Sermons from Trinity Cathedral - 2008
December 25, 2008 - Christmas Day - Nicholas Knisely
What are we supposed to do with this Christmas story? The idea of the word becoming flesh is a deeply paradoxical statement. It says that the infinite and eternal being of God is contained an an infant child in a particular (and, at the time, forgettable) place. When we attempt to understand this reality of our Christian belief, we are struck by the idea that this is a deeply unselfish and loving act on the part of God. When we believe that God is born into the world, this means that we can also believe this world can be transformed by God - which may be the message we most need to hear today.
December 24, 2008 - Christmas Eve - Kirk Stevan Smith
For people who believe, who doubt, and who don't believe at all: it is for all of these people that the Christ-child is born. We separate ourselves from one another and multiply distinctions and differences, but it is God who takes all of these frailties and failings into himself and transcends them. God and man, birth and death, physical and spiritual . . .all of these are brought together in Jesus Christ. We sing on Christmas Eve because this reality means that we ourselves with all of our differences and struggles can be brought together in God.
December 21, 2008 - Fourth Sunday in Advent - Maeve Johnson
People are good . . . honor and virtue are important . . . money and power don't mean anything . . . good triumphs over evil . . . We've heard all of these maxims before, but we may doubt them as much as we seem to believe them. Ultimately, though, we have to say that they are worth believing in. In today's story, Joseph did not cast aside Mary quietly when she became pregnant, as was culturally permissible, but instead took the path of honor and virtue because he chose to simply believe.
December 14, 2008 - Third Sunday in Advent - Nicholas Knisely
The Third Sunday in Advent is a turning point in our Advent observance when we focus on the coming Christmas holiday and less on Christ's future coming. We begin to look backwards to the first fulfillment of God's promises. The message of this Sunday for us during these scary times for us is that God keeps his promises. We hear about these promises from God's prophets in the dark times - and this is why this Rose Sunday, we are able, with Paul, to say Rejoice.
December 7, 2008 - Second Sunday in Advent - Licia Baldi Affer
Halfway through the book of Isaiah, the voice and language of the prophet changes. It goes from one that forecasts doom because of the complacency of the Israelites to one that says that God is doing a new thing, and to be prepared. Mark's gospel elides the message of Isaiah into John the Baptist's proclamation: to make the paths of our hearts straight before God. How do we do that?
November 30, 2008 - First Sunday in Advent - Licia Baldi Affer
This Sunday marks the start of the church year, and new years of any kind are a time to ask about what our purposes and mission is. If we were to take Mark's "little apocolypse" as our mission statement, it makes for a pretty good one . . . except that we can't control when the Kingdom of God will come. We can envision it, live it out, and pray for it, but we ourselves cannot bring it about, which leaves us in a place, a season, of hope - which is Advent.