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Showing posts from October, 2017

Year A, Proper 25--What's the Church For? A School for Love

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark Year A Proper 25: Deuteronomy 34:1-12: Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8; Matthew 22:34-46 The Reverend Tyler B. Doherty, Priest in Charge
We’ve been journeying with Moses and the Israelites for a few weeks now—God’s appearing in the Burning Bush, the passage out of Egypt and through the Red Sea, the dusty trek through the Wilderness of Sin and feedings with manna and quail, the little hiccup at Mt. Sinai involving a Golden Calf and a nervous Moses cooling God down from a fit of pique…. Now we finally get to the end of the journey. With God as a kind of tour guide or real estate agent, Moses surveys the Promised Land—Gilead as far as Dan, all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, the land of Judah as far as the Western sea, the Negeb, the plain. It’s a beautiful place, and we can imagine Moses—after everything he has been through leading his band of stiff-necked grumblers out of slavery into freedom—being over-joyed at …

Year A, Proper 24--Whose Head? Whose title?

A Sermon Preached the Cathedral Church of St. Mark Year A Proper 24: Exodus 33:12-23; Psalm 99; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10; Matthew 22:15-22 The Reverend Tyler Doherty, Priest-in-Charge Whose head? Whose title? St. Athanasius is one of the giants of early Christian history. You might know him as the author of the Athanasian Creed in the back of the prayer book, but my favorite story about him is that he socked St. Nicholas of Myra in the nose at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. when they were debating the finer points of Christological doctrine. Now that’s a saint I can get behind!  Someone not afraid to rough up jolly old Saint Nick and send Dasher and Donner packing! Seriously though, Athanasius wrote a beautiful little treatise titled On the Incarnation in which he ponders the question—why did God become incarnate in the person of Jesus? In the course of his reflections, he develops this wonderful little metaphor of how the image of God in us has become progressively obscured. Like an old …

Year A Proper 22--God's Invitation: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St.Mark Year A, Proper 23: Exodus 32:1-14; Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23; Philippians 4:1-9; Matthew 22:1-14 The Reverend Tyler B. Doherty, Priest-in-Charge God’s Invitation: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly There’s a story told by Archbishop Rowan Williams about one of his meetings with the late, great Anglican contemplative Mother Mary Clare SLG when he was a serious, angst-ridden young man. Williams was worried about whether he was doing enough suffering, being compassionate enough, and working hard enough to save the world. From underneath her starched habit, Mother Mary Clare watched Williams’ hand-wringing with a bemused smile on her face, a twinkle in her ageless eyes. When he had finished prattling on, she sat there in silence for a good long while. Williams squirmed in his chair and looked at her searchingly. Finally, she clapped her hands and chuckled, “Dear Rowan, Rowan, Rowan. You don’t have to save the world. That’s already be done for us by…

Year A Proper 21 Love Goes Out--The Humility of God

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark. Exodus 17:1-7; Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16; Philippians 2:1-13; Matthew 21:23-32 The Reverend Canon Tyler B. Doherty Love Goes Out: The Humility of God As I was listening to our reading from Exodus last week, I was captivated by the wondrous beauty of those images of evening quail and morning manna—that flakey substance fine as frost on the ground. The Israelites are hungry, thirsty, dusty, and a long way from the comforts of home. Exhausted, they start to grumble and wonder if God is really with them. Predictably, doubts begin to crop up and proliferate in their minds—maybe Moses is a charlatan. Maybe this whole thing was a terrible mistake. Maybe that no-good Moses brought us out of Egypt so that we might die of hunger. What is this I AM WHO I AM God up to anyways? Well, one of the ways that question gets answered is through the paired signs of the quail and manna. God provides in the morning and God provides in the evening. In light and in…