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Church of the Holy Spirit, Vashon June 13, 2021 Mark 4:26-34 Rev. Jeffrey Gill Jesus, as we know, often spoke in parables – little stories or word pictures – and his parables invariably spoke to everyday realities, common things in everyday experience, but used them to point to an alternative reality that he called the kingdom of God, or the reign of God. Today’s gospel is a good example of that. “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how…” Many of us grew up in the heyday of labor-saving devices and commercialized agriculture that took us away from this most basic of realities. It was just so much more convenient to buy corn already prepared and packaged…Read Full Sermon
We have begun in liturgical time what some call the Great Green season, also known as Ordinary time. It is not ordinary because it is boring, but it is ordinary in terms of time that is counted. The Sundays until All Saints’ Sunday and then again until Advent, will be the third or fourth or fifth, etc. Sunday after Pentecost. In this season after Pentecost, there are two tracks of readings for the Old Testament and the Psalm. Generally, with three different years for the lectionary—year A, B and C, priests try to alternate the Old Testament tracks so that we get a lot of the Bible read over six years. I can say if the only Bible you are hearing is what is read in church, you will hear a lot read because of the new revised common lectionary, but there are also some passages of the Bible which…Read Full Sermon
Last Sunday, Bishop Greg visited our parish. Two people were received into the Episcopal Church to live out their baptismal faith in this communion, and one person baptized as an adult, reaffirmed her baptismal faith to the bishop. It was a good day! It was our Feast Day, Pentecost, where we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit. And today, Trinity Sunday can kind look like a reprise of the Spirit celebration. If you closely read the lectionary for today, rather than worry about what the concept of the Trinity means, you will see that a lot more gets said either about that pesky Spirit or is understood through the Spirit. Bishop Greg had some words to say to us about change, and about how the Spirit leads us through change. His sermon was less about doing a dive into change, but more about being open to change. Bishop Greg…Read Full Sermon
Her name is Julia Butterfly Hill. Some of you may remember her. She is an activist, and a person of faith, who climbed a giant redwood on December 10, 1997, and lived on two 6-by-6-foot platforms, in that tree, for 738 days. Over two years. She was a literal tree hugger, for two years. She named the tree Luna. Luna’s trunk was Hill’s sidewalk and exercise treadmill. Hill learned many survival skills while living in Luna, such as “seldom washing the soles of her feet, because the sap helped her feet stick to the branches better.”(1) Hill used solar-powered cell phones for radio interviews, became an “in-tree” correspondent for a cable television show, and hosted TV crews to protest old-growth clear cutting.(2)With ropes, Hill hoisted up survival supplies brought by an eight-member support crew. To keep warm, Hill wrapped herself tight in a sleeping bag, leaving only a small hole…Read Full Sermon
As the bulletin title reveals, this is the seventh Sunday of Easter. Next Sunday is Pentecost. Although the timing of Easter is variable, the length of Eastertide is fifty days, the Great Fifty Days. Advent, Lent, and Easter all have a certain number of Sundays to them. The season after the Epiphany and after Pentecost (the green seasons) are variable to accommodate the annual calendar. I don’t know about you, but it feels like a long time since Easter. I got my first Covid shot on Good Friday, which has allowed us to reopen our doors to in-person church services for those who feel able to do so. And my pre-vaccine time was like a universe away. But every Eastertide, I personally find the Seventh Sunday of Easter to be kind of an in between time, almost a liminal space. (Although let’s just state that the liturgical calendar is weird…Read Full Sermon
Get to work and be still. Get to work and be still. Get to work and be still. It’s Trinitarian to say something three times. Or it’s like the army, everything they want you to know they tell you multiple times. There is really, so much to unpack in this Gospel. We have “love” and “laying down one’s life”, “abiding”, and “commandments” or work—all just to get at what this Gospel means. And I’m going to opine that it all can go back to “Get to work and be still.” Let’s linger over these two aspects of the baptismal life. Get to work/ Commandments… which commandments does Jesus mean? Remember the young man who asked Jesus what he must do to gain salvation and Jesus said keep the commandments, and he said I do that, and Jesus said, give away everything. Maybe Jesus means a commandment that is particular to…Read Full Sermon