JUNE 19, 2016, THE FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY

PLANTING SEEDS OF TRUST

A Sermon by Pastor Chico Martin

Lections: Isa 65:1-25; Gal 3: 27-29; Luke 8: 22-25

 

A week has now passed since the massacre in Orlando. How has this week’s passing changed our understanding of the event, of our society, the church?

The killer attended a mosque; his semi-automatic gunfire targeted its victims because they were gay.

The New England Annual Conference (UMC) began last week with speakers angrily attacking the church for perpetuating violence in society and particularly violence against the LBGTQIA community: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, and asexual.   Continue reading

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JUNE 12, 2016, THE THIRD SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY

CREATION: from BEGINNING TO END

A Sermon by Pastor Chico Martin

Lections:  Daniel 12: 1-13; Rom 8:26b-28; John 1:1-14

 

Lord, we beseech you mercifully to hear us, and unto whom you have given a hearty desire to pray; grant that by your mighty aid we may be defended; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Our prayer is drawn from the collects in the Sacramentary of Gregory and included in the 1549 Book of Common Prayer by Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, from 1532 – 1555. The 1662 revision of the Book of Common Prayer added a final clause, so the 18th century form John Wesley was familiar with went like this:

Lord, we beseech thee mercifully to hear us, and grant that we, to whom thou hast given an hearty desire to pray, may by thy mighty aid be defended and be comforted in all dangers and adversities, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The collect is notable for making explicit “the one assumption that all the Collects” make: “that prayers exist because we desire to pray them!”[i]   Continue reading

JUNE 5, 2016, THE SECOND SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY

GOD IS EVERYWHERE

A Sermon by Pastor Chico Martin

Lections: Rev 12:1-17; Luke 1: 68-79

The sheer number of representations by artists over the centuries of the Madonna and Child testify to the central importance of this image in our collective consciousness. We see the child looking up at the face of his mother, the child snuggling into her bosom, the child with his arms around her neck, the mother and child facing forward, the child with his arms uplifted, the child making the blessing sign with his right hand, the child held on his mother’s left side, the child on her right side, and the child centered at the heart of his mother.  Different traditions evolved for depicting the myriad and beautiful aspects of the relationship between the Mother of God and the Christ Child.  Not as familiar, however, are the traditional images of the Son holding the soul of his Mother at her Dormition. These show the mirror image of the Madonna and Child; the Son standing behind her death bed, where all the Apostles have gathered, holding the small figure of the mother, seated on his left arm.  The figure of the mother in this icon represents the soul.   Continue reading