br daniel

Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost – Sermon by Br Daniel

Scripture Readings

br daniel ohc
Br Daniel

Breyten Breytenbach, the well-known Afrikaans poet, painter, and anti-apartheid activist, wrote the following line in one of his poems: “Die liefde is ‘n aaklige woord wat op ‘n toiletmuur uitgekrap is.”  Loosely translated it says, “Love is a disgusting word that is scratched out on a toilet wall.”  Of course, he used a more colourful word for toilet, which starts with an s and ends in house.

After reading the Gospel passage for today, it seems one can also add that life is a disgusting word that is scratched out on a toilet wall. Especially when we look at the news and sees what is going on in the world.

And, as with every story and every atrocity and with every good thing, there are two sides at least to all of them, and not least with today’s parable.

First Sunday in Lent – Sermon by Br Daniel

Scripture Readings

Br Daniel
Br Daniel

We all have an identity.  Be it as someone’s brother, sister, mother, uncle, cousin. We all have some kind of relationship to someone.   It is tempting to think that our identity is very personal, and that we have even created our own.  I’m sure we’ve all have spells of “finding ourselves”.  Yet, despite all our efforts at finding ourselves, it turns out that our identity is firmly and unavoidably rooted in our relationships.  We cannot be a child without parents, we cannot be a friend without friends.  You get my point.

So pretty much everything we might say about ourselves involves other people, and sometimes even animals! And who we are ultimately evolves from our relationships with so many other people.  Above all, our identities are also rooted in our relationship with God, and especially being his beloved children.

Sermon for Transfiguration Sunday by Br Daniel

Gospel : Matthew 17:1-9

Br Daniel
Br Daniel

I absolutely believe in the power of a hug. There are few things that give as much immediate comfort as a sincere hug. And of course, there is the old saying that goes: “Seven hugs a day for good mental health.” And now we understand why there are so many problems during Covid: nobody may give hugs, anymore!

So, why do I talk about hugs?

Because, ‘Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them … and they were afraid … and Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.”‘

Second Sunday of Advent – Sermon by Br Daniel

Scripture Readings

Brother Daniel
Br Daniel

Todays’ Gospel begins as follows:

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John, son of Zechariah in the wilderness.

However, I want to paraphrase this:

“Despite Tiberius being Emperor of Rome, Pontius Pilate, Herod, Phillip and Lysanias being provincial governors, and despite Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, God chose to speak to a nobody named John, living in the desert.”

Thursday at Volmoed – Sermon for Trinity Sunday by Br Daniel

Scripture Readings for Trinity Sunday

Brother Daniel
Br Daniel

The desert father, Evagrius of Pontus, once observed: “God cannot be grasped by the mind. If he could be grasped, he would not be God.”

This coming Sunday is Trinity Sunday, and Evagrius might have had this in mind when he made the above statement.

It is certainly true that the doctrine of the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – has been the source of much confusion, misuse, and controversy through the ages.

Sermon for the Second Sunday of Easter – Thomas the Realist, by Br Daniel

Readings for Today

Brother Daniel
Br Daniel

So, Christ is Risen!

Christ is risen, indeed, and the Easter cry isn’t only for Easter, of course. For while each and every Sunday is a celebration of the resurrection, we have 49 days between Easter and Pentecost in which to focus our attention on the resurrection and all that God accomplishes through it.

At the same time, I am also mindful, on this day and with this text, of what God does not accomplish and, I suspect, so are all of us. We are in the midst of a seemingly endless pandemic, our economy is dismal, we are swamped by crime and corruption, infrastructure is collapsing around us, thank goodness not so much in our part of the world, and each one of us has personal difficulties or tragedies to contend with.

And so, sometimes we come to church on Easter or in the weeks after, and our alleluias ring hollow and Easter acclamations wear a bit thin. If this is you, or if you think it might characterize some of your friends and family, then the story of Thomas is right on the money!

Sermon for Thursday at Volmoed – Preached by Br Daniel

Readings for this sermon (Proper 24A)

Br Daniel preparing food

Many years ago, in another life, I had an older colleague who had an interesting way of interpreting Scripture. Even though he was a devout Christian, he had very clear ideas about paying taxes, but not tithing to the church. He paid taxes with lots of grumbling simply because he was legally required. Not because he didn’t believe in giving to Caesar what is his, but because of what Caesar is doing with the taxes. As far as tithing was concerned, he did contribute to the collection plate, but he emphatically did not give his tenth as required, because he said that much of what the church historically did, was now supposed to be done by the government. And he said that giving to God what is owed to God shouldn’t cost money, anyway. As such he was unstinting in his charity work.