Sermons at Emmanuel Episcopal Church
The Wild Abundance of God: Ash Wednesday| Speaker: The Reverend Bill 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| Speaker: The Reverend Bill 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| Speaker: The Reverend Bill 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| Speaker: The Reverend Bill 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| Speaker: The Reverend Bill 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| Speaker: The Reverend Bill 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| Speaker: 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.
A Sacred Adventure: The Second Sunday after the Epiphany| Speaker: The Very Reverend Thomas Rosa
A Sacred Adventure: The Second Sunday after the Epiphany
Jesus' first miracle at the wedding at Cana - His first sign, as John called it - came not as an announcement of power, but at a moment of need. The new, better wine is God's gift of His Son Jesus. Just as the wedding party needed the wine to continue the celebration, we need Jesus as the purest symbol of God's love for us. Jesus intimately concerns Himself not with our wants, but with our needs.
The Scripture references are Isaiah 62:1-5, Psalm 36:5-10, and 1 Corinthians 12:1-11. The Gospel reference is John 2:1-11.
Arise! Shine!: The Epiphany| Speaker: The Very Reverend Thomas Rosa
Arise! Shine!: The Epiphany
The Magi were the first to see the star announcing the newborn Christ, and the first Gentiles to seek him out and offer homage. This hiddenness of Christ is so typical of God's relationship with us; so seldom does he appear to kings in palaces, and so often to the lowly and the poor, the powerless and unprepared. When we follow the light of our individual epiphanies we are led smack into God, and we can see clearly God's vision for us. Guided by the star of Christ's presence, we experience a life of light and love.
The Scripture references are Isaiah 60:1-6, Psalm 72:1-7,10-14, and Ephesians 3:1-12. The Gospel reference is Matthew 2:1-12.