Believe and Love

“We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren.”
(1 John 3:14)

St. John had a true gift for words. Last Sunday, I talked about the way Jesus used the Name of God to establish his credibility. Jesus called himself the Good Shepherd, one who will lay down his life for the sheep. That is the ultimate act of love. Continue reading

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The Good Shepherd

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
John 10:11-16

In the Gospel according to St. John, Jesus makes several statements about himself to try to inform and reinforce his message to those willing to hear.

To begin, it’s best to see why these statements had such an impact on his hearers. Continue reading

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“Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” John 20:19-31

Poor Thomas. Thomas has been saddled with the name “Doubting Thomas” for a very long time. No one refers to Peter as “Sinking Peter,” because when he got out of the boat to go to Jesus, he looked down, and started to sink because he got scared.

What about Andrew and Philip, who questioned Jesus on the hillside near the Sea of Galilee when Jesus tested them about how to feed the multitude? Philip said, “Two hundred Denarii would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” (John 6:7) Andrew said, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves, and two fish, but what are they among so many?” Continue reading

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Grace is Free

“By grace you have been saved” from St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians 2:4-10

When I was a young boy, my family would take trips to see my grandmother, aunts, uncles, and cousins in New Orleans. My two older sisters and I would sit in the back seat, and my mom would try very hard to keep us entertained with games.

There were no music players, no headphones, no iPads to keep us busy. Parents today have it so easy. Setup the iPad with a movie, and the kids will be engrossed for hours. My mom was very good at keeping us from fighting, too, because my dad had little patience for us when we were fighting. Continue reading

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The Baptism of our Lord

St. John the Baptizer said, “I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” From the Gospel according to St. Mark. (chapter 1:8)

Today we are celebrating the baptism of Jesus. The baptism consisted of the washing in the river, and the anointing of the Holy Spirit.  St. Peter mentions this in Acts 10:38: God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit.

The Sacrament of Confirmation is the completion of the Sacrament of Baptism: The Bishop uses these words in the Sacrament of Confirmation:

“Strengthen, O Lord, your servant N. with your Holy Spirit;
empower her for your service; and sustain her all the days w
of her life.” ( BCP, Confirmation, words of the Bishop, p. 418)

Continue reading

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