Author Archives: Bill Bradbury

Sermon–The Age to Come Starts Now–October 14, 2018

Sermon by William Bradbury

21 Pentecost—Proper 23-B/October 14, 2018

Amos 5:6-7,10-15, Psalm 90:12-17, Hebrews 4:12-16, Mark 10:17-31

Folks my age use to divide the world before and after November 22, 1963. Before that date many of us were living inside the myth called Camelot, a magical kingdom of prosperity and hope. After Kennedy’s assassination that day in Dallas, we fell into a black pit where White power and privilege opposed the Civil Rights movement and then killed its leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. Then, we woke up to the nightmare of the Vietnam War and the social upheaval that followed from it. Continue reading

Sermon: Worry and Flow–October 7, 2018

Sermon

Creation Care Sunday/ October 7, 2018

William Bradbury

Genesis 2:18-25, Psalm 148:7-14, Revelation 5:11-14, Matthew 6:25-34

Jesus says, “Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.” Some people get the meaning of this all wrong! They think Jesus is telling us to be passive, put our feet up, and God will fill our plates with mounds of food. Couch Potato spirituality! And since they know this is crazy, they dismiss Jesus as crazy too, or if not crazy, at least out of touch with how the real world works. Continue reading

Sermon–Where is hell? September 30, 2018

Sermon

19 Pentecost—Proper 21-B/ September 30, 2018

William Bradbury

Numbers 11:4-6,10-16,24-29, Psalm 19:7-14, James 5:13-20, Mark 9:38-50

Since our Gospel mentions it three times, we need to talk about hell. Some of us were taught by clergy and parents that hell is a real place in which God throws rebellious human beings, so that they can be punished for their sins. This hell is a place of conscious physical and psychological torment which lasts forever. Dante’s Inferno in the Middle Ages seared images of this hell into the psyche of the world. I remember reading it first in college and being struck by the image of the ring of hell where a man gnaws on another man’s head. The church promoted this view of hell because it assumed it was a deterrent to sin—“if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.” Continue reading

Sermon–Stereotypes or Reality–September 9, 2018

Sermon

16 Pentecost—September 9, 2018

William Bradbury

Isaiah 35:4-7a, Psalm 146, James 2:1-17, Mark 7:24-37

The name of Spike Lee’s new movie is “BlacKkKlansman”, which is funny, while at the same time edge of your seat exciting, and at the end emotionally draining, yet oddly encouraging. This true story is set in the 1970s when Colorado Springs hires their the first Black policeman, named Ron Stallworth, who then teams up with two white detectives to infiltrate the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, as the Klan plots hatred and violence. Continue reading

Sermon–Living with a Defiled Heart–September 2, 2018

    Sermon

15 Pentecost—Proper 17-B, September 2, 2018

William Bradbury

Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9, Psalm 15, James 1:17-27, Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

They say that facts are stubborn things! Today Jesus gives us a fact that is as stubborn as a stone: Jesus says, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand…For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” He goes on to list some of those evil intentions that come from the human heart, listing both hot sins like adultery and murder and cold sins like envy and slander, so everyone can find themselves in the list and realize he is talking to us and not just to those people over there. Continue reading

Sermon–New Way of Being Human–August 5, 2018

Sermon

11 Pentecost—Proper 13-B

August 5, 2018

William Bradbury

Exodus 16:2-4,9-15, Psalm 78:23-29, Ephesians 4:1-16, John 6:24-35

I imagine most parents would agree with me that we learn more about ourselves and life from raising our kids, than our kids learn from us! My daughter’s here today and that certainly applies to her, just as it applies to her brother, Andy: I remember when I took Andy out to the tennis club to hit a basket of balls, and at one point I thought his attitude could use some improvement, and pretty soon it was clear my attitude could use some improvement. Things started melting down from there and I finally said to him in exasperation, “You’re acting like a child!” and he looked up at me and calmly said, “I am a child.” Continue reading

Sermon–Feelings versus Action–July 29, 2018

Sermon

10 Pentecost—Proper 12-B/ July 29, 2018

William Bradbury

2 Kings 4:42-44, Psalm 145:10-19, Ephesians 3:14-21, John 6:1-21

You’ve seen the old bumper sticker that reads, “When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.” (Google tells me that is attributed to Jimi Hendrix, of all people!) Of course, what we usually don’t say, but are thinking, is this quote should be changed slightly to read: “When the power of love overcomes the love of power in those horrible people over there, the world will know peace.” Continue reading

Sermon–July 22, 2018: Seeing God?

Sermon

9 Pentecost—Proper 11-B, July 22, 2018

William Bradbury

Jeremiah 23:1-6, Psalm 23, Ephesians 2:11-22, Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

Is there a special church you’ve been in that seems to be filled with the presence of God? In this country I’ve always felt Presence in the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, but the place that I feel God the strongest is in the church at the Trappist Monastery of the Holy Spirit, in Conyers, GA, just east of Atlanta. Though very different in size, both churches offer a tourist a place filled with light, symbols of faith, and most of all, beautiful empty space. The quality of the space is not all cluttered with stuff and noise, so the soul can lift out of her inner clutter from memory and imagination, and soar into the empty space of peace and Presence. Continue reading

Sermon–July 15, 2018–The Problem with Kings

Sermon

8 Pentecost—Proper 10-B, July 15, 2018

William Bradbury

Amos 7:7-15, Psalm 85:8-13, Ephesians 1:3-14, Mark 6:14-29

Several years ago Stephanie and I went into Boston to see Blue Man Group. It was a lot of silly fun, watching three men do all sorts of strange things, but what makes them stand out is their faces and necks are painted bright blue. But here’s a thought: if everything on stage and in the audience was the same color as Blue Man Group’s faces, could you see them? If the print in a book is the same color as the page it sits on, could you read it? Continue reading

Sermon: July 8, 2018

Sermon

7 Pentecost—Proper 9-B, July 8, 2018

William Bradbury

Ezekiel 2:1-5, Psalm 123, 2 Corinthians 12:2-10, Mark 6:1-13

“And Jesus could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief.” Forgetting the caveat of a few sick people getting healed, we need to sit a moment with the admission that “Jesus could do no deed of power there.” We need to sit with it in order to let it correct our view of who Jesus is.  The citizens of Nazareth watched him grow up, learning to be a “tekton”, the Greek word that is traditionally translated “carpenter”, but is better translated construction worker. Jesus grew up as a construction worker in a village of 300 people, who are no longer capable of being surprised by him. Continue reading