The Last Sunday after Epiphany, Year A, Grace Church, Spring Hill

This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” (Matt. 17:5).

It’s the Sunday before Lent, the penitential season that takes its cue from Moses’ forty days on the mountain top, where he waited to receive the commandments. Jesus himself, at the beginning of his ministry, spent forty days in the wilderness preparing himself for his work (but more about that next week). Lent begins on Wednesday, and we … Read more

The Sixth Sunday after Epiphany, Year A, Grace Chapel, Rossview

“For we are God’s servants, working together; you are God’s field, God’s building” (1 Cor. 3:9).

It’s the primary season, so we’re conscious of party politics: that is, the division of the country into groups advocating for one candidate or another. Perfectly natural, in a democratic polity; though many have commented on the passionate advocacy that characterizes this political season in particular. Pundits tell us that the country is divided, and so it is; thoughtful … Read more

The Fifth Sunday after Epiphany, Year A, St. Peter’s Church, Columbia

My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God (1 Cor. 2:4-5).

“Speech;” “proclamation;” “wisdom;” “power;” “faith”: St. Paul’s words pack a punch this morning. He’s writing because he’s heard that there are divisions in the little church in Corinth, and that members are choosing up … Read more

Feast of the Presentation of Christ, Church of the Holy Spirit, Nashville

“A sword will pierce your own soul too” (Lk. 2:35).

This year our youngest child will graduate from college. It’s a significant moment in the life of any parent. As our children get older, they take on more responsibility and they have more freedom. Children may choose to live and work far away from their parents. They decide to start their own families. They take jobs that are different from their parents’ work. They do … Read more

The Third Sunday after Epiphany, Year A, Church of the Epiphany, Lebanon

Immediately they left their nets and followed him.” (Matt. 4:20).

It’s the season of Epiphany, Church of the Epiphany, and so we’re going to talk about the call of God: one of the themes of the season, as we see in our Gospel reading today. In our Gospel, it’s the early days of Jesus’ ministry, and he’s beginning to assemble his followers, the apostolic band of twelve which he gathered around himself. He begins with … Read more

Commemoration of Florence Li-Tim Oi, Annual Convention, St. Bartholomew’s Church, Nashville

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns’” (Is. 52:7).

Our Convention theme this year focuses us on mission, on our the call to be witnesses for the sake of the Gospel; but our first reading at this Eucharist provides a salutary corrective to any notion that God is waiting around for us to get our act together … Read more

The Second Sunday after Epiphany, Year A, Church of the Holy Trinity, Nashville

God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Cor. 1:9).

We’re in Epiphany, the season of call, when our readings focus us on the nature of God’s call to us. Our first reading today gives us once again the call of the Servant, chosen to be a light to the nations. “The Lord called me before I was born, while I was in my mother’s womb he … Read more

First Sunday after Epiphany, Year A, Christ Church, Tracy City

Suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove” (Matt. 3:16).

We begin today with the dove, and an old story from Genesis about Noah and the flood. You know how it goes: In the days of Noah and his sons, “the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence” (Gen. 6:11). Yet “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his … Read more

The Second Sunday after Christmas, Church of the Epiphany, Sherwood

Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them” (Lk. 2:51).

Obscurity and humility: these are the themes of our Gospel today, from Luke, rounding out the twelve days of Christmas with a meditation on the meaning of the season. Obscurity, because we know so little about the life of Jesus between his birth and the beginning of his short public ministry, apart from this story; humility, because what … Read more

Christmas Eve, Christ Church Cathedral, Nashville

Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” (Lk. 2:14).

The Irish have an expression: a “thin place,” a particular geographic space where heaven and earth are closer than usual, where one can pierce the veil of sense and sight and see a reality that usually cannot be perceived. Ireland abounds in such places, or so the Irish say: places where you can get a glimpse of … Read more