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Posts Tagged ‘Preaching Series’

Gift of Community – Br. Luke Ditewig

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Br. Luke Ditewig

Romans 12:1-21
Matthew 13:54-58

Tonight we conclude our Epiphany preaching series on following God’s call, reflecting on the Gift of Community. We are created for relationship, reflecting God’s nature. “Our human vocation to live in communion and mutuality is rooted in our creation in God’s image and likeness. The very being of God is community; the Father, Son and Spirit are One in reciprocal self-giving and love.”[i]

We are created to love mutually, to walk together, share, listen, teach, and encourage. In our brokenness, much can make us feel alienated, disconnected, and cut off. Choosing to turn toward each other to connect, welcome, and share heals and transforms. Life is about transformation, continual progression, ongoing conversion. God continually calls us onward into more together.

Yet we are often stuck in the past. Placed in memories, given labels and expectations. Memories of who we once jostling up against who we are now. Patterns of prior years are powerfully present though the players have changed. Read More

The Gift of Disillusionment – Br. Keith Nelson

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Br. Keith Nelson1 Corinthians 13:8-12 & Mark 8:22-26

Because children have a limited capacity to understand certain standard operating procedures of the adult world, they often come to conclusions that are very logical, but alas, entirely incorrect. National Public Radio’s Ira Glass calls this universal phenomenon “kid logic.”[i] For example, my younger sister was convinced that any building called a warehouse was a designated habitat for a werewolf, since these were the only two words she ever encountered with that particular prefix. Similarly, after overhearing an adult conversation featuring the improbable word “concubine” I became convinced that this was a rare species related to the porcupine. My parents patiently let us discover the errors of our “kid logic” on our own, and when we realized the inaccuracy of our theories, we were able to laugh at ourselves — and recalibrate. As children get closer to adolescence, they have a harder time with this gradual approach to revising their narratives. It’s a stage when many instances of “kid logic” collapse, often rapidly and ungracefully, in the face of new evidence about the world. That pre-teen struggle to integrate a vast range of new knowledge – along with the inner imperative to project a persona of effortless maturity to keep up with one’s peers – can make junior high school an unusually cruel boot-camp in disillusionment. Read More

Do Whatever He Tells You – Br. Lucas Hall

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We continue our Epiphany preaching series, “Gifts for the Journey,” on following God’s call, focusing tonight on the gift of guides. Currently on display in the middle of our chapel is an icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary holding the infant Jesus. Her hand gestures toward the child, in the classic iconographic depiction of the Hodegetria, Greek for, “She who shows the Way.” The tradition of iconography identifies St. Luke the Evangelist as the first iconographer, who painted the image of Mary while she was still alive; the icon he is said to have painted is the original Hodegetria, establishing this particular image of Mother and Child as both widely popular and a deeply reflective picture of who Jesus is, and, consequently, who Mary is. Jesus is the Way, and Mary is she who shows the way, her simple and silent hand gesture representing the life of the Virgin burning, brightly and endlessly, with the love and knowledge of God. In today’s Gospel reading, this is further encapsulated. At the wedding at Cana, Mary tells the servants to do whatever her Son tells them. Just a few verses beforehand, Jesus has told the disciple Nathanael that greater signs of Jesus’s work and identity await. John, in his gospel, then describes the scene at Cana, and so gives us the first of these promised greater signs. In this scene, it is Mary who initiates the interaction, and it is Mary who points the way: “Do whatever he tells you.” Mary is ever-vigilant, always pointing to her Son, always guiding us to the Way. Read More

The Gift of Detours – Br. Jim Woodrum

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Br. Jim WoodrumExodus 13:17-22; Matthew 2:1-12

For a few of us brothers, one of the highlights of our pilgrimage to the UK this past summer was a trek to The Eagle and Child Pub in Oxford.  It was not necessarily for the food and beer that we wanted to visit this pub, although the Slow-cooked Steak, Amber Ale & Mushroom Pie is quite delicious.   Rather, the reason for this sacred journey was that this was a regular meeting place for a literary group known as “The Inklings,” of which C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein were members.  Sitting in a cramped corner of this pub with Luke, Keith, Nicholas, and Lucas, I couldn’t help but to wonder if perhaps we were sitting at a table where Lewis and Tolkein might have sat, discussing literature, philosophy, religion, and theology.  One of my favorite poems from Tolkein’s epic trilogy The Lord of the Rings kept playing over and over in my head.  It begins:

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.[i] 

Indeed, this became my own personal mantra for the pilgrimage:  “Not all those who wander are lost!”  Tonight’s sermon is the second part of our Epiphany preaching series on vocation entitled Gifts for the Journey.  This evening we will explore:  The Gift of Detours. Read More

The Gift of Identity – Br. Nicholas Bartoli

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Br. Nicholas BartoliI know this comes three days late, but welcome to Epiphanytide, the season during which we recognize the revelation of God to us through Jesus Christ. As part of our celebration we’re offering this sermon series on following God’s call. It’s called Gifts for the Journey, and over the following weeks, we’ll explore five ways God reveals Godself to us, five gifts we might expect along our spiritual journey in Christ, which as they’re revealed to us in the fullness time help us discern God’s call. Tonight, we’ll be looking at the gift of identity, asking the question “Who am I, really?”

First, we’ll begin with a story. It’s a very ancient story, and I first encountered it as told by Anthony de Mello in his book The Song of the Bird. Once upon a time there lived a doll made from salt. This salt doll, infused with a curious restlessness, searched far and wide for something it couldn’t quite name. It wandered all across the land, for so long it very often forgot it was searching for anything at all. But still, the salt doll went on, travelling far and wide, fueled by this hidden desire. Read More

Gifts for the Journey: Preaching Series

We warmly invite you to the final sermon in a new preaching series on following God’s call. On February 6, at 5:30 PM, Br. Luke Ditewig will preach on the gift of Community.

Invite a friend to join you at the Monastery at 5:30 pm on Tuesdays during Epiphanytide, as together we gather gifts for the journey.

January 9: The gift of Identity – Br. Nicholas Bartoli

January 16: The gift of Detours – Br. Jim Woodrum

January 23: The gift of Guides – Br. Lucas Hall

January 30: The gift of Disillusionment – Br. Keith Nelson

February 6: The gift of Community – Br. Luke Ditewig

All Are Welcome!

Gifts for the Journey: a preaching series on following God’s call

During Epiphanytide 2018, we offered a preaching series on following God’s call. Click through the links below to read or listen to the sermons, and join the Brothers of SSJE in gathering gifts  for the journey.

January 9: The gift of Identity – Br. Nicholas Bartoli

January 16: The gift of Detours – Br. Jim Woodrum

January 23: The gift of Guides – Br. Lucas Hall

January 30: The gift of Disillusionment – Br. Keith Nelson

February 6: The gift of Community – Br. Luke Ditewig

 

Salvation Revisited: 2015 Advent Preaching Series

2015-Adventseries-badgeSalvation Revisited: An Advent Preaching Series

During this season of Advent, at the 5:30 pm Eucharist on Tuesdays, we will be exploring the theme of ‘salvation.’  Salvation is a theme that is central to Christian faith and particularly appropriate during this season, as we await the coming of our Savior.  Over the course of these four Tuesdays, Brothers will be sharing their reflections on what salvation means and how we might receive or experience it in our daily lives.

Dec 1, 2015 – “See, I am Making All Things New” – Br. Curtis Almquist

Dec 8, 2015  – “Coming Home” – Br. Geoffrey Tristram

Dec 15, 2015 – “The Sacred & Imperishable Proclamation” – Br. Mark Brown

Dec 22, 2015 – “Salvation: From What, To What?” – Br. David Vryhof

Signs and Symbols – Br. Curtis Almquist

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curtis4The Victorian poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, writes that:

Earth is crammed with heaven
And every common bush afire with God…1

Ms. Browning is here using sacramental language to describe the experience of life. A sacrament is an outward sign of an inward grace. To understand life sacramentally is to apprehend the whole of creation as a window to God, whether it be a simple bush — the burning bush — or some other element of life, or another human being, created in the very image of God. Every thing in life has the potential of being revelatory. Read More

Praying in the Present Moment – Br. Geoffrey Tristram

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geoffrey 150xIn this third sermon from the “Living Prayer” preaching series, Br. Geoffrey Tristram hints at how we meet God not in the past, or in the future, but in the present moment. Now is where God is to be found. The sermon includes meditative time to try this prayer approach.