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Showing posts from February, 2018

Wombs, Tombs, and New Names--The Four Renunciations of Lent

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16; Psalm 22:22-30; Romans 4:13-25; Mark 8:31-38 The Reverend Tyler Doherty, Priest-in-Charge The Benedictine nun Sister Meg Funk has written a lovely little book called Humility Matters: Tools for the Spiritual Life that speaks deeply to the precious gift that is set before us in the season of Lent—the birth of true humility in the ground of soul. Sister Meg has been a frequent participant in interfaith dialogues over the years—perhaps most notably in the first and second Gethsemane encounters that brought together monastics from various traditions to share their experiences and insights into the spiritual life—and she says something very interesting about the fruit of these dialogues. As is so often the case in genuine, loving, receptive, encounter with people of other faiths, Sister Meg was given to see her own tradition with more clarity and depth. The encounter with the other showed her something about herself …

1 Lent, Year B--The Wildness of God in a World That's All Too Tame

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark Genesis 9:8-17; Psalm 25:1-9; 1 Peter 3:18-22; Mark 1:9-15 The Reverend Canon Tyler B. Doherty, Priest-in-Charge The Wildness of God in a World That's All Too Tame. It’s a little startling, looking at the readings for this first Sunday in Lent to see such an emphasis on baptism as a starting point for our Lenten Journey into in the wilderness, into the wildness of God’s love for all creation. We’ve got the archetypal baptism image of the flood, and Noah and his sons floating in the ark, the cradle of God’s new people, as the rainbow breaks across the sky. “I will never let you go,” God says to Noah, “and everything I do will be to draw you to myself, to bring you true and lasting happiness that comes from living from the inexhaustible, steadfast, and unshakeableness of my love.” Then we have that passage from the First Letter of Peter that makes the connection to Noah and baptism explicit. Peter speaks of baptism not as the mere wa…

Happy Ashes

A Meditation for Ash Wednesday The Reverend Tyler B. Doherty, Priest-in-Charge
Happy Ashes Ash Wednesday is a little bit like attending your own funeral. The intention, however, is not to dwell morbidly on the fact of our certain death (though there’s never any harm in holding that reality in front of ourselves). The reason for the imposition of ashes on our foreheads with the words, “Remember you are dust, and to dust you will return” is to set the tone for the entire Lenten journey with Jesus into the desert wilderness where we discover what gives life and what drains it away. The whole thrust of the Ash Wednesday liturgy can really be summed up by the rather paradoxical statement—“Die before you die, and you won’t die when you die.” What on earth could that mean? Let’s unpack it a little bit. First a reminder of some basic Christian anthropology. We are made in the image and likeness of God, and whole point of the Christian life is to journey from image to likeness. “God became man tha…

Pitching Tents and Broken Unicorns--Following Jesus Up the Mountain and into the Valley

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark. Last Sunday after Epiphany, Year B: 2 Kings 2:1-12; Psalm 50:1-62; Corinthians 4:3-6; Mark 9:2-9 The Reverend Tyler B. Doherty, Priest-in-Charge The Feast of the Transfiguration is a mid-point between the beginning of the Jesus’ earthly ministry and his crucifixion. For the last six weeks we’ve been basking in the light of the Epiphany—the coming of the light of God into the world in the form of a tiny, vulnerable human child. Love blazing forth from the muck and straw of a stable outside an inn where a “No Vacancy” sign creaks in the dusty, Palestinian breeze. But the life of Jesus, and the arc of Mark’s narrative doesn’t let us dwell in the light forever. The Transfiguration is a liturgical hinge and marks the passage, the exodus, from light to darkness, from the revelation of God as a human being, to the darkness and death that result from the disclosure of unconditional love in a world driven by self-absorption, blindness to the p…

Presentation of Our Lord (Candlemas): Staying in the Temple on the Mission to the Margins

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark Isaiah 40:21-31; Psalm 147:1-12, 21c; 1 Corinthians 9:16-23; Mark 1:29-39 The Reverend Tyler B. Doherty, Priest-in-Charge
Today we are baptizing little Marguerite and I’ve been thinking about what that means for us as individuals and as a community of love who vow to walk the way of love with her as our sister in Christ. We’ve all heard that question, “What would Jesus do?” asked as a way to get at what love looks like in a particular situation, and I suppose it’s fine as far it goes. I was wondering this week, however, if a better question might be, “Where do we find Jesus? With whom does Jesus keep company?” In these opening chapters of the gospel according to Luke, we move through a number of different spaces—geographic, familial, liturgical, ethnic, cultural—in order for us to realize two things. First, that what God is doing Christ is of a piece with the entire work of salvation that God has been up to since the foundation of the…