Category Archives: Sermons

Sermon–November 19, 2017


24 Pentecost—Proper 28-A-2

November 19, 2017

William Bradbury

Zephaniah 1:7,12-18, Psalm 90:1-8, (9-11), 12, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11, Matthew 25:14-30

I want to go against the flow today. After 2000 years this parable has become so domesticated that it’s little more than a story for our kids: God is the man who gives the talents and the three slaves show us how to use them. So we say, “listen up, children: you’ve inherited talent from God (and your multi-talented parents!) and now it’s time to work hard to develop that talent. Can’t sit back and count on Mommy and Daddy to bail you out when you bury your talent, like the third slave. You’ve got to work hard to develop your gift. (By the way, when a child makes good grades, don’t tell her how smart she is, compliment her on how hard she worked.) This is a perfectly fine story, but it has become a nothing burger without depth, density, or challenge. Continue reading

Sermon–November 12, 2017


23 Pentecost—Proper 27-A

November 12, 2017

William Bradbury

Wisdom of Solomon 6:12-16, Psalm 70, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Matthew 25:1-13

“Whoever you are, wherever you are on your journey of faith, come to the holy table.” That’s the invitation given at Holy Eucharist at All Saints’. Considering the parable we just heard we might say: “Whoever you are, wherever you are on your journey of faith, come to the wedding of the Groom.” As Robert Capon puts it, this parable operates under the principle of Jesus’ parables that there is “inclusion before there is exclusion”. All ten bridesmaids are invited from the get go. God’s invitation is for everyone: all are invited. All. Yet every invitation, human or divine, calls for a decision—shall I accept the invitation or shall I refuse it? Continue reading

Sermon–October 29, 2017


21 Pentecost Proper 25-A-2

October 29, 2017

William Bradbury

Leviticus 19:1-2,15-18, Psalm 1, 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8, Matthew 22:34-46

On October 31, 1517, 500 years ago, a young Roman Catholic monk, named Martin Luther, nailed 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany, calling for a debate in the Church on the meaning of the grace of Jesus Christ. This action marks the beginning of the protestant reformation.  We continue to struggle with the meaning of grace, because it’s easier to preach law. Just tell people what to do! Just post the 10 Commandments in the courthouse and the schoolhouse and all will be well.   Continue reading

Sermon–October 15, 2017


19 Pentecost—23-A

October 15, 2017

William Bradbury

Isaiah 25:1-9, Psalm 23, Philippians 4:1-9, Matthew 22:1-14

There are two ways to refuse an invitation. One, which is the most honest, is to just turn it down and don’t go in the first place. A king is throwing a big banquet for his son’s wedding and he invites all the right people: business owners and farm owners, people of influence and wealth–the power brokers.  The big day arrives. The grill is heating up and the band is tuning up. But no one comes. Turns out those invited can’t be bothered with spending all day at this wedding. They talk among themselves and decide this party is not big enough for people as important as they are. Continue reading

Sermon–October 8, 2017


18 Pentecost—22-A

October 8, 2017

William Bradbury

Isaiah 5:1-7, Psalm 80:7-14, Philippians 3:4b-14, Matthew 21:33-46

Ten years ago Stephanie and I spent a few days with her sister in San Francisco. One afternoon we drove north to Sonoma County in the Russian River Valley to visit a small family owned vineyard. Going in we promised ourselves that we would only buy one bottle of wine, but we ended up with a case of exceptional wine to bring back to Massachusetts. Continue reading

Sermon–Creation Care Sunday–October 1, 2017


Creation Care Sunday

October 1, 2017

William Bradbury

Genesis 2:18-25, Psalm 148:7-14, Revelation 5:11-14, Matthew 6: 25-33

I grew up at 1661 Mt. Paran Road, in northwest Atlanta. Our simple house had three bedrooms and a half finished basement. In the front yard we’d play football and in the woods in back we’d explore fallen trees and the small pond with its crawfish and frogs. We saw the woods as part of our lives. It could be dark and scary but mostly it was fun and fascinating. Young children are content to be part of creation. They see trees and chipmunks, steams and birds, as great mysteries to be explored and enjoyed. As we grow up, we call it “nature” and it becomes something separate from ourselves and over which we have power. We learn that adults can be the Lord of nature. They can make it into whatever suits them. It doesn’t occur to kids to destroy the woods and build a subdivision, but it occurs to developers who made it happen, while we are at college learning other ways to control nature to improve our lives. Many wonderful things like air conditioning and vaccines come from this. But sometimes our lordship runs amok and we make Agent Orange to defoliate the forests of Vietnam and in the process destroy ourselves.  Continue reading

Sermon on Forgiveness–September 17, 2017


15 Pentecost—19-A

September 17, 2017

William Bradbury

Genesis 50:15-21, Psalm 103:(1-7), 8-13, Romans 14:1-12, Matthew 18:21-35

In the 1986 movie The Mission: Rodrigo Mendoza, played by Robert De Niro, is a former slave trader and mercenary, who spends years capturing the native Guarani people of Brazil and selling them into slavery. He kills his brother in a duel over a woman and is thrown in prison where he is visited by Jesuit Father Gabriel who hears Mendoza’s confession. Rodrigo goes with Father Gabriel to start a mission to the Guarani in the remote Jungle. As his penance Rodrigo puts his armor and weapons into a large bag attached to a thick rope that he puts over his neck and shoulder and drags behind him on this mission into the mountainous jungle. Continue reading

Sermon: September 10, 2017


14 Pentecost—18-A, September 10, 2017

William Bradbury

Ezekiel 33:7-11, Psalm 119:33-40, Romans 13:8-14, Matthew 18:15-20

You know the old story: man shipwrecked on a desert island for 20 years. Finally, rescuers arrive. They ask, “How’d you survive all alone on this tiny island?” He says, Follow me! So he shows them the little hut where he lived. Then the he shows them a bigger structure and says, with great pride, this is my church! The rescuer looks across the way and says, “what’s that building over there?” “Oh, that’s the church I used to belong to, but I couldn’t stand the people!” Continue reading