Sunday, December 1, 2013THE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Advent Sunday is the start of a new church year. At Saint Thomas, we celebrate Advent Sunday with a Procession at 11am and 4pm.
Advent puts the end in the present and asks you to prepare, not for a distant future (for you know not when) but as if the future is today, because it is. Christ has already won the victory, and your past is already fully known. There's no time like the present to turn to God.
As you contemplate what was, and is, and is to come, consider any of these advent sermons in the archive:
A Sermon for Advent (2011) by Fr Spurlock
Advent Waiting (2011) by Fr Daniels
Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell, and a Very Merry Christmas to You (2011) by Fr Mead
Actuarial Science for Advent (2010) by Fr Mead
Five Grace Notes for Advent (2010) by Fr Mead
Are You Ready? (2010) by Fr Spurlock
Stop the Presses (2009) by Fr Mead
Good News for a Brood of Vipers (2009) by Fr Mead
Two Stories for Advent (2009) by Fr Mead
Be the Good News (2008) by Fr Mead
The Vision Glorious (2008) by Fr Mead
Christ the Warrior (2007) by Fr Mead
Rediscovery by Way of God's Anger (2007) by Fr Austin
Pinning Down our Salvation (2006) by Fr Mead
One Last Dance (2006) by Fr Andrew
Incense and Sulfer (2006) by Fr Mead
Pursued by Amos (2006) by Fr Austin
Christ's Advent -- The World's End (2005) by Fr Mead
A Sermon for the Second Sunday of Advent (2005) by Fr Stafford
The Secrets of Our Dark Hearts to Light (2005) by Fr Austin
The Forerunner (2005) by Fr Mead
The Element of Suprise (2004) by Fr Mead
Wake Up and Live (2004) by Fr Mead
The End of the Rope (2004) by Fr Mead
In Case You Die? (2003) by Fr Mead
Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Thursday, November 28, 2013THANKSGIVING DAY
Fr Mead explained in one of his sermons:
Thanksgiving Day is America’s oldest national holiday, and its history is worth reviewing. In 1620 the Mayflower pilgrims in the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts gave thanks for their survival, against great odds, in what was to them the wilderness of an utterly New World. Joining them in their Thanksgiving feast were Native Americans, who had given the pilgrims indispensable assistance and to whom America was not a new world at all.
The observance of Thanksgiving Day was given fresh, political, impetus by President George Washington in 1789, following the War of Independence from Britain and more than a decade of birth pangs for the emerging United States. In 1863, in the autumn following the decisive Civil War Battles of Vicksburg and Gettyburg, President Abraham Lincoln invested Thanksgiving Day with the significance of what he called a “new birth of freedom.” By 1942, in the midst of the Second World War, Thanksgiving Day had attained thoroughly national status as President Franklin Roosevelt told the nation in his proclamation of Thanksgiving Day, “[We] find our Republic and the nations joined with it waging a battle on many fronts for the preservation of liberty.” As time has gone on, the depth of Thanksgiving Day has grown as a national litany of gratitude for the blessings of life, liberty and justice.
Though Thanksgiving is a holiday by annual Presidential proclamation and has developed through the great moments of American history, it is by no means restricted to the blessings of the national, political sphere. It is also deeply personal and profoundly spiritual, rooted in the soil of Holy Scripture and the faith of all believers in God.
Thanksgiving is a powerful, positive disposition of the soul. It is a grace we can receive, a habit we can learn, and a virtue we can acquire. And we can start by counting our blessings.
Almighty and gracious Father, we give thee thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we beseech thee, faithful stewards of thy great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Sunday, November 24, 2013CHRIST THE KING
Fittingly, the church year ends with Jesus "seated at the right hand of God the Father, and he shall come again to judge the quick and the dead." The following week a new chuch year begins with Advent Sunday, which is also a time of great anticipation. The great Advent Procession reaches its climax with the singing of "come thou redeemer of the earth."
And so we end the year waiting for Jesus to come, and we begin the church year waiting for Jesus to come. And all the while, Jesus already is.
As you consider the mystery of the One who was, is, and is to come, you might find these sermons in the archive helpful:
Where We're Going (2011) by Fr Austin
The Kingship of Christ (2011) by Fr Fletcher
A Different Warrior King (2009) by Fr Mead
Christ the King, and the Stranger (2008) by Fr Mead
Life with Christ the King (2007) by Fr Austin
The King's Highway: Of Judgment (2006) by Fr Andrew
Christ the King, Love Almighty (2005) by Fr Mead
An Invitation to Join the Penitent Thief (2004) by Fr Mead
Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in thy well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Sunday, November 17, 2013THE TWENTY-SIXTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST (Pr. 28)
Blessed Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them; that, by patience and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Proper 28)
Sunday, November 10, 2013REMEMBRANCE DAY
Remembrance Day at Saint Thomas is kept with services at 8am and 9am, a Solemn Requiem at 11am, and a Choral Evensong at 4pm in memory of those who have given their lives in service of our country.
As you think about the faithful departed, consider these sermons:
The Resurrection of the Body, and the Life Everlasting. Amen. (2011) by Fr Austin
The Souls Departed -- Safe and Sound (2008) by Fr Mead
Back from the Dead (2008) by Fr Mead
Prayer for the Dead (2007) Fr Mead
Why Pray for the Dead? (2003) by Fr Mead
Spiritual Wholeness -- The Resurrection (2002) by Fr Mead
O God, the Maker and Redeemer of all believers: Grant to the faithful departed the unsearchable benefits of the passion of thy Son; that on the day of his appearing they may be manifested as thy children; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Sunday, November 3, 2013THE SOLEMNITY OF ALL SAINTS
At Saint Thomas, we celebrate All Saints' Day on November 1 and then the Solemnity of All Saints on the Sunday after All Saints' Day.
Over the years, there have been many sermons on the saints. Here are a few:
The Communion of Saints; the Forgiveness of Sins (2011) by Fr Spurlock
All Saints-Tide: Washed in the Blood of the Lamb (2010) by Fr Fletcher
A Saint: The Real You (2007) by Fr Mead
We Want to be Saints! (2003) by Fr Mead
Sainthood or Else (2002) by Fr Mead
Deceptively Ordinary People (2001) by Fr Mead
O Almighty God, who hast knit together thine elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of thy Son Christ our Lord: Grant us grace so to follow thy blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys which thou hast prepared for those who unfeignedly love thee; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.