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Showing posts from September, 2017

Year A Proper 20--Of Vending Machines, Mozart's Vienna, and Vineyards of Grace

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark Exodus 16:2-15; Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45; Philippians 1:21-30; Matthew 20:1-16 The Reverend Canon Tyler B. Doherty, Canon Precentor Of Vending Machines, Mozart’s Vienna & Vineyards of Grace One summer night on the road to Erfurt in 1505, a 21-year-old son of a copper miner got caught in a terrible thunderstorm. Wind whipped through the trees, boughs snapped, rain pelted down, and a bolt of lightning struck the ground a stone’s throw away. Terrified, the young man fell to his knees, and prayed to St. Anne (the Virgin Mary’s mother) promising that if his life were spared, he would devote himself to God and live the life of monk. By morning, the storm had passed. The birds were singing, the dawn sun rose over the battered wood, and the young man knew what he had to do. Within days he was knocking on the door of the Augustinian monastery just down the road begging entry of the Prior.             As a monk, the young man was clearly gifted. …

Year A Proper 19--Instruction Manuals or Relationship?

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark Exodus 14:19-31; Psalm 114; Romans 14:1-12; Matthew 18:21-35 The Reverend Canon Tyler B. Doherty, Canon Precentor Here we are again with our friend and companion St. Peter who steps once more into the breach and asks the question that everyone’s afraid ask—how many times do I have to forgive someone who is a repeat offender? How often do I have to go on tolerating unacceptable behavior from someone who displays little recognition, remorse, or repentance for the harm they have caused? Both good, necessary, and heart-felt questions but Jesus doesn’t really answer them. Remember that whole process was discussed in last week’s readings which encouraged reaching out to the offender in love in an effort to integrate them back into the community and restore relationship. Even the instruction—“Let that one be to you as a gentile or tax collector”—which on its face seems like an instruction for expulsion, shunning, and excommunication—is a lit…

Year A Proper 18--A New Song, or the Same Old Song and Dance?

 A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark Year A, Proper 17—Exodus 12:1-14; Psalm 149; Romans 13:8-14; Matthew 18:15-20 The Reverend Canon Tyler B. Doherty, Canon Precentor A New Song, or the Same Old Song and Dance?
Our psalm for today exhorts us to “Sing to the Lord a new song,” and I got to thinking this past week about what that might actually look like in our lives. I was thinking about our lives as the song God sings through us, and how we can either cooperate with that song or resist its challenging freshness, newness, and the different key in which it sounds. I was thinking about our family piano in the basement (the one I grew up playing as a kid) and the way in which some of the keys work fine, and others, here and there, stick every time you strike them. If we are the piano and God is the hands and the music we create together is the shape of love in the world, then it’s useful to ask ourselves whether we actually want to sing a new song. Like the first time Stravi…

Year A Proper 17

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark Year A, Proper 17—Exodus 3:1-15; Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45c; Romans 12:9-21; Matthew 16:21-28 The Reverend Canon Tyler B. Doherty, Canon Precentor
All I can say, after listening to today’s Gospel, is thank God for Peter! With so much of our religious heritage in the United States bound up in Puritanical prudishness, moralistic proficiency, and obsessed with perfection, it’s a refreshing reminder to see Peter—the Rock on whom the Kingdom is built, the one with the heavenly keyring jangling in his pocket—rebuked and exorcized by Jesus right on the heels of confessing Jesus as Lord a moment earlier. I thank God for St. Peter in the same way that I thank God for flawed St. Paul, mopey Moses, King David, and loony Jeremiah. I thank God that God so loves us, just as we are, that he is willing to work with us, warts and all, for the bringing about of the Kingdom. Today’s rebuke and exorcism of Peter by Jesus a healthy reminder of our human fo…