Sermons at Emmanuel Episcopal Church
One In Three, Three In One: Trinity Sunday| Speaker: The Reverend Douglas Rogers
One In Three, Three In One: Trinity Sunday
One of the most discussed, and often misunderstood, doctrines of the Christian faith is that of the Trinity. How can God be of three different forms, yet be the same? Even though the Triune nature of God is found in Genesis, in the Gospels, and in the New Testament, we still find it hard to wrap our minds around the concept. As Saint Augustine said, there is not a single meaning of the Trinity or a single way of describing it; they are symbols of a greater reality. So, let us focus less on defining God in our terms and more on experiencing Him in all His forms as Christ commands us, by doing His work.
The Scripture references are Genesis 1:1-2:4a, Canticle 13, and 2 Corinthians 13:11-13. The Gospel reference is Matthew 28:16-20.
Our Words As Witness: The Day of Pentecost| Speaker: The Reverend Andria Skornik
Our Words As Witness: The Day of Pentecost
The whole idea of Pentecost is that God, acting through the apostles, is uniting people through language. Too often, though, our words may not serve to unify. Changing how we talk is hard; what we say and how we say it is so much a part of who we consider ourselves to be that self-examination isn't always easy. As followers of Christ we must always ask: Does our language unite? Does it follow our Christian values? Does it help spread the love of God throughout the world? God has often worked through our words in the past, and will again.
The Scripture references are Acts 2:1-21, Psalm 104:25-28, 32, and 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13. The Gospel reference is John 7:37-39.
Pray, Listen, Act: The Ascension of Our Lord| Speaker: The Reverend Andria Skornik
Pray, Listen, Act: The Ascension of Our Lord
When the disciples asked Jesus prior to His ascension when He would restore the Kingdom to Israel, they didn't realize that He had already established the Kingdom in their hearts. God's Kingdom wasn't to be just for Israel, but for all people. When we pray for something, the answer to our prayer may well be not what we assumed it would be. God most often works through people to answer prayers, even working through us though we may not realize it. Every time we call out to Heaven, we should be listening for what Heaven may say back to us.
The Scripture references are Acts 1:1-11, Psalm 93, and Ephesians 1:15-23. The Gospel reference is Luke 24:44-53.
The Ride of Our Lives: The Sixth Sunday of Easter| Speaker: The Reverend Andria Skornik
The Ride of Our Lives: The Sixth Sunday of Easter
Just as riders in a bicycle race draw benefit from riding in a tight group known as a peloton, we as the body of Christ gain so much from being in community one with another. Sometimes we race far ahead with our gifts, sometimes we are safely in a group, and sometimes we let the race speed on ahead of us while we rest and reflect. But we are always traveling this course of life together, bound by our faith in our Lord.
Influential Source: "Community of a Peloton," by Scott Stoner from Weekly Words of Wellness at Livingcompass.org.
The Scripture references are Acts 17:22-31, Psalm 66:7,8,14-17, and 1 Peter 3:13-22. The Gospel reference is John 14:15-21.
A Place for Us: The Fifth Sunday of Easter| Speaker: The Reverend Andria Skornik
A Place for Us: The Fifth Sunday of Easter
In John's familiar gospel Jesus tells us that in His Father's house are many dwelling places, and that He goes to prepare a place for us. We should not think of it, though, as a place with all the things that make us comfortable in this life. God's house is made up of what is good, not merely of what feels good. The more we empty ourselves of self, to be more like Christ, the less earthly trappings appeal to us. A place prepared for us means that we matter to those who prepared it; a place prepared by the Son of Man means we matter to Him.
The Scripture references are Acts 7:55-60, Psalm 31:1-5,15-16, and 1 Peter 2:2-10. The Gospel reference is John 14:1-14.
The Sacrament of Unity| Speaker: Therese Delisio
The Sacrament of Unity
The Eucharist, as the central part of our worship, connects us with all Christians in the life abundant that has been promised to us by God. Professor Therese Dilisio of Bexley Seabury Seminary shares with us how the the meals and prayers shared by the first groups of Christ's followers became the communion liturgy we celebrate today.
The Scripture references are Acts 2:42-47 and 1 Peter 2:19-25. The Gospel reference is John 10:1-10.
Sharing Meals, Sharing Gifts: The Third Sunday of Easter| Speaker: The Reverend Andria Skornik
Sharing Meals, Sharing Gifts: The Third Sunday of Easter
Even after hearing from Mary Magdalene and the other Mary of Jesus' resurrection, the two disciples who met Him on the road to Emmaus did not recognize the Risen Jesus; not until the evening meal when He blessed and broke the bread. How often do we receive better understanding of others, and of ourselves, when we share a meal together and share what is in our hearts and on our minds? Our Eucharist mirrors the Emmaus story; it's at the communion table that the transcendent possibilities of meal sharing become true, that God comes and sits at the table with us. It's there that we get it, and there that we know God is with us, everywhere and always.
The Scripture references are Acts 2:14, 36-41, Psalm 116:10-17, and 1 Peter 1:17-23. The Gospel reference is Luke 14:13-35.
Do Not Be Afraid: Easter Sunday| Speaker: The Reverend Andria Skornik
Do Not Be Afraid: Easter Sunday
When Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to the tomb that first Easter, they went looking for the resurrection Jesus had promised. The first words they heard from the angel at the tomb were "Do not be afraid." Jesus said these same words to them when they met Him on the way to the disciples, "Do not be afraid." These were the words they would need to remember as they faced the time to come when Jesus would no longer be with them on earth, as they faced the disbelief of others, as they went out to spread His Word. The Risen Christ comes to show us the freedom of resurrection life; freedom from death, from sin, from all the things that keep us from living abundantly, that we can release our fears and attend to the life God wants for us here and now.
The Scripture references are Jeremiah 31:1-6 and Acts 10:34-43. The Gospel reference is Matthew 28:1-10.
Take Time to Mourn: Good Friday| Speaker: The Reverend Andria Skornik
Take Time to Mourn: Good Friday
On Good Friday we try, much as did the disciples, to make sense of Jesus' death on the cross. Even the Gospel authors saw the events of that fateful day differently, each recalling it in slightly different terms and with different conclusions. Was this free will in its utmost form? Why did God allow this suffering? Today is not about finding the answers, but of taking the time to remember what Jesus means to us, then and now. We should not move too soon from our sorrow, but take the time to mourn the loss of our Savior.
The Scripture references are Isaiah 52:13-53:12 and Hebrews 10:16-25. The Gospel reference is John 19:1-37.
The Commonwealth of God: Palm Sunday| Speaker: Vicki Garvey
The Commonwealth of God: Palm Sunday
On that first Palm Sunday, two powerful forces converged on Jerusalem. The excitement for the arrival of Jesus, word of whose teachings and miracles had reached the throngs in the city to celebrate Passover, contrasted with the might and pomp of Pontius Pilate's legions and the power of Rome. Those in the city that day had a decision to make. Which parade do I join? Which vision will I follow?
The Scripture reference is Zechariah 9:9-12. The Gospel reference is Luke 19:28-40.