Br Scott Wesley

Sermon for the 7 Sunday of Easter (Year A) Volmoed 2023

Readings for the day

Here we are at the tail end of Eastertide and on the verge of Pentecost. A very important event took place this past Thursday… Jesus ascended to heaven. A very important event happens next Sunday, the Holy Spirit comes to us. So here we are in the space between two momentous events; the interregnum if you will between Jesus and the Holy Spirit. This is the odd period when, it seems, nobody is in charge… We should be considering what kind of trouble we can get into in this unsupervised time. 

Of course, the truth is we hardly need to be left unsupervised to get into trouble. Some wag has a variation on the Lord’s prayer which says: “Lead us not into temptation, we can find our own way…” 

Fourth Sunday of Easter 2023 at Volmoed

Readings for the day

When I was growing up the Cold War was raging, and the US was in a particularly fearful and paranoid way. Communists, or as we said back then “godless communists” were spotted behind every shrub. The Soviet Union was the great instrument of Satan and all things bad – and so the US was the great instrument of God and all things good. The rest of the world, at least in the American mind, was left to fit into one or the other sphere of influence, the good sphere (ours) or the bad. In the US we like things to be very binary, very black or white.

Triduum at Volmoed 2023 

Readings for Maundy Thursday

Readings for Good Friday

Today we embark on a three-day period known as Triduum or Three Great Days: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday… the days that lead up to Easter. 

The name, Maundy Thursday, comes from the Latin of the anthem that was part of this day’s liturgy in ancient times: Mandatum novum do vobis. It is from the Gospel according to John; “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another…” The Latin word for commandment is mandatum. Perhaps in ancient times this was known as ”the Thursday when we sing Mandatum Novum… “ 

Christmas 2022 at Volmoed

Much of our Christmas tradition and, for that matter, much of our Christian tradition is built around the notion of good news. In fact, the word Gospel could just as accurately be rendered “good news.” And so, on this Christmas morning, we can rejoice that we are hearers of good news… of glad tidings. But while the news may be good, it’s not simple and it’s not easy. So, let’s savor this good news for a bit.

First Sunday of Advent

(readings for today)

We should have noise makers and such – since this is New Year’s Day… We should be celebrating just as they will do in a few weeks at Times Square in New York, the Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh (where its Hogmanay, not New Year’s), or the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, which I gather is a major New Year’s hub. But that’s all in a few weeks. This week the Church celebrates the new Liturgical Year with the first Sunday of Advent. Hold the fireworks and noise makers for the other new year’s…  

Feast of Christ the King – Volmoed 

(Readings for the day)

Happy feast of Christ the King – a relatively new feast in the Church. It dates back all the way to the to Pope Pius VI in 1925. It was created to make a sort of bookend for the Pentecost season – The Day of Pentecost at one end and Christ the King at the other. Because otherwise we might not notice that it was Advent next week…  

Sermon for Nov 6 – A Special Occasion…

(readings for Lent 1A) (It is not lent… but this sermon is for a particular occasion – so be patient…)

Some of us have spent the past few days here at Volmoed thinking about acedia, the “noonday demon,” or what is sometimes referred to as “the sin of sloth.” This morning we’ll continue that exploration a bit. So, I wanted to start today with the readings that normally bring us into Lent – the temptation of Christ in the desert. It may not be apparent yet, but I think there is a connection… 

Sermon for Proper 26C – Volmoed 2022

Readings for the day

I find the reading from Isaiah irresistible right from the very start with its reference to Sodom and Gomorrah. Our collective understanding of the sin of Sodom is an interesting thing. A great many people over the years have assumed it was a sexual sin. More recently others have begun to understand it as a violation of hospitality. Three things are sure: Sodom was a really bad place – filled with really bad people. And things ended really badly for those nasty folks.