Proper 14, Year A, Church of St. James the Less, Madison

When he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened” (Matt. 14:30).

Back in early March (which now seems a long, long, time ago) Caroline and I woke after midnight to the sound of our cell phones going off, alerting us that there was a severe tornado warning in Nashville. As we silenced our phones, all was still outside, unnaturally so; the calm before the storm. Shortly after that our home alarm went off, followed by the … Read more

Proper 8, Year A, St. Matthew’s Church, McMinnville

Whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous” (Matt. 10:41).

It’s easy to miss the premise of these few verses from Matthew that serve as our Gospel today: that is, the Christian life is characterized by arrival and departure. Granted, today we hear about arrival and welcome; but it’s just a little bit earlier in the tenth chapter that we find abrupt departure. “If … Read more

Nativity of St. John the Baptist, Christ Church Cathedral, Nashville

A voice cries out: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God’” (Is. 40:3).

Today we celebrate the feast of the nativity of John the Baptist, the last and greatest of the prophets, whose birth (in the Gospel of Luke) presaged the coming of Jesus himself. John was the forerunner, sent to prepare the way of the Lord; and his ministry, preaching a baptism … Read more

Proper 6, Year A, Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Fayetteville

The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Matt. 9:37-38).

It’s appropriate that we’re gathered today, here in the midst of God’s creation, to consider Jesus’ words to the disciples about the plentiful harvest. We’re here because of world-shaking events, taking place on the global stage; these events have driven us outdoors today to help safeguard the health of the … Read more

St. Barnabas, Apostle, Christ Church Cathedral, Nashville

Those who were scattered because of the persecution that took place over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch…” (Acts 11:19).

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Barnabas, an early leader of the church. He was not one of the twelve, but is commonly counted among the apostles: one of those “sent” on mission (which is what “apostle” means). He appears first as one of the early members of the church in … Read more

Trinity Sunday, Year A, Trinity Parish, Clarksville

What is man that you should be mindful of him? * the son of man, that you should seek him out?” (Ps. 8:5).

“Some people read books in order to find God. Yet there is a great book, the very appearance of created things. Look above you; look below you! Note it; read it! God, whom you wish to find, never wrote that book with ink. Instead, he set before your eyes the things that … Read more

Pentecost, Year A, Church of the Good Shepherd, Brentwood (25th Anniversary Celebration)

Then all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21: Joel 3:5).

Pentecost has a backstory, in terms of the Christian celebration of the feast, and that backstory is the Jewish festival of Pentecost. It’s in order to keep this feast that people are visiting Jerusalem from all over the world on this particular day, as we hear in our first reading, fifty days after Passover. Pentecost was simply the … Read more

Thursday in the Seventh Week of Easter, Christ Church Cathedral, Nashville

That night the Lord stood near him and said, ‘Keep up your courage! For just as you have testified for me in Jerusalem, so you must bear witness also in Rome’” (Acts 23:11).

Little did we know in January, when we celebrated our annual convention under the theme, “You will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8), exactly the sort of witness we would bear in the Diocese of Tennessee, in the weeks that followed. In company … Read more

Ascension Day, Christ Church Cathedral, Nashville

When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9).

This detail, from the Acts’ account of Jesus’ ascension, is easy to overlook; or at least, to overlook its significance. On the fortieth day of Eastertide, Jesus parts from the disciples and is received into heaven; the disciples are ordered to remain in Jerusalem until they receive the Holy Spirit. Visual … Read more

Thursday in the Fifth Week of Easter, Christ Church Cathedral, Nashville

Simeon has related how God first looked favorably on the Gentiles, to take from among them a people for his name’” (Acts 15:14).

“Pandemic” means world-wide, or at least widespread. This is one of the defining characteristics of the time of the Coronavirus, its sheer extent. A friend of mind told me this week that I should look on the bright side: at least the virus wasn’t a cosmic phenomenon. My response was that was … Read more