Emmanuel Episcopal Church Sermons
"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want." The Fourth Sunday in Easter| The Rev. William Nesbit
"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want." The Fourth Sunday in Easter
What does it mean to follow the Good Shepherd? How is a life with God lived out? Well, it's complicated, and it's simple.
The Scripture references are Acts 9:36-43, Psalm 23, and Revelation5:11-14. The Gospel reference is John 21:1-19.
The Trouble with Blindness: The Third Sunday of Easter| The Rev. William Nesbit
The Trouble with Blindness: The Third Sunday of Easter
One of the hard parts of the life of faith is blindness. A look at the characters of Saul, Ananias, and Peter help us to see the blind spots that hover around us as we struggle to see with the eyes of Christ.
The Scripture references are Acts 9:1-20, Psalm 30:1-6,12-13, and Revelation 5:11-14. The Gospel reference is John 21:1-19.
Hear, And Believe: The Second Sunday of Easter| The Very Reverend Thomas Rosa
Hear, And Believe: The Second Sunday of Easter
The apostle who came to be known as "Doubting Thomas" gets an unfair reputation for insisting on proof of Jesus' resurrection. All the other disciples also had doubts until Jesus appeared to them. Thomas only asked for the same thing the others had already received. He reminds us that doubt is not the opposite of faith, but rather the thing that helps us to reexamine, better know, and ultimately share our own faith.
The Scripture references are Acts 5:27-32, Psalm 150, and Revelation 1:4-8. The Gospel reference is John 20:19-31.
Welcome to the Mystery of an Empty Tomb - Easter Day| The Rev. William Nesbit
Welcome to the Mystery of an Empty Tomb - Easter Day
People come to church on Easter for a lot of reasons, some of them not the best. It really doesn't matter. We all come to the resurrection with a sense of disbelief, amazement, and faith in varying amounts. If you want all the answers, you might try somewhere else, but if you want to wrestle over great questions in search of wisdom, well this might be your new/old home!
The Scripture references are Isaiah 65:17-25, Psalm 118:1-12,14-24, and Acts 10:34-43.
Easter's Greatest Hit! - The Great Vigil of Easter| The Rev. William Nesbit
Easter's Greatest Hit! - The Great Vigil of Easter
Sixteen hundred years ago, John Chrysostom wrote the greatest Easter sermon ever! The Orthodox Christians hear this sermon EVERY year on Easter. Now you will know why!
The Vigil Readings are The Story of Creation, Genesis 1:1-2:4a; The Flood, Genesis 7:1-5,11-18, 8:6-18, and 9:8-13; Israel's Deliverance at the Red Sea, Exodus 14:10-31, 15:20-21; and The Valley of Dry Bones, Ezekiel 37:1-14. The additional Scripture reference is Romans 6:3-11. The Gospel reference is Luke 24:1-12.
What Are We to Make of the Cross? - Good Friday| The Rev. William Nesbit
What Are We to Make of the Cross? - Good Friday
Today the cross stands before us in all it's terrible glory. Bad theology has made it a "cross to bear" for the church long enough. In the words of Jesus, "It is Finished!" God's love wins, even on Good Friday.
The Scripture references are Isaiah 42:13-53:12, Psalm 40:1-14, and Hebrews 10:16-25. The Gospel is The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to John, John 19:1-37.
Good News, Bad News: Short Sermon, but Homework! Palm Sunday| The Rev. William Nesbit
Good News, Bad News: Short Sermon, but Homework! Palm Sunday
We have heard the Passion hundreds of times; so many times, in fact, that often we stop listening. And we shouldn't! Here are a number of things to ponder as we enter the darkness of Holy Week, and remember two things. God does some of his best work in the dark, and the light will come!
The Scripture references are Isaiah 50:4-9a, Psalm 118:19-26, and Philippians 2:5-11. The Gospel references are Luke 19:28-40 and the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke.
The Return of Jesus, and His Snarky Sense of Humor: The Fifth Sunday in Lent| The Rev. William Nesbit
The Return of Jesus, and His Snarky Sense of Humor: The Fifth Sunday in Lent
Jesus returns to the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus for a little R & R, but Judas whines about expenses. With a vintage comeback, Jesus both puts him in his place and reminds him, and us, of the importance of the poor. If we are paying attention!
The Scripture references are Isaiah 43:16-21, Psalm 126, and Philippians 3:4b-14. The Gospel reference is John 12:1-8
The Parable of the Loving Father: The Fourth Sunday in Lent| The Rev. William Nesbit
The Parable of the Loving Father: The Fourth Sunday in Lent
We know this parable more commonly as the Parable of the Prodigal Son, but if you read and pay attention to the story, both sons are in need of redemption. The focus of the story is really the Father, and his irrational irrepressible love for both of his self-absorbed sons. Gee, I wonder who the Father represents?!?
The Scripture references are Joshua 5:9-12, Psalm 32:1-7, and 2 Corinthians 5:16-21. The Gospel reference is Luke 15:1-3,11b-32.
One-Who-Stands-Before-His-People: The Third Sunday in Lent| The Rev. William Nesbit
One-Who-Stands-Before-His-People: The Third Sunday in Lent
Moses was a special person in the life of the Jewish people. He was special to God as well. At least, God spoke to him. What if God speaks to people all the time, and the problem is that we don't listen. An imaginary look at Moses through the lens of the life of Enmegahbowh, the first Native American ordained to the priesthood.
The Scripture references are Exodus 3:1-15, Psalm 63:1-8, and 1 Corinthians 10:1-13. The Gospel reference is Luke 13:1-9.
New Words for Old Ideas: The Second Sunday in Lent| The Rev. William Nesbit
New Words for Old Ideas: The Second Sunday in Lent
Of all the metaphors of spread wings to be found in the Bible, perhaps Jesus' use of the sheltering wings of a mother hen protecting her chicks best describes God's love for us. There's a lesson there for us all to look at the Scriptures with new eyes from time to time, putting aside our belief that we already know the lessons to be learned.
The Scripture references are Genesis 15:1-12,17-18, Psalm 27:1-7, and Philippians 3:17-4:1. The Gospel reference is Luke 13:31-35.
Meeting Temptation: The First Sunday in Lent| The Rev. William Nesbit
Meeting Temptation: The First Sunday in Lent
Tempted three times by Satan in the wilderness, Jesus stayed true to His nature as the Son of God. He resisted the urge to use His power to alleviate the suffering inherent in His humanity, to put anyone or anything above God, and kept His faith and trust in God. As Jesus well knew, and as we should remember this Lent, God is with us in every aspect of our lives. We are never alone, and Jesus is proof of that.
The Scripture references are Deuteronomy 26:1-11, Psalm 91:9-16, and Romans 10:8b-13. The Gospel reference is Luke 4:1-13.
The Wild Abundance of God: Ash Wednesday| The Rev. William Nesbit
The Wild Abundance of God: Ash Wednesday
The ashes we wear each Ash Wednesday are the ashes of our misplaced confidence in our own wishes, the ashes of our choices that take us away from the will of God, and the ashes of our own egos. They are also the ashes of new hope, of rebirth and rejuvenation, of the saving spirit of Jesus Christ, and of the redeeming life God has for us.
The Scripture references are Joel 2:1-2,12-17, Psalm 103:8-14, and 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10. The Gospel reference is Mathew6:1-6,16-21.
Being the Church: The Last Sunday after the Epiphany| The Rev. William Nesbit
Being the Church: The Last Sunday after the Epiphany
At the Transfiguration Peter, James, and John see the Law and the Prophets - Moses and Elijah - with Jesus on the mountaintop. This melding of the old traditions in a new Word, the Living Word in Christ, changed the disciples forever. Their glimpse of the road ahead, the work yet to be done, was their own transfiguration. When we embrace our baptismal vows and live the life to which we are called we too are transfigured, becoming more and more like the body of Christ.
The Scripture references are Exodus 34:29-35, Psalm 99, and 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2. The Gospel reference is Luke 9:28-36.
The Point Is Love: The Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany| The Rev. William Nesbit
The Point Is Love: The Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany
How could Joseph ever forgive his brothers for selling him into slavery and telling his father that he was dead? How powerful must that love be to break through the walls of hatred we can build around our hearts? Jesus tells us that we must love, do good to, bless, and pray for those that hate us. It is that love called agapao, the love that is wholly unmotivated by any hope of return, that we are expected to show for those that despise us. That's the point of it all: We are loving not to save their souls, but ours. Once we love like that, fully and wholly with the love God has for us, there is no turning back.
The Scripture references are Genesis 45:3-11, 15, Psalm 37:1-9, and 1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-50. The Gospel reference is Luke6:27-38.
"You Mind The Lord": The Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany| The Rev. William Nesbit
"You Mind The Lord": The Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany
In the Beatitudes found in the Gospel of Luke, the blessings and the warnings given by Jesus are meant to be considered in the moment, and equally in the future. How then are the poor to be blessed, and rich to be woeful? Our duty as Christians is to trust in God's goodness, and our goal is to be ready to share His love with all who may come into our lives. It is to be ready to listen for God's word, and to be ready to act, for God's grace is enough today and will always be enough.
The Scripture references are Jeremiah 17:5-10, Psalm 1, and 1 Corinthians 15:12-20. The Gospel reference is Luke 6:17-26.
Are You Ready For A Miracle? The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany| The Rev. William Nesbit
Are You Ready For A Miracle? The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany
We are too often too willing to be skeptical of miracles. We explain them away, discount their importance, or don't even take the time to acknowledge them at all. But we live in an age of miracles. Faith is taking the time to see the miracles around us, and to reclaim the wonder at the world we had as children. God is there, waiting for us. Are you ready for a chance to wonder?
The Scripture references are Isaiah 6:1-8, Psalm 138, 1 Corinthians 15:1-11. The Gospel reference is Luke 5:1-11.
Who, Then, Are We?: The Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany| The Rev. William Nesbit
Who, Then, Are We?: The Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany
In Luke's Gospel lesson, who best describes us? The people of Capernaum who readily accept Jesus and His works, or the people of Nazareth who have known Him since he was a child but reject His teachings that threaten the comfortable predictability of their lives? Or will be like Jesus, trusting in God to give us the strength to speak truth to power and the courage to see our duty done no matter the risk. Even Jesus had to wait on God in prayer; certainly we can take comfort in being in His good company.
The Scripture references are Jeremiah 1:4-10, Psalm 71:1-6, and 1 Corinthians 13:1-13. The Gospel reference is Luke 4:21-30.
Bringing the Good News: The Third Sunday after the Epiphany| The Very Reverend Thomas Rosa
Bringing the Good News: The Third Sunday after the Epiphany
As Emmanuel enters its 170th year and we prepare for our annual meeting and the calling of an interim rector, Father Tom Rosa reminds us of the role we all play in our community and the world. The acts of love and charity the church performs are the result of all the members working together. We live out the word of the Great Commission in our daily lives, and our power is in the redeeming love of God. When we are at our weakest, the strength of Christ sustains us and supports us so that we may continue in His good works.
The Scripture references are Nehemiah 8:1-3,5-6,8-10, Psalm 19, and 1 Corinthians 12-1231a. The Gospel reference is Luke 4:14-21.