Category Archives: Sermons

Sermon: Advent 2–A part for us in the Universal Story?

Sermon

Advent 2—Year C–December 9, 2018

William Bradbury

Baruch 5:1-9, Canticle 4 or 16, Philippians 1:3-11, Luke 3:1-6

There have been times when I believed the gospel, the Good News, was  a series of theological assertions strung together like Christmas tree lights. Other times I’ve believed the good news was like platitudes on a Hallmark Card that we send to our neighbors every Christmas to show what nice and inoffensive people we are. Both understandings make the gospel so small! But when we actually read, say, the Gospel according to Luke, we find first and foremost, that The good news is a universal story of how God enters this world in Jesus in order to set all things right. Continue reading

Sermon–Hope when the world is falling apart: 12/1/2018

Sermon

Advent 1—Year C–December 1, 2018

William Bradbury

Jeremiah 33:14-16, Psalm 25:1-9, 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13, Luke 21:25-36

What do you do when the world is falling apart? Pulitzer Prize winning Journalist Tom Friedman, quoting the International Rescue Committee in a recent Op-Ed in the New York Times, says today there are 70 million people who hit the road looking for “zones of order” after their world falls apart. Some of these are: Continue reading

Sermon–Seeing Reality–November 25, 2018

Sermon: Last Sunday after Pentecost Year-B–Christ the King–November 25, 2018

William Bradbury

Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14, Psalm 93, Revelation 1:4b-8, John 18:33-37

I am occasionally asked why I go to the movies as much as I do. Partly it’s just a lazy way to spend a day off, an escape from being available, where I’m happy to turn off my phone. But on a deeper level, watching a good movie can become a contemplative experience in which my ego goes quiet as I sit in the dark, my heart opens up, and I’m transported into a different world, a different reality.  Continue reading

Sermon: the Bible–More than literal?–November 18, 2018

Sermon

26 Pentecost—Proper 28-B/November 18, 2018

William Bradbury

Daniel 12:1-3, Psalm 16, Hebrews 10:11-14 (15-18) 19-25, Mark 13:1-8

A few days before his crucifixion Jesus says, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.” He is speaking about the destruction of the Temple which would happen 40 years later as Roman Legions put down a Jewish revolt. The Temple is the place where heaven and earth were joined together. The place God’s saving presence resides. And in the central sanctuary, in the Holy of Holies, the High Priest would enter once a year on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, to receive the sure Word that God forgives the people. Today, though, on the temple mount is the stunning Dome of the Rock, one of the holiest sites in Islam—where Muslims believe Abraham ascended into heaven. All that’s left of the Temple is the Western Wall of the Temple Mount, which is better known as the Wailing Wall, where people from around the world offer prayers. Continue reading

Sermon–Can we imagine Jesus’ Way? November 11, 2018

Sermon

25 Pentecost—Proper 27-B/November 11, 2018

William Bradbury

1 Kings 17:8-16, Psalm 146, Hebrews 9:24-28, Mark 12:38-44

At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 World War One came to an end. Wikipedia says that “An estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilians died as a direct result of the war, while it is also considered a contributory factor in a number of genocides and the 1918 influenza epidemic, which caused between 50 and 100 million deaths worldwide.” It is also generally agreed that this war and the Treaty of Versailles that ended it 100 years ago today, led directly to instability in Germany, the rise of the Nazis Party, and the Second World War. Continue reading

Sermon–All Saints? Really? November 4, 2018

Sermon

All Saints’ Sunday–November 4, 2018

William Bradbury

Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-9, Psalm 24, Revelation 21:1-6a, John 11:32-44

I’ve always felt All Saints Day services are a strange mixture of sadness and celebration, for as we remember those who have died—our grandparents, parents, children, family, and friends—we can’t help but re-experience the sadness we felt when they died, even if that was decades ago. We never stop missing their presence and love in our lives. Continue reading

Sermon–“Ain’t too proud to beg”–October 28, 2018

Sermon

23 Pentecost—Proper 25-B/October 28, 2018

William Bradbury

Jeremiah 31:7-9, Psalm 126, Hebrews 7:23-28, Mark 10:46-52

Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, cries: “Jesus, Son of David, (which means Messiah) have mercy on me!” Many sternly order him to be quiet. Have you noticed, in yourself and others, the strong don’t like it very much when the weak make a scene? Protestors for justice around the world are told every day to shut-up: “you gay folks, be quiet”, “you transgender folks stay home”; “you immigrants, zip it, don’t think you can ever be one of us!” Continue reading

Sermon–Is Your Image of God Up-To-Date?–October 21, 2018

Sermon

22 Pentecost—Proper 24-B/October 21, 2018

William Bradbury

Isaiah 53:4-12, Psalm 91:9-16, Hebrews 5:1-10, Mark 10:35-45

It has been said as children we get our image of God about the same time we get our image of Santa Claus, but while all of us soon update our image of Santa, many never update their image of God.  Continue reading

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