Sermons from Trinity Cathedral - 2009
December 24th - Christmas Eve - Dean Knisely
come to be our very food so that we who once ate from the Tree of
Knowledge shall now and forever be fed by God's own love.
That very same baby that was cradled in that manger, you, in a little
while, will cradle in your hands tonight.
December 20 - Fourth Sunday in Advent - Dean Knisely
December 13 - Third Sunday in Advent - Canon Affer
John the Baptizer answer the crowd's question "What shall we do?". The answer is clear, are we ready to listen?
December 6 - Second Sunday in Advent - Dean Knisely
November 29 - First Sunday in Advent - Dean Knisely
(This recording includes 20 seconds of silence prior to the talk of the sermon.)
November 26 - Thanksgiving Day - Canon Affer
November 22- Christ the King Sunday
8AM - Deacon Myra Kingsley
The Millennium Development Goals are nothing new for the Church, Jesus showed us the way through his unrelenting concern for the poor, the marginalized and the outcasts, it's about the most vulnerable people among us, it is always been about the least of those‚Ä¶
11AM - Canon Affer
All things come of Thee, O Lord, and of thine own have we given Thee...and we give to others.
How as Christians we are not called to give out of our own scarcity, but out of God's abundance.
November 15 - Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost - Dean Knisely
great, savor that moment. Squeeze every drop of juice out of it that
And when things start to fall apart, don‚Äôt be afraid that this is the
end. That it‚Äôs all going to change.
Because it is going to do that anyway. You can‚Äôt do anything about
What you can change is the way you understand or view the changes you
are witnessing - or participating in.
Because we know, that in the end, God wins.
November 8 - Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost - Dean Knisely
we will be transformed into the full stature of Christ. I've been
thinking about how important hope is all week as a result.
This sermon is about Hope. Specifically about the hope that the widow
in the Temple courtyard must have had in God when she put gave the
Temple treasury everything she had.
She reminds me of another widow that I once knew.
November 1 - ALL SAINTS' SUNDAY - Canon Affer
What is the true mark of sainthood?
Not the suffering, the good deeds, the perfection, the special relationship with God that makes us saints. Saint-making is God's doing, not our own accomplishment. We are sinners, but we are sinners redeemed.
October 25 - Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost - Dean Knisely
Job‚Äôs great message is not just to hang in there with God; passionately disputing as one does with a real friend.
There is a second message as well; God often is placing a comma where we imagine we are seeing a period. Our friends in the UCC have used this language to talk about the development of doctrine. They‚Äôre right to do this. It reminds us that God‚Äôs narrative, our history is still unfolding before our eyes.
But I think this is even more true when we talk about our experience of pain and suffering. If our experience inevitably ended in suffering, then we‚Äôd be right to rage against a Universe that ultimately ends life with pain for us and the people we love.
But the story of Jesus does not end with the cross. Our stories do not either. Because even in the midst of our pain, there are moments of promise that remind us that we are right to have HOPE.
October 18 - Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost - Dean Knisely
This is a sermon in two parts, the first speaks of the dialogue sections of the book, the second deals the God's speeches.
In the first part,Job is, heroically AND CORRECTLY (don‚Äôt forget that) insisting on his innocence. He will not letGod off the hook. He will not walk away. He believes there is an answer, that God has it, and that heshould have the right to hear it. (I use the word "right" carefully and I believe correctly. This wholedialogue is based on legal concepts of innocence and trial language.)
In the second part, it is of primary importance to remember that God's words must be viewed through the lens of God's cross. We know God completely because of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. So it's in that light that we hear God demurring from the entire quid-pro-quo language that Job, his friends and even Satan uses. God's relationship with Job is completely gratuitous - effected entirely by God and without benefit to God. God's relationship to Job is always loving.
October 4 - Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost - Dean Knisely
Proper 22B 2009: The Book of Job part 1
Job‚Äôs suffering, because of his innocence, puts a lie to our most common explanations for the evil calamities befall us.
We want to think that we are suffering because we‚Äôve been bad. We try to calm our fears by thinking that other's suffering is somehow connected to their moral state.
But this passage, with its clear teaching about Job's moral state means that anytime we want to make such a claim about ours or others, we have to make that claim with a disclaimer. The person who is suffering could in fact be totally innocent. It might be that they are suffering as punishment for their sins, but it‚Äôs possible that they are not.
And that changes things in a fundamental way.
September 27 - Seventeenth Sunday After Pentecost - Canon Affer
The disciples, resident aliens in a new world, are being given a full immersion course in the ways of the Kingdom.
We are citizens of a new world - the Kingdom of God - and we have to learn its rules so that we may not become stumbling blocks for others.
September 20 - Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost - Dean Knisely
September 13 - Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost - Dean Knisely
September 6 - Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost - Canon Affer
We all belong to the Body of Christ, we don't need to do anything.
Some Gospel examples of people who behaved as if they belonged...and how it worked out!
August 30 - Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost - Dean Knisely
"In the Letter of St. James, his description of true religion as being "caring for the orphaned and the widow" pretty much exactly parallels what Jesus asks us to do with the Law in the Gospel lesson today - to see it as a moral challenge and not as guiding simple ritual observance. But then James adds the phrase "and to keep oneself unstained from the world."
Is James contradicting Jesus in this short passage, or is something more subtle being asked of us? It turns out that the apparently off-hand comment about the mirror a view verses before is the key to unlocking the sense of what James meant."
August 23 - Twelfth Sunday After Pentecost - Canon Affer
Christianity is a risky business, but we are well equipped to face the evils of the world: prayer gives us more power than what we are aware of.
August 16 - Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost - Dean Knisely
Proper 15B 2009
"Solomon asks God for wisdom and God, delighted with the requests, grants that and more. But what exactly is the wisdom that Solomon receives, and is it possible for us to receive it as well. The answer to the question is found by looking closely at the Incarnation of God's Wisdom herself: Jesus."
August 9 - Tenth Sunday after Pentecost - Dean Knisely
Jesus is forcing us to confront this unthinkable, unfaceable truth about who we are.
And in forcing us to confront this truth, he's telling us that he loves us, God loves us in-spite of the violence that we do. But by forcing us to see the truth our violent acts, we begin to be saved from our own worst nature.
The bread that I will give for the life of the world is my body.
August 2 - Ninth Sunday after Pentecost - Dean Knisely
July 26 - Eighth Sunday after Pentecost - Dean Knisely
July 19 - Seventh Sunday after Pentecost - Canon Affer
July 12 - Sixth Sunday after Pentecost - Canon Affer
July 5 - Fifth Sunday after Pentecost - Canon Affer
April 12 - Easter: The Sunday of the Resurrection
Why is Easter such a big deal? People in our tradition like Elijah and some would say, Mary, did not die at all. Jesus himself raised the dead, as did the apostles after Easter. Mythology is full of springtime accounts of gods who die and are reborn. However, there is something different, and it's more than Jesus died, came back to life, and will never die again like the others - as amazing as this is. Here is what's different . . . and profound: Jesus is both fully God and fully human.
March 22 - Fourth Sunday in Lent
There's a kind of weird story in the Old Testament lesson for today: the Israelites are grumbling and bitten by snakes in the desert, so God tells Moses to make a bronze snake and put it on a pole for people to look at and be cured. Is this magic? We don't believe in magic, so it's instead it's probably more of an allegory. Perhaps the bronze snake is something of a mnemonic device for people to remember God - not unlike our cross, which is both the instrument of our salvation and a mirror of the most broken parts of ourselves.
March 8 - Second Sunday in Lent
Why does Jesus die? For him to be the Messiah he was called to be, he had to be repudiated by the people to whom he was sent. Maybe it's human nature for us to feel brought together when we can all be angry against a common enemy. Our own experience shows us how those are most insecure about being cast outside a group instigate anger and even violence against a scapegoat. But Jesus willingly takes on the role of this outsider, taking up his cross. This act then becomes a mirror, held up to the system we all participate in: saving ourselves by throwing another under the bus.
March 1 - First Sunday in Lent
We have moments in our lives when we feel God is incredibly close, and then a few months later, it seems like we're really far away from God. We humans have a need put it all together - to make up a story to explain why this distance is there, usually deducing from specific failings a resulting divine punishment. We want the suffering we're experiencing to have some kind of meaning; but in untangling this and connecting the dots, we may mistakenly start to think that God simply does not love us. While we don't know in the moment why we are suffering, it's in hindsight we know how much we learned in tough times. Perhaps the most important lesson is that suffering is different from punishment, and prosperity is different from reward.
February 22- Last Sunday in Epiphany
8AM - Licia Baldi Affer
10AM - Nicholas Knisely
February 15 - Sixth Sunday in Epiphany - Nicholas Knisely
February 1 - Fourth Sunday in Epiphany - Nicholas Knisely
January 25 - Third Sunday in Epiphany - Nicholas Knisely
January 18 - Second Sunday in Epiphany - Nicholas Knisely
January 11 - Baptism of Christ - Nicholas Knisely