Br Scott Wesley

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. 

Sermon for Oct 9 (Proper 23C)

(Readings for the day)

Part of the joy of using a lectionary to determine the readings for any given Sunday is first that somebody else has done the work of selecting texts so… one less thing to think about. And second, that it causes us to consider texts together that we might never consider otherwise. The reading from Kings and from Luke are certainly an unlikely match. And yet the lectionary asks us to consider them together…

Sermon for Sunday, 28 August

Readings for the day

The first reading we heard this morning has an interesting, almost tentative place in the Bible. It comes from a book sometimes known as Sirach and other times as Ecclesiasticus. In the Roman tradition it is squarely in the Old Testament and in the Lutheran and Calvinist tradition it’s not there at all. We tend to think it comes from the Hebrew Scriptures. But it is not in the Hebrew Scriptures…  

Sermon for Proper 14 C

Today’s Readings

The purpose of a sermon, I think, is to encourage an encounter with the Gospel – the good news of Jesus. So, I usually focus on the appointed Gospel reading. But encountering the Gospel is not just an encounter with a written record. In fact, it is never that. The Gospel is a living thing; our encounters are lively and intimate. Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John reliably point us in the direction of the good news. But they are guides along the path, not the destination; and they are not the only guides.