Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18 Psalm 90 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 Matthew 25:14-29 (Homily for November 16th)
Building One Another Up
The Parable of the Talents (or Bags of Gold in the translation used today–to convey that a talent was a very large sum of money) is a parable that appears only in the Gospel of Matthew, so we encounter it only once every three years in our cycle of liturgical readings. But it’s a well-known Bible passage, so is there a way of approaching it that isn’t cliché? Then I came across what was for me a fresh insight in the analysis of one interpreter. Because of the condemnation heaped on the third servant, I had never considered the point Bernard Brandon Scott makes: that it’s most likely that Jesus’ original audience would have initially identified most strongly with the third servant. The average peasant did not look kindly on wealthy people who multiplied their wealth ‘without sowing,’ i.e., without honest labor. The prudent and just thing to do with one’s wealth was precisely to bury it. Jesus’ audience would have favored the actions of the third servant. [Bernard Brandon Scott, Hear then the Parable, pp. 219ff] They didn’t need an Occupy Wall Street movement to tell them that money under that mattress or buried in the back yard might have an advantage.
Good morning! My name is Areeta and I am a student from Trinity College, doing a placement here at Holy Trinity for the fall semester. It has been a great privilege to worship with you and to participate in the life of this community.
When I read over the passages for today –I groaned internally. Harsh prophecy voicing God’s dissatisfaction, Paul’s concrete description of the Second Coming – topped off with a judgment parable! Each individual piece evokes discomfort – and together they amplify that discomfort.
From what I know of this community, I imagine that I am not alone in these sentiments.
by Michael Shapcott
Sometimes a handful of words in the Bible can be wrenched with violence out of context in order to support a position that is pernicious. Take today’s Gospel reading of the Pharisees trying to trick Jesus. The phrase often plucked out of this little passage is part of verse 21 that most of us know by heart in the poetical language of the King James Version:
“Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.”
This story was obviously considered important to early Christians as it is repeated, in somewhat similar form, in Mark and Luke.
Skip forward to Romans 13 and we read, once again, in the good old KJV, ‘let every soul be subject to higher powers’ in verse 1 and the word ‘render’ appears once again in verse 7. In fact, the margins notes in my old and beloved King James Bible has these three phrases next to the first few verses in Romans 13 – Duty to the State, Authority of the State, Duties of Citizenship.
August 24, 2014 Reflection by Beth Baskin
The secret of bringing life into the world
Theme: midwives, & parents in all their forms
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts reveal the truth of God for us in this place and time.
Full disclosure, this is not a carefully exegeted sermon, the form of which I was taught in theological school. This is not a sermon my homiletics professor would hold up as a model for systemic theology. This is a reflection on a passage that spoke to me and begged to have some truths told.
The opinions voiced in this are mine coming out of life experience, quiet time, prayer and reflection which I believe hold some truths that can guide those of us who call ourselves people of faith.
Homily by Bill Whitla Pentecost 6 (Proper 11A) July 20, 2014
Gwenlyn asked me to preach because she said that the readings were difficult—and I knew that was a golden opportunity. Little did I know that the reading from Romans would be cut off half way through [Sherman later reported it had been taken from a 2011 bulletin where the co-ordinator had abbreviated the reading] and the Gospel was completely invisible, having been left out of the bulletin altogether. A challenge indeed. Continue reading
Homily Based on Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
July 13, 2014
Listen! A sower went out to sow.
Some seeds fell on the path and were eaten by birds. Some fell on rocky ground and they never took root. Some were choked by thorns. And some, some fell on good soil, and brought forth more grain than could be imagined.
Well, I am no farmer, not even a very experienced gardener, but it sure makes me wonder about what kinda crazy sower we have here who tosses the seed to fall where it may. Most of it never makes it to harvest time. Today he might be sowing while texting. Continue reading
May 18th Homily by Michael Shapcott
Good morning. We may be somewhat diminished in numbers today in the midst of this holiday weekend, but we gather as participants in a Christian communion that stretches back some 2,000 years and circles the globe.
I am four and one-half months into theological studies at the Faculty of Divinity at Trinity College in the University of Toronto where I am seeking to deepen my understanding of the profound connections between universal human rights and fundamental faith values. My goal is not simply more knowledge, but a more effective rights-based practice when it comes to fundamental issues of justice and equity such as housing, homelessness, poverty and hunger.
Baptism of Adam, Easter 3, Road to Emmaus
Homily delivered on May 4 by the Rev Alison Kemper
Today we hear one of the best stories in the Gospels: the appearance of Jesus on the Road to Emmaus. We celebrate a baptism—one of the most wonderful things the church does. And we gather around wee Adam, as happy and bright and darling a baby you may ever see. A Christian hat trick.
a homily at HT, April 27, 2014
“We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.”
There is a famous (or infamous) story in this congregation about a father who insisted on reading the Nicene creed at his daughter’s baptism. And then again at his son’s. How irritating! That’s not a statement we can get behind at Holy Trinity. However, that annoying man was and is a valued member of this community.
He was a warden for a time, he served on the diocesan doctrine and worship committee, spent ten years pouring himself into youth ministry in this diocese, toured with a liturgical band bringing the good news to parishes all over. He even, for a time, considered himself something of an evangelist.
Some of you who know that man know that over time he became more and more like Thomas of the gospel today in his desire for proof, or at least strong indications, of god’s presence. You may think or have heard that he has lost his faith. Continue reading
Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7 Psalm 32 Romans 5:12-19 Matthew 4:1-11
Created for Community
by Sherman Hesselgrave
Human beings were created for relationship—relationship with one another, and relationship with God. When God realized it was not right that Adam should be alone, God set about to create a companion for him—‘companion,’ a word whose roots are in sharing bread together. The stories from Genesis and Matthew that we hear again today are foundational stories for us. The story of Jesus’ temptation in Matthew is Shakespeare’s reference when, in The Merchant of Venice, Antonio says to Bassanio: “The devil can cite scripture for his purpose.” The stories are foundational because they show us how our relationships with God and others can be distorted or corrupted by our everyday human desires.