Br. Curtis Almquist

Luke 5:1-11

There are two ways we can hear this Gospel account appointed for today: This is a two-thousand year-old story about Simon Peter, James, and John who fished by trade on a lake in Palestine. This is history – rather patchy history – about how Jesus began assembling his inner ring of 12 apostles in the northern region of Galilee.

or:This Gospel story is autobiographical. Like Peter, James, and John, we each have been summoned by Jesus. Jesus has caught our attention, and we have followed him. This story gets us in touch with our ownstory. It’s part of the backdrop of why we’re here today.

Is this Gospel story about them, or is it about us, about you?  The answer is “yes.” 

On the one hand, we’re introduced to Peter, James, and John, who continue to figure into Jesus’ life and story. These three leave everything to follow Jesus. Sort of everything. Peter is married, and he doesn’t leave his wife. None of the three leaves his ego behind. That will become obvious. All three of these men are shown to have very mixed motives for following Jesus. Complicated. Sometimes quite duplicitious. Tradition has it that all three ultimately and willingly accept martyrdom for being followers of Jesus… but we’re a long ways from that when we first meet them here in their boats.

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davidallen_1Luke 5:1-11

Each of the Gospels has its own way of telling how Jesus called his disciples.  In today’s reading from St. Luke’s Gospel we can see how Jesus used a miraculous catch of fish as the opportunity to call the first of those who came to be his disciples.

At some point early in his ministry Jesus established Capernaum as his home, on the NW corner of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Lake of Genneseret.

Jesus had become a familiar sight as he walked along the shore of that inland sea. Because of this Peter and those fishing with him could feel comfortable with him on that day when Jesus got into one of their boats and asked them to put out into deep water and let down their nets. Read More

Here is the sermon I preached this morning.  I realized that most of those attending this morning’s Eucharist were members of the SSJE, so I altered the first sentence for clarification.  I also realized as I was writing the sermon that I could not include reference to all of the places that we visited and keep within the time limit that we have established for the length of our weekday sermons.  Some of the place that we visited were a short visit  to Lindisfarne, our retreat on Iona at Bishop’s House (where members of the English SSJE had live for about 10 years over 100 years ago), the visit we made to Walsingham differed sufficiently from the other places that it did not fit in well with the general theme I adopted, and the visit to Little Gidding, while significant, was too short.  We also had an overnight stay in Glasgow so that those members of SSJE who wanted to return to America sooner, or wanted to see other places.  Perhaps other members of SSJE can include those places in other ways. – David Allen, SSJE

[Col. 1:9-14 / Lk. 5:1-11]

davidallen_1As you who are not members of the S.S.J.E. may have heard, since we returned from our Pilgrimage to Great Britain, we had a wonderful time.  In each of the places we visited we shared in what Paul termed, “the inheritance of the saints in the light.” (Col. 1:12)  In all of those places we were given warm hospitality.  In some places the tour guides gave us a very good glimpse of the heritage of some of the early saints of those regions.  In the places we visited we could taste something of the holiness of those who had gone before us. Read More

Luke 5: 1–11

This evening I am so full of thanksgiving that after more than a year we brothers are able to welcome you back to our Tuesday evening Eucharist. It is so appropriate that our Gospel today is all about vocation: about how God calls us to life.

The monastery is here because in 1866 Richard Meux Benson, Charles Grafton, and Simeon Wilberforce O’Neil answered God’s call and founded the Society of St John the Evangelist.  We are all here tonight because in different ways we too have heard the call of God in our own lives and have said yes. Read More

In this sermon, originally preached Feb. 7, 2010, Br. James Koester encourages each of us to trust that God is indeed calling us and urges us to be ready to listen, even when God uses his “inside voice.”

Isaiah 6: 1 – 8 (9 – 13); Psalm 138; 1 Corinthians 15: 1 – 11; Luke 5: 1 -11

Did you hear it? Did you hear that just a moment ago?

No? You didn’t?

I thought I heard something. Maybe I am hearing things!

There! There it is again! Did you hear it this time?

Ah you, you, back there. You heard it too didn’t you?

So I’m not hearing things, or rather I really am hearing things.

There, there it is again! Very faint. Almost a whisper.

James. James. James

There you heard it too this time, didn’t you? Read More

Br. James Koester

Isaiah 6: 1 – 8 (9 – 13); Psalm 138; 1 Corinthians 15: 1 – 11; Luke 5: 1 -11

Did you hear it? Did you hear that just a moment ago?

No? You didn’t?

I thought I heard something. Maybe I am hearing things!

There! There it is again! Did you hear it this time?

Ah you, you, back there. You heard it too didn’t you?

So I’m not hearing things, or rather I really am hearing things.

There, there it is again! Very faint. Almost a whisper.

James. James. James

There you heard it too this time, didn’t you?

That’s the problem isn’t it? It always seems to be a whisper. It never seems to be a shout. Or, at least, not for me. For whatever reason, God never seems to shout when trying to get my attention. God always uses his “inside voice” as my mother used to call it: “Jamie,” she would say, “use you inside voice,” whenever I shouted, or spoke too loudly or cried out something. That’s the voice that God always seems to use, at least with me: his “inside voice”. Shouting, and calling, and crying out, and throwing people off their horses is great stuff, but that’s not how I hear God. I hear God in a whisper; in a look; in a turn of the head; in a subtle expression on a face. That’s how I hear God. Not in shouts and cries and loud calls.

It seems that it was easier for those first disciples. It seems that Jesus spoke to them, spoke to them directly, and in no uncertain terms. To Simon Peter and his companions today he says: “Do not be afraid: from now on you will be catching people.”[1] In other places, Jesus was even more specific. He says to those two followers of John the Baptist, Andrew and his companion: “Come and see.”[2] And to Matthew as he sat at the tax booth “Follow me.”[3] It would have been so much easier if that were the case for me. Instead with me there is just a small voice saying over and over and over: James, James, James. Read More