Sunday, January 17, 2021

17 January 2021 Sermon for 2nd Epiphany by The Rev. Peter M. Carey

 




The Rev. Peter M. Carey

Sermon 2 Epiphany

St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Philadelphia

17 January 2021


Link for .pdf version of this sermon


The light shone in the darkness and the dark did not overcome it

All are welcomed at the Inn

Visitors coming from far far away, and they were welcome

Not only were they welcome, they were brought in as family

The family of God is beyond tribal notions

Nationality

world view

Occupation

social class

personal characteristics,

beyond location

The family of God is beyond the place of your birth.

God loves us all

God call us to love our neighbor, to love one another

“Seeking and serving Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as ourselves.”


God knows us

God loves us

God calls us

God empowers us

God empowers the saints for ministry

Remember - the body of Christ - all parts of the body are needed

Remember - who was welcomed to the manger

Remember - all sorts of people

Remember - even animals

Remember - the doors thrown open

The family of God is beyond all temporal divisions.

The family of God is wide and broad enough to welcome us all.

God has built a table large enough so that we each have a seat at it.


God has granted us the gift of ownership

God has given us the kingdom

God has given us the power to do ministry

With Humility

In Love

Among Community

We are called to Discipleship

And are to walk in Gratitude


Sometimes, God calls us in ways that are almost imperceptible

Like Samuel, hearing that small voice

Have we taken the time to listen?

Is our prayer a prayer of speaking along?

Or, have we laid in bed and prayed, listened to the words of God.

God’s calling

God’s vocation to us all.

Like the Magi being pulled out of their comfort zones, we are called into action.


God is still speaking

The Lord calls Samuel

Small voice - nearly unrecognizable

Even Samuel does not recognize it

God calls us all

Still small voice

Spend time in the Church

Pray without ceasing

The present moment, a difficult moment

Do we take the time

Do we open a space


And Jesus also called his disciples

And is calling us!

Follow me

You will see greater things

Come and see

Come and BELIEVE!


Sunday, January 10, 2021

10 January 2021 ~ Epiphany Sermon by the Rev. Peter M. Carey

 



The Rev. Peter M. Carey

Sermon ~ Epiphany

10 January 2021


Link for pdf version of this sermon


Isaiah 60:1-6

Arise, shine; for your light has come,

and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.

For darkness shall cover the earth,

and thick darkness the peoples;

but the Lord will arise upon you,

and his glory will appear over you.


Then you shall see and be radiant;

your heart shall thrill and rejoice,


They shall bring gold and frankincense,

and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.


Matthew

….When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy.

On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt

down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him

gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to

return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.


Just as light pierces the darkness, so the hearts of the magi were pierced by the

Joy that they found upon seeing the “child with Mary his mother.” 


Their journey was long and difficult, traversing a portion of what we now call the

Silk Road. Traveling from Iran to Israel, from the comfort of their homeland to

a foreign land, occupied by Romans, and ruled over by a corrupt king - Herod the

Great.  Great dangers along the way, bandits and tribespeople making their living

from attacking unsuspecting travelers.  


What drove them to leave comfort and security for discomfort and insecurity? 

What drew them out of their old way, their tired pathways of doing things? 

What moved them? 


The star, perhaps.  A small sign of light in a dark place. 

Strange star, that moves across the sky - a portent of doom? 

A sign of something new!?  A supernova?  A comet?

These astrologers, astronomers, scholars, scientists were motivated to leave

their comfort in order to risk something new.  Going “outside of the box”

of their everyday lives, going “outside their comfort zone”!? 

What draws people out of the comforts of home, to pursue some new light 

What is to be found in a place far away?  How do celestial lights still draw us?


So, too, the magi followed a star, perhaps not really knowing what they would find.

But what they found was overflowing JOY, what they found was LOVE, what they

found was NEW, what they experienced was CHANGE! They were “overwealmed

with joy” and they fell down and paid “homage”! 


These scholars, dignitaries, foreigners, recognized the holiness of this moment, of

the blessedness, and the LOVE incarnate in the Christ child.  They opened their

treasure chests, and gave him gifts representing not only Christ’s kingship of Gold

and Frankincense, but also the expensive perfume of myrrh, used before burial ,

foreshadowing the rest of the story.  


Guided by a celestial light, the magi left the comforts of home.  Guided by the light

shining in the darkness, the magi moved beyond their assumptions, and embraced

the new.  Guided by the hope and promise of the Almighty, the magi traveled far,

and after the experience, could no longer go back to the same old ways. 

They could no longer merely keep “punching the clock,” they could no longer keep

arguing that the ways they had always done things was the best way. 

They “returned by another road,” and avoided Herod, but also went on to live

transformed lives of  Joy and Love.


May we also be open to change, to transformation, and to the JOY that God gives us.

  May we also recognize the ways that we are changed through relationships,

and be courageous enough to go home by another road.


The magi followed a star probably really knowing what they would find. 

But what they found was overflowing JOY, what they found was LOVE,

what they found was new! They were “overwhelmed They fell down and

“paid homage”!  These scholars opened their treasure chests, and gave him gifts.


Guided by a celestial light, the magi left the comforts of home. 

Guided by the light shining in the darkness, the magi moved beyond their

assumptions, and embraced the new.  Guided by the hope and promise of

the Almighty, the magi traveled far, and after the experience, could no longer go

back to the same old ways. They “returned by another road,” and avoided Herod,

but also went on to live transformed lives.


May we also be open to change, to transformation, and to the JOY that God gives us.

May we also recognize the ways that we are changed through relationships, and

be courageous enough to go home by another road.