Sermons at Emmanuel Episcopal Church
The Best Bad News: The Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost| Speaker: The Very Reverend Andria Skornik
The Best Bad News: The Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
Jesus' rebuke of Peter in Mark's Gospel is jarring. He sounds angry with Peter's naming Him as the Messiah, but He is actually concerned that Peter and the Disciples must fully understand that He is not the warrior Messiah but rather one of non-violence and love. He must be betrayed and sacrificed, must die and rise again. Peter and the Disciples must be the ones to carry on Jesus' message and healing, and they must have been very afraid that they were not up to the task without Jesus with them. This is where we at Emmanuel find ourselves today, as Mother Andria announces her move home to Portland. We love her and Jordan and Coby so much, and have all shared so much and seen our church family grow so, that we may be afraid that we cannot do it without her here with us. But as she tells us, we are going to be okay. The things that make us Emmanuel are not going away, and God has done so much for us and through us. He is not yet done with us, and He is certainly not done with the Very Reverend Andria Skornik. Our relationship is not ending, only changing, and we will all be greater for the time we have spent together.
The Scripture references are Isaiah 50:4-9a, Psalm 116:1-4, and James 3:1-12. The Gospel reference is Mark 8:27-38.
Speak Up, Speak Out: The Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost| Speaker: The Very Reverend Andria Skornik
Speak Up, Speak Out: The Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
When asking Jesus to heal her daughter, the Syrophoenician woman was not prepared to take no for an answer. She made the big request without regard to religious or social norms because she knew that God was bigger than Tyre's borders, bigger than Jew or Gentile. She knew her daughter was worthy of being healed. God is bigger than we think, too, and has made us all worthy. Don't be afraid to speak up for justice, to speak out when the most vulnerable cannot be heard. God has given us the strength, the power, and the grace to be heard. Let Him speak through us.
The Scripture references are Isaiah 35:4-7a, Psalm 146:1-4,7-9, and James 2:1-10,14-17. The Scripture reference is Mark 7:24-30.
Be Swift to Love: The Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost| Speaker: The Reverend Douglas Rogers
Be Swift to Love: The Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
The blessing of love that we receive from God, the love we share with our family, friends, and loved ones, the love we find in community in our cities and our churches; these are all meant to be shared. We do not know when those we love will be taken from us. Life is short, and we can't assume there will be time later to share the blessing of love. So be swift to love, make haste to be kind, and the blessing of God will be received and given in that one simple gesture.
The Scripture references are Song of Solomon 2:8-13, Psalm 15, and James 1:17-27. The Gospel reference is Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23.
Our True Allies: The Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost| Speaker: The Very Reverend Andria Skornik
Our True Allies: The Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost
In his letter to the Ephesians Paul reminds us that our struggle is not with each other, but with the things that divide us. God has put us on this earth to be allies, to fight not with each other but for each other. Too often though, we know what the problem is but turn it against each other rather than join each other in love to address a solution. It's too easy to assign blame rather than to acknowledge that a problem affects us all. Let's take the lesson Jeremiah Development has taught us out into the community: talk to each other more, and about each other less.
The Scripture references are Joshua 24:1-2a,14-18, Psalm 34:15-22, and Ephesians 6:10-20. The Gospel reference is John 6:56-69.
Our Truest Self: The Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost| Speaker: Mathew Oakes
Our Truest Self: The Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Emmanuel parishioner Matt Oakes shares a profound take on the communion meal. If Jesus can be present in the mundane items of bread and wine, doesn't it beg the question where can't He be? Where is the Christ already? The answer is "in all things". There is only Christ, Christ is everything and in everything. Our very being and identity in God emerge from the miracle of Jesus' union of the human and the divine. What we meet here is our truest self.
The Scripture references are Proverbs 9:1-6, Psalm 34:9-14, and Ephesians 5:15-20. The Gospel reference is John 6:51-58.
Sharing the Miracle: The Tenth Sunday after Pentecost| Speaker: The Very Reverend Andria Skornik
Sharing the Miracle: The Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
Our society is often too quick to gauge an individual's talents or worth based on their age, status, or other characteristics. At the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus asked a small boy for the bread and fishes he had, and made it enough to feed the crowd. Who else would have thought God would send a boy to bring the food to Jesus? It's clear that Jesus involved the crowd in their own feeding; they did not just witness a miracle, they were part of it. We all have a piece of the miracle of this life, and need to be sure to share it with others.
The Scripture references are 2 Kings 4:42-44, Psalm 145:10-17, and Ephesians 3:14-21. The Gospel reference is John 6:1-21.
Come Away, and Rest Awhile: The Ninth Sunday after Pentecost| Speaker: The Very Reverend Thomas Rosa
Come Away, and Rest Awhile: The Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
We see from Mark's Gospel that even Jesus found it difficult to get away from all the demands on His time. There seemed to be no end to the crowds of people needing healing, and to hear the Good News of His message. His compassion was so great that he would not turn them away, even to rest. There is a rhythm to life, to work and rest and prayer, and we need to find the rhythm to spend the time with God. We cannot do God's work unless we seek the quietness and aloneness with God.
The Scripture references are Jeremiah 23:1-6, Psalm 23, and Ephesians 2:11-22. The Gospel reference is Mark 6:30-34,53-56.
Our Plumb Line: The Eighth Sunday after Pentecost| Speaker: The Very Reverend Andria Skornik
Our Plumb Line: The Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
In Amos we see God's anger at the people of Israel who are misusing the gifts He has given them, and are mistreating one another. God sent Amos to bring them back to God; He loves us too much to leave us to our own devices, also. He has set us a plumb line in Jesus Christ, and by measuring ourselves against that plumb line we will not choose the easy ways and those that oppose God's will for us. It will give us the strength and faith to do the right thing, not the easy thing, and to rise to what God's love is challenging us to do today.
The Scripture references are Amos 7:7-15, Psalm 85:8-13, and Ephesians 1:3-14. The Gospel reference is Mark 6:14-29.
Packing Light: The Seventh Sunday after Pentecost| Speaker: The Very Reverend Andria Skornik
Packing Light: The Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
When Jesus sent the Disciples out with only the most basic items, He knew that the things we carry with us impact our spiritual lives and our ability to minister. What we carry with us every day, our mental, emotional and material "overpacking", is what can keep us from living a life close to God and to each other. The way of simplicity is the way of freedom, and Jesus calls us to that life. Let's heed His advice and choose carefully what we carry with us.
The Scripture references are Ezekiel 2:1-5, Psalm 123, and 2 Corinthians 12:2-10. The Gospel reference is Mark 6:1-13.