Sermon, 12/12/21: Hollywood outdoes Luke the Physician

3 Advent Canticle 9: Isaiah 12:2–6; Zephaniah 3:14–20; Philippians 4:4–7; Luke 3:7–18 As the people were filled with expectation… (Luke 3:15) Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem! (Zephaniah 3:14f.) Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.  Let your gentleness be …

Christmas Invitation, 2021

Dear Members and Friends, This greeting is both an invitation and a reminder. The mercantile world has already weeks ago reminded us of the approaching celebration of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, God’s Messiah. Indeed, it is actually wonderful to receive free publicity regarding the birth of Christ, even if this spigot of publicity …

Open Letter from Rev. Clarence, 12/12/21

Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. James, In addition to sharing with you my weekly mediation/homily, today I post to you two additional items: an announcement, in its corrected form, of our Christmas Eve celebration of the Birth of Christ, and an update of observances beyond Christmas Eve/Day itself. Several of you, in person as …

Sermon, 12/5/21: Filtering out the Background Noise

2 AdventBaruch 5.1-9; Canticle 16: Luke 1:68-79; Philippians 1.3-1 1; Luke 3.1-6 The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord. (Luke 3:4b) How often have you heard from us preachers: ‘Advent is a time for spiritual reflection, as we prepare to receive Christ as a little child’? However, what …

Open Letter from Rev. Clarence, 12/5/21

Dear Members and Friends of St. James, As we make our way toward the celebration of the birth of Jesus, God’s Messiah, I report that the dedication of you all, but especially a few select volunteers, has demonstrated a tenacity that a 20-month absence due to COVID restrictions could not, and did not, weaken. Wreathes …

Open Letter from Rev. Clarence, 11/28/21

Dear Members and Friends of St. James, Almost as if by surprise, the Season of Advent is with us.  The appearance of wreaths, the lighting of the first candle of Advent, and a change in altar hangings and vestments were and are visual evidence of the beginning of another liturgical year.  Appropriately, the first Sunday …

Sermon, 11/21/21. Time: The Biggest Riddle of them all

Christ the King, Last Sunday after Pentecost Psalm 132:1–19; 2 Sam. 23.1–7; Rev.1:4b–8; John 18.33–37 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1 Many things fascinate us human beings.  We are intrigued by paradoxes.  You know, those things that seem contradictory to common sense and experience but …

Open Letter from Rev. Clarence, 11/21/21

Dear Members and Friends of St. James, Today we observe a feast day that, in liturgical speak, bears resemblance to the “neglected stepsister” in a Grimm nursery rhyme. With the homily that I offered today at Eucharist and attach here [see separate post] to my weekly greetings, I hope to open the possibility of a …

Sermon, 11/14/21: Do not believe everything that you think!

25 Pentecost Canticle: I Sam. 2:1–10; I Samuel 1:4–20; Hebrews 10:11–25; Mark 13: 1–8 As Jesus came out of the Temple, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!’ Mark 13:1 At an electric traffic signal, while driving on Friday afternoon to the parish, I came along …