Sermons at Emmanuel Episcopal Church
"Come, And See" The Second Sunday after the Epiphany| Speaker: The Reverend Andria Skornik
"Come, And See" The Second Sunday after the Epiphany
"Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" It's easy to see ourselves in Nathaniel's example, quick to dismiss things that don't fit our preconceptions and prejudices. There is no shame in that, as our judgements are often rooted in our own insecurities and we judge ourselves even more harshly for the same reasons. By following Philip's call to "come and see" we can look for ourselves, and learn for ourselves. Jesus calls us to follow Him and find that serenity and sense of self in God, fully appreciating ourselves and those around us. We come to know we have God's grace, and hearts big enough to share it.
The Scripture references are 1 Samuel 3:1-10, Psalm 139:1-6,13-14, and 1 Corinthians 6:12-20. The Gospel reference is John 1:43-51.
Resolutions and Revelations: The Feast of the Epiphany| Speaker: The Reverend Andria Skornik
Resolutions and Revelations: The Feast of the Epiphany
At this time of year when we make our New Year's resolutions, we can follow the example of the Magi and listen for the voice of God in all we do. God's voice can direct us to a better place, a better way of life, and to help improve the lives of those around us. God wants to walk with us. Let's resolve to listen for His voice each day.
The Scripture references are Isaiah 60:1-6, Psalm 72:10-14, and Ephesians 3:1-12. The Gospel reference is Matthew 2:1-12
Making Manifest The Hidden: The First Sunday after Christmas| Speaker: The Very Reverend Thomas Rosa
Making Manifest The Hidden: The First Sunday after Christmas
What a great gift God has given us, to come as a helpless baby to live among us. From His first birth in the Incarnation to his continued birth in each of us through our baptism, we receive Him and His Truth. That spark of the divine that burns in each of us, shining at the very core of our being, that we share as children of God. This is indeed the greatest gift: Emmanuel, God with us.
The Scripture references are Isaiah 61:10-62:3, Psalm 147:13,15-21, and Galatians 3:23-25, 4:4-7. The Gospel reference is John 1:1-18.
God Is In The Pause: Christmas Eve| Speaker: The Reverend Andria Skornik
God Is In The Pause: Christmas Eve
When the stresses of the holiday season seem too much, remember Mary. Pregnant, traveling to a strange town, with no place to stay, surrounded by strangers and their animals; who could blame her if she was less than enthusiastic? But there is Mary, taking a moment amid the chaos to love her child and ponder these gifts in her heart. We experience Christmas best when we follow her example and find a moment to appreciate life in the midst of "real life".
The Scripture references are Isaiah 9:2-7 and Titus 2:11-14. The Gospel reference is Luke 2:1-20.
Here I Am: The Fourth Sunday of Advent| Speaker: The Reverend Douglas Rogers
Here I Am: The Fourth Sunday of Advent
A young girl, happy in the life she leads, finds herself the recipient of an angelic visitor with news that would change her life and the whole world. What if she hadn't accepted this gift? What if she hadn't had faith enough to become the Mother of God? Her example is always before us to recognize the callings that are ever present in our lives. What is God asking us to do?
The Scripture references are 2 Samuel 7:1-11,16, Psalm 89:1-4, and Romans 16:25-27. The Gospel reference is Luke 1:26-38.
The Program of Peace: The Third Sunday of Advent| Speaker: Michael Smith
The Program of Peace: The Third Sunday of Advent
In Isaiah we see how the prophet's words are meant to give hope to God's people. The three facets of God's work among us - justice, mercy, and reallocation - are seen in how He shows Himself to His people. God's word of judgement becomes the word of comfort, and of hope. We become oaks of righteousness, clothed in garments of salvation.
The Scripture references are Isaiah 61:1-4,8-11, Psalm 126, and 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24. The Gospel reference is John 1:6-8,19-28.
True Repentance: The Second Sunday of Advent| Speaker: The Reverend Andria Skornik
True Repentance: The Second Sunday of Advent
We've heard a call to repent for most of our lives, the call from society that shames us not for the things we've done but for who we are. We never seem to measure up to the "mob of public opinion." But God calls us to live and love ourselves, and to love our neighbor with the same love. While the world calls us to repent for what we are, God calls us to repent for what we are not; turning from the demands of the material world we are called to embrace the divine nature we possess, the spark of God in each of us. True repentance is not about feeling bad, it's about feeling whole.
The Scripture references are Isaiah 40:1-11, Psalm 85:1-2,8-13, and 2 Peter 3:8-15a. The Gospel reference is Mark 1:1-8.
Making Room: The First Sunday of Advent| Speaker: The Reverend Andria Skornik
Making Room: The First Sunday of Advent
Whenever company comes, we make room for them, rearranging our things and our lives to make them welcome. As we anticipate the birth of Our Lord, are we making room for Him? Is there room in our hearts, in our thinking, and in our day-to-day life? In our attention is there a readiness to see the face of God and to ask Christ for help, and is there room to listen? In this holy time of year, let's all make the effort to put aside the demands of our habits, to find quiet time, and not hasten to fill the free moments; let's make room for Christ to come into our hearts.
The Scripture references are Isaiah 64:1-4, Psalm 80:3-6,16-17, and 1 Corinthians 1:3-9. The Gospel reference is Mark 13:24-37.
To See, First You Have To Look: The Last Sunday after Pentecost| Speaker: The Reverend Douglas Rogers
To See, First You Have To Look: The Last Sunday after Pentecost
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells those gathered that those who do good to "the least of these" will be called blessed and the good they do will be the same as doing it for the Lord. Those who do not will be judged as though they refused to show kindness to Jesus himself and will be condemned, not for any evil they may do but for the good that they failed to do. The people asked Him, "When did we do this?", and that is the whole matter. They missed seeing the face of God, the hidden presence of the Lord in the faces of those they helped. We are called to service, and we should ask Jesus always to show himself, to be known in what we do.
The Scripture references are Ezekiel 34:11-16, Psalm 95:1-3,6, and Ephesians 1:15-23. The Gospel reference is Matthew 25:31-46.
Where Is The Opportunity? The Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost| Speaker: The Reverend Andria Skornik
Where Is The Opportunity? The Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost
As harsh as the parable of the slaves and talents found in the Gospel of Matthew may seem at first, there is a better way to hear it. It isn't about God being harsh; our salvation isn't based on merit. God loves us, completely. This is a parable about opportunities, and how we react to those that present themselves to us. Do we value the opportunities that come to us, both the "once in a lifetime" and everyday varieties, or do we miss them by being only reactive and passive? Are we joyful, or negative? When we look at ordinary moments in our lives we should take the time to ask where the opportunity lies, to live fully in that moment, and to live it gratefully.
Influential Source: Brother David Steindl-Rast, "Want to be happy? Be grateful." Ted Talk, 2013. https://www.ted.com/talks/david_steindl_rast_want_to_be_happy_be_grateful?utm_campaign=tedspread--b&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=tedcomshare
The Scripture references are Deuteronomy 8:7-10, Psalm 65:1,6,7,10-12, and 2 Corinthians 9:6-15. The Gospel reference is Matthew 25:14-30.