Harrowing Of Hell

Coming to Believe, Without Seeing

April 15th, 2012, Charissa Jones preaching

I remember coming to Epiphany Parish for the first time three years ago on the Sunday after Easter; the Sunday where everyone, correctly, predicts a dramatic drop in attendance from the week before. It’s not the day most people enter a new church and consider whether they want to become an Episcopalian.

Easter Sermon – Easter and The Hunger Games

April 8th, 2012, Rev. Doyt L Conn, Jr preaching

Country singer, Butch Hancock use to say:
“Growing up a Christian in Lubbock Texas taught me a lot about God.
I learned that I was going to hell, and God loved me.
And I learned that intimacy was a dirty and filthy thing
that should be saved for someone I loved.”

Easter Vigil Sermon

April 7th, 2012, Rev. Kate Wesch preaching

In the name of God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
On this most holy night, we gather in vigil and prayer, in darkness and with light, for this is a pivotal moment. Right now, we stand in a liminal space – on a precipice between death and resurrection. It isn’t Easter yet, but Lent has drawn to a close.

Maundy Thursday 2012

April 5, 2012, The Rev. Kate Wesch preaching

On this one night of the year, we remember in our words and actions, a most dramatic and pivotal moment in scripture. The night Jesus gathered at table with his friends for a final meal and once again re-ordered the structures of power through simple, – profound acts.

Jesus had already had a final meal with his beloved friends Mary, Martha, and Lazarus at their home in Bethany. Now, he is saying goodbye to his disciples – the ones who have been with him every step of the way. But, his goodbye isn’t trite or melodramatic; rather, it is deliberate and sacramental and comes from a place of deep and abiding love.

Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of God, a rabbi and teacher, a friend, is saying good bye through these simple (but revolutionary) acts of breaking bread and washing feet.

Hearing Thunder

March 25, 2012, The Rev. Doyt Conn preaching

I was in Haiti a while back, and I remember being awaken in the middle of the night by gunshots… many, many gunshots, as if a coup had broken out. I lay perfectly still in bed. Eventually they stopped. But my eyes didn’t close the rest of the night.The next morning I asked my hosts, “What happened?”“Oh,” they replied, “Brazil beat Argentina in the semi-finals of the World Cup. We love Brazilian soccer in Haiti!”

Everyone heard the shots, not everyone heard them the same way. That is the same in the Gospel we hear today. Everyone heard the thunder, not everyone heard it the same way.

Rain and Irritability

March 18, 2012, The Rev. Kate Wesch preaching

The other day Doyt and I were talking about the people in our lives. We were commenting on the increase of late in overall crabbiness, arguments, and general irritability – ourselves included. “What is this about?” Doyt asked me.

I had been thinking about this for a few weeks and had my answer ready. “It’s March in Seattle” I replied. “That’s what’s going on.” We are tired of the clouds, tired of the rain, vitamin D deficient, and ready for some sunshine. Road rage is always worse this time of year. People are cranky in the grocery store and patience is at an all time low. Add to that the recent time change and you have already grumpy people who are now sleep deprived as well.

It’s no coincidence that the liturgical cycle follows the weather pattern each year. As we make our way along the Lenten journey, we transition from winter’s cold/dark nights and days, to a promise of spring and new birth at Eastertide. Each passing day brings a little more daylight and the hint of better things to come.

A Fork in the Road

March 4, 2012, The Rev. Doyt Conn preaching

I received an email from a friend the other day asking the question:“When I get to a fork in the road, how do I know which direction to go?”

Peter reached a fork in the road at Caesarea Philippi.That is where we find him in today’s Gospel.He and the disciples were there with Jesus, who had just asked moments ago:“Who do people say that I am?” Peter responded, “the Messiah.” “You’re right,” Jesus replied, “but keep it to yourself.”“We are going to Jerusalem, where I will pick up my cross, walk to Golgotha,and be crucified.The fork in the road appears…Peter pulled Jesus aside. The Messiah was suppose to come to liberate the Jews, not die at the hands of the Romans. To which Jesus said, “Get behind me Satan, for you are setting your mind not on divine things, but on human things.”

Which of course is the answer to the question about the fork in the road, When you come to one set your mind on divine things not on human things.Which is all well and good,if we can tell the difference.