Monthly Archive for July, 2011

July 31, 2011 – 7th Sunday after Pentecost

by Rt. Rev. Arthur E. Walmsley

Isaiah 55:1-5; Psalm 145:8-9, 14-21; Matthew 14:13-21

When he came ashore and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them. –Matthew 14:14

Let me begin by stretching our imaginations.  Today’s Gospel is one of the most familiar in the New Testament.  It is the only story of its kind recounted in all four Gospels, the feeding of a vast number of people:  Matthew and Mark each say 5000 men.  We are told that they are in a wilderness place, somewhere near the Lake of Galilee.  There are no interstates to get there, and no traffic jams.  Maybe you rode a donkey, most likely you walked, and if you came from as far away as Jerusalem because you were attracted to go hear Jesus preach, that might have been a journey of several days.

As the passage begins, Jesus has withdrawn by boat to a remote place — presumably to pray with his disciples.  Word comes to him that a crowd has assembled.  When he lands and sees the expectant crowd, he is filled with compassion, and he heals the sick.  Continue reading ‘July 31, 2011 – 7th Sunday after Pentecost’

Pentecost 3, July 3, 2011

INDEPENDENCE DAY SERMON, 2011

The Rt. Rev. Arthur E. Walmsley

Deuteronomy 10:17-21; Psalm145; Matthew 5:43-48

 

Lord God Almighty, in whose Name the founders of this country won liberty for themselves and for us, and lit the torch of freedom for nations then unborn: Grant that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain our liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

On this Independence Day weekend, I want to talk about our country and what faith says to our present situation as a nation and people.  We began our service today with an alternative to the usual organ prelude.  It was the first of several quotations from the writings of Thomas Jefferson set to music by the composer Randall Thompson, the beginning of a choral work written in 1933 to celebrate the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of Jefferson, one of the major contributors to the birth of our nation.   The composer deliberately set out to write a type of “public music” that would lift up the origins of the American struggle for independence.  In fact one of the early performances of  the work would be as a tribute to the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt after the latter’s death in the waning days of World War II in 1945.

Neither Jefferson nor various others of the signers of the Declaration of Independence released on July 4, 1776, were devout Christians, Continue reading ‘Pentecost 3, July 3, 2011’