sermons & Illuminations

"The voice of God rings through the ages." Rev. Kelly Kirby





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Rev. Kelly Kirby,

Rev. Jan Scholtz,

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Moses the Prophet, Eastern Orthodox icon from the 1590s, depicts Moses holding the tablets of the Ten Commandments. We hear the Exodus account of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments in our Track One first reading this week.

Read the Illuminations

Illuminations on the Lectionary readings for October 8, 2023, Pentecost 19A

First Reading (Track One): Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20
God commands. We the people try to obey; but it isn’t always easy. Listen for this theme in Sunday’s Track One readings. In our first reading we find Moses at Mount Sinai in the desert, where Moses has met God face-to-face on the mountain and brought the Ten Commandments down to the people. Establishing their identity and their hope, the people join in covenant with God, accepting the commandments that will guide their lives and ensure their righteousness in relationship with God and others.

Psalm (Track One): Psalm 19 

God’s commandments are a wonderful gift, a gift that shows God’s glory in such a shining light that all the heavens sing: All the skies reveal the work of God’s hand! This triumphant Psalm begins with mighty praise for the beauty of all God’s creation. Then the theme turns to a hymn of praise for the commandments, God’s law and teaching. True, just and righteous, God’s commandments stand even above the earthly creation that we have just celebrated. They are sweeter than honey, more precious than gold.

Second Reading: Philippians 3:4b-14
Paul has left his church community in Philippi to travel onward. Now other Christians preaching a more conservative Jewish view of Christianity have come to this church in Greek Macedonia and told the people that, despite Paul’s teaching, if they wish to be Christians they must follow Jewish law – including purity laws and circumcision. Paul pushes back in this letter. He points out that he is a devout Jew himself, and a Pharisee too, observant and righteous. But now. he says, everything has changed: The old commandments, he says, mean nothing without Christ.

Gospel: Matthew 21:33-46 Jesus challenges the temple authorities with one of his difficult parables involving vineyards and the people who work in them. When this vineyard owner went to another country, he hired tenants to produce the grapes for him while he was away. But when he sent slaves to pick up the produce, the tenants beat them up and killed them. Next, remarkably, they did the same to the owner’s own son! What, Jesus asked, would the owner do? Surely he will kill the evil tenants, the priests and Pharisees respond. But Jesus turns the parable back on them: It is those who work to produce fruit who will inherit the Kingdom of God. Angered, the temple leaders start plotting to arrest Jesus.

Dimensions of Faith Lectures

Dimensions of Faith invites thinkers and writers to explore the interface of religion and culture, as we continue as a parish to challenge our minds and renew our spirits.

Upcoming Speaker: Bishop Mariann Budde, March 17, 2024

Previous Speakers Include:
Nadia Bolz-Weber / Dr. Lewis Brogdon / Sarah Bessey / Steve Crump Ruby Sales / Dr. Amy-Jill Levine / Marcus Borg / Sara Miles
Robert Putnam / John Dominic Crossan / Brian McLaren / Scott Gunn
John Philip Newell / Silas House