the big ones for sure but still a significant marker. We made sure we did memorable things at our twentieth, our twenty-fifth, and thirtieth anniversaries: not elaborate things but certainly things we will remember. Before our twentieth we were mostly caught up with the great business of living. Still, whether you’re preoccupied or not, … Read more