Posts

Showing posts from 2018

Advent 4, Year C: Saying "Yes" to the Whole of Life

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark Advent 4, Year C The Reverend Tyler B. Doherty, Priest-in-Charge
Mary has a special place in the Advent season. It’s a time when as the world speeds up and gets more and more frenetic, Mary’s stillness and silent presence serve as a reminder that it is in letting go and letting be that we make a little space in the manger of our hearts for Christ to be born in and through us. Mary is the model of true Christian discipleship, the supreme example of what it looks like to be surrendered to God and to become fruitful—even when on the face of it things seem impossible. Mary’s fiat, her “yes” to God—“Let it be with me according to your word” at the Annunciation—is the sign for us of the fundamental disposition of the Christian life. Our lives can be stubborn, persistent “noes” to the ever-present invitation to feast at the banquet of divine love. We can miss the daily annunciations that literally litter our lives—the opportunity to let go of…

Advent 3, Year C: "Repent!": Changing the Direction You Look for Happiness

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark Advent 3, Year C The Reverend Tyler B. Doherty, Priest-in-Charge During the season of Advent, the world goes dark so that we might focus on the light—the light of Jesus Christ who is the unique disclosure in a human life of God’s unconditional love for each and every one of God’s children. The Christian faith is all about the divine light of God—revealing this light to God’s sons and daughters, teaching them what it might look like to live from that light, and encouraging them to become that light for others. One way to understand what God has been up to since the creation of the universe is as the patient, persistent, unflagging determination to transmit this light to God’s children no matter the cost. Everything God does from making Adam and Eve in the image and likeness, to calling Abram and Sarai out of comfortable retirement, to the revelation of the divine light in the great I AM to Moses at the burning bush, to the final sendin…

1 Advent, Year C: Entering the Darkness to See the Light--Of Light-Up Shoes, Friendship with God and Wittgenstein

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark 1 Advent, Year B The Reverend Tyler B. Doherty, Priest-in-Charge I’ve got three daughters, and the trouble with children, and specifically their blessed little feet, is that they grow—not like fig leaves, but like weeds. No sooner do you get them into one pair of shoes that fit than they have already outgrown them—to their great delight and our great despair. Not long ago, one of the little fashionistas returned home with the latest and greatest in running shoe design—light-up shoes. Jump up and down hard enough and the toes of the shoes are supposed to twinkle like Times Square on New Year’s Eve. Proudly showing off her recent purchase, my daughter promptly started stomping around the living room, jumping higher and higher. But it was all to no avail. There was no light. Were they broken? Defective? Designed for a five year-old with Michael Jordan-esque jumping ability? “Come here,” I said and ushered her into the bathroom. We shut th…

Christ the King, Year B--What Curious Kind of King is This?

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark Christ the King, Year B The Reverend Tyler B. Doherty, Priest-in-Charge “My Kingdom is not from this world…” The Feast of Christ the King is a tricky one. For people stuffed to the gills with top-down, unilateral power, patriarchy, and hierarchy, talk of “kings” and “kingdoms” can seem like just another instance of an outmoded Christianity whose relevance has long since passed. If we think of Jesus and the Kingdom of God in the same way we think of earthly kings and kingdoms this is indeed the case. But before we erase all reference to the Kings and Kingdoms from Holy Scripture and the Book of Common Prayer, we have to ask whether the kind of king we see enacted in the person of Jesus accords with our common of picture of how kings behave. If we spend a little time examining kings and kingdoms through the lens of Jesus’ life, through the lens of self-emptying, sacrificial love, we discover that the Holy Scripture uses the words “king” …

Year B, Proper 28: Letting the Temple Fall Apart: The Spectacle of Freedom in a World of Self-Improvement

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark 1 Samuel 1:4-20; 1 Samuel 2:1-10; Hebrews 10:11-14 (15-18) 19-25; Mark 13:1-8 The Reverend Tyler B. Doherty, Priest in Charge Letting the Temple Fall Apart: The Spectacle of Freedom in a World of Self-Improvement
Time and again in Holy Scripture we are presented with the pattern of loss as gain, of dying in order to live, the destruction of one thing in order that the new creation might arise. “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” St. John tells us. “For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it, “ as St. Matthew tells us. Lost sheep. Lost coins. Sometimes we hear all this talk about losing our life in order to gain it and think that it is all about something we have to accomplish under our own steam. We turn losing our life in order to gain it into another strategy of self-improvement that o…

All Saints, Year B

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark All Saints, Year B The Reverend Tyler B. Doherty, Priest-in-Charge Last week, we spoke of the Christian life as a journey, an adventure into belovedness that we might be bearers of that same belovedness, that light, for others. In the story of the blind beggar Bartimaeus, we saw enacted the process of what it looks like to become love. Knowing ourselves to be loved in the depths of the heart, leaving behind old, limiting conceptions of self, other, and God, flinging off everything that separates us from transformative encounter with Jesus, and following Jesus down the path of becoming love, becoming a truly human human person. On this Feast of All Saints, the Church turns its attention to the deceased saints (known and unknown) of her long and storied past—men and women whose lives bear witness to a hope rooted in the gospel that proclaims God’s victory over death. In an age of war, famine, genocide, religiously motivated hatred and vi…

All Souls, Year B

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark Feast of All Souls, Year B The Reverend Tyler B. Doherty, Priest-in-Charge The Feast of All Souls is a day when we turn our attention to the faithful departed in prayer that they (and we with them) might discover through the grave not an end, but a gate to the joy of the resurrection through which, in the company of Christ, we pass to eternal life. So we remember. But, another of the purposes of All Souls is to remind of the reality of death—the facticity of our own mortality and the undeniability change. “Oh, come on. Who needs to be reminded of that?” you might ask. “Everybody knows we are going to die.” I’ll grant that somewhere, deep down, often pushed into the nether regions of our conscious awareness, is a dim recognition that someday we will die, that life is uncertain and fleeting, and that change, and chance, and loss will accompany us every step of the way. But this awareness is often too much for us to bear. We simply canno…

Year B, Proper 25: Opening the Eye of the Heart & the Adventure of Love

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark Year B, Proper 22: Job 42:1-6, 10-17; Psalm 34:1-8, (19-22); Hebrews 7:23-28; Mark 10:46-52 The Reverend Tyler Doherty, Priest-in-Charge Opening the Eye of the Heart & the Adventure of Love The story of blind Bartimaeus, the blind beggar at the roadside is much more than a mere healing story. The Bartimaeus story is the concluding bookend to a section of Mark’s Gospel that begins back in chapter 8: 22 where Jesus restores sight to the blind man in Bethsaida. In the intervening chapters, blindness is a constant theme that threads its way through the experience of Jesus’ closest disciples. Spiritual blindness, the persistent non-recognition on the part of the disciples of the person and work of the Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of God made flesh for the salvation of the work, is Mark’s main thrust here. To remind you of the story so far—recall that immediately after Peter’s confession of Jesus as the Messiah when Jesus tells …