Sermons & Blog

A History of New Things

On the 150th Anniversary of St. Albans Church “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. Surely the Lord is in this place.” These were Jacob’s words when he woke from a deep sleep in the middle of nowhere, a sleep during which he had dreamed of a great ladder stretching from earth to heaven, a sleep during which the Lord had spoken to him and promised to be with him and to protect him. These are also be our words this evening: “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God. Surely the Lord is in this place.” Because though we know that the church is not a building, and though we know that God can be worship

Business as Usual?

Sometimes it’s the stories that are easiest to understand that are the most difficult. In today’s gospel, Jesus tells us a story about forgiveness. There was a slave who owed his king an enormous sum, ten thousand talents, billions of dollars in today’s terms. When the king demanded payment, of course the slave couldn’t pay, and so he was ordered to be sold along with all his family, as provided for by the law. The condemned man fell on his knees and pleaded for mercy, and out of pity, the king released him and forgave him the debt. But then, the released man comes upon a fellow slave who owes him a much smaller sum, about three month’s wages. When the second man is unable to pay, the f

Building Community

I have to admit, when I first looked at the gospel reading for this Sunday, the text from Matthew that we just heard, I wasn’t very happy. Here we are, on the Sunday we call Welcome Back Sunday. Our whole focus is supposed to be on welcoming students and others who have just arrived in our neighbourhood, and what do we get? A gospel text that gives us the rules for kicking people out of the church. A three step, rules-based procedure for excommunication. Thanks a lot, lectionary. Welcome back! Is that really what we’ve got here? Is this text really about rules and procedures? Sometimes, it helps to read what comes before and what comes after. And so, after I read today’s gospel selec

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