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Sermons

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Lent V Sermon Year A 2014
“Why I Can No Longer Recite Matthew 27:25”
Sunday, April 6, 2014
The Rev. Peter Faass, Rector
Christ Church, Shaker Heights

Next week is Palm Sunday, the first day of Holy Week, the most sacred time of year for Christians.

As has been our practice at Christ Church, we will conclude the Palm Sunday service with the reading of the Passion narrative by several people from the laity. Because it is Year A in the lectionary cycle, the Passion will be from Matthew’s Gospel.
Next Sunday we will read Matthew’s version of Jesus’ final hours but with one notable omission. And that omission is verse 25 from chapter 27.

Read the entire sermon here.

 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Lent IV Sermon Year A 2014
“In God We Trust”
Sunday, March 30, 2014
The Rev. Peter Faass, Rector
Christ Church, Shaker Heights
John 9:1-41

This past Friday the Episcopal Café website posted a video titled, “Who Do You Trust?” The short piece was a series of spontaneous interviews held with five people on the streets of New York City.


The first question posed was, “What is trust?” The replies of the five folks varied but pretty much revolved around loyalty, taking risks and honesty. I thought the best answer was “trust means everything” which I think pretty much sums it up nicely.

The next question the interviewer asked was, “Why is trust important?” One person replied, “It reduces stress.” Another replied, “If there is no trust, I don’t think life could go on.”

Read the entire sermon here.

 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Lent II Sermon Year A 2010
“Love versus Literalism”
Sunday, March 16, 2014
The Rev. Peter Faass, Rector
Christ Church, Shaker Heights
John 3:1-17

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16: This verse of scripture may be the most oft quoted Bible passage, by Christians.

Martin Luther called this verse “the Gospel in miniature.” Marcus Borg calls John 3:16, “the Heart of Christianity,” conveying the love of God for the world and Jesus, who is the embodiment and revelation of that love.

Read the entire sermon here.

 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Epiphany VI Sermon Year A
“Murder and Adultery and Divorce, Oh My!”
Sunday, February 16, 2014
The Rev. Peter Faass, Rector
Christ Church, Shaker Heights
Matthew 5: 21-37

Murder, adultery and divorce all in one Gospel lesson: gee, it’s the preacher’s trifecta of favorite topics to address in the scripture! (Not!)


The good news is that the compilers of the lectionary did not include the additional two, “You have heard that it was said” sayings of Jesus, which address not resisting an evil doer, turning the other cheek when someone strikes you, loving your enemies and praying for those who persecute you. We will have to wait until next week to hear those.

Read the entire sermon here.

 

Sunday, February 09, 2014

"Salt and Light"
Sunday, February 9, 2014
Dr. Carol S. Franklin

Christ Church, Shaker Heights

Isaiah 58:1-12; Psalm 112:1-10; 1 Corinthians 2:1-16; Matthew 5:13-20

You know that I have this thing about words because words have power – they can move us to tears or galvanize us to action. So it will come as no surprise that one of the things that I love about the Episcopal Church is the language of our liturgy and the cadence of our rituals.

Read the entire sermon here.

 

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Epiphany IV (Candlemas) Sermon 2014
“Simeon, Anna & Pete”
Sunday, February 2, 2014
The Rev. Peter Faass, Rector
Christ Church, Shaker Heights
Luke 2:22-40

Today is the feast of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple, a day more familiarly known to Anglicans as Candlemas. The Candlemas identity of this day derives from the words of the prophet Simeon and his Song of Simeon, well known to Christians as the Nunc Dimittis, which in Latin means, Now you dismiss.

Read the entire sermon here.

 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Epiphany II Sermon Year A
“The Dream Is Not Enough”
Sunday, January 19, 2014
The Rev. Peter Faass, Rector
Christ Church, Shaker Heights
John 1:29-42

Who remembers Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop? Shari was a ventriloquist and puppeteer who had a very popular children’s television show in the 1960’s, called of all things, The Shari Lewis Show. The program had a three-year run as a replacement for The Howdy Doody Show and acquired many youthful followers, of which I was one. Lamb Chop, who was little more than a sock with eyes, served as a sassy alter ego for Lewis. I loved Lamb Chop and her witty repartee and especially her New York accent.


Through Lamb Chop, Lewis was able to capture the imaginations of millions of children and address serious topics in light-hearted ways. She was in a sense the pre-cursor of Sesame Street.

Read the entire sermon here.

 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Epiphany I: Baptism of Our Lord, Year A Sermon
Risking Entering the Waters of Baptism
Sunday, January 12, 2103
The Rev. Peter Faass, Rector
Christ Church, Shaker Heights
Is. 42:1-9; Matthew 3:13-17

“Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" But Jesus answered him; ‘Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he consented.”

Christians of all stripes, from theologians, to clergy, to the people in the pews, have struggled with the question, why did Jesus need to be baptized? Baptism has after all been, until recently, primarily understood as a ritual for the taking away of sins; specifically the stain of original sin that has blemished humanity ever since Adam and Eve ate that apple in the Garden of Eden.


Read the entire sermon here.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Christmas II Sermon Year A 2014

January 5, 2014

The Rev. Peter Faass, Rector

Christ Church, Shaker Heights

Matthew 2:13-15 [16-18], 19-23

Today is the second Sunday after Christmas. As there are twelve liturgical days of Christmas we do not get a second Sunday in the season every year. Because Christmas fell on a Wednesday in 2013, today is the twelfth and final day of the season.
As I prepared for my homily this week I found myself being grateful to have this additional Sunday in Christmastide as it allows an opportunity to address critical messages of this season that often get lost in the days leading up to and immediately following December 25th.

Read the entire sermon here.

 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Advent III Sermon Year A 2014
“Come, Lord Jesus, Come”
Sunday, December 15, 2013
The Rev. Peter Faass, Rector
Christ Church, Shaker Heights
Matthew 11:2-11

“When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, "Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?"

What an odd Gospel story to schedule on the third - Gaudette, rejoice - Sunday of Advent. Here it is ten days before Christmas and we hear about John the Baptist being in prison.

Read the entire sermon here.

 

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Advent II Year A Sermon 2013
Zwarte Piet and Chief Wahoo
Sunday, December 8, 2013
The Rev. Peter Faass, Rector
Christ Church, Shaker Heights
Matthew 3:1-12

“In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near . . . Now John wore clothing of camel's hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey . . . But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?”

Read the entire sermon here.

 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Proper 25, Year C 2012 Sermon
“Zombie Apocalypse”
Sunday, November 10, 2013
The Rev. Peter Faass, Rector
Christ Church, Shaker Heights
Luke 20:27-38

Of the four Evangelists, Luke is the only one who wrote specifically to Gentiles. Luke, in fact, was a Gentile. Because Jesus was a Jew and much of his ministry set in the context of Jewish culture, this meant that Luke had to explain the, who, what, when, where and why of that culture to his audience who would have been, by-in-large, ignorant of it.

Read the entire sermon here.

 

Sunday, November 03, 2013

All Saints Sunday/Stewardship Kick-Off Year C, 2013
“We Are All Losers!”
Sunday, November 3, 2013
The Rev. Peter Faass, Rector
Christ Church, Shaker Heights
Luke 6:20-31

Two weeks from today Anthony and I will, along with our church communities, family and friends, celebrate a new Episcopal liturgy called, “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant.” This liturgy is intended for use by same-sex couples that marry in one of those fourteen states and the District of Columbia where same-sex marriage is legal.

Read the entire sermon here.

 

Sunday, October 26, 2013

Proper 29 Sermon Year C 2013
“Being Humble”
Sunday, October 26, 2013
The Rev. Melanie Sunderland, Adjunct Rector
Christ Church, Shaker Heights

In August of 1994 a jury with the New Mexico District Court awarded $2.7 million in punitive damages to a woman who had incurred burns due to spilling coffee in her lap. Do you remember this?  The story was immediately sensationalized in the media and versions of the story spread like wildfire around the world.

Read the entire sermon here.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Proper 24 Sermon Year C 2013
“A Good Right Hook.”
Sunday, October 20, 2013
The Rev. Peter Faass, Rector
Christ Church, Shaker Heights


Luke 18:1-8

More than in any other Gospel, encounters with and stories of women are predominant in Luke. The woman Anna recognizes the infant Jesus in the Temple and blesses him. Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in-law. He heals a woman who suffered from chronic bleeding for twelve years. A women sweeps for lost coins and finds them.

Read the entire sermon here.

 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Proper 23, Year C Sermon 2013
“What Do You See and What Do you Do?”
Sunday, October 13, 2013
The Rev. Peter Faass, Rector
Christ Church, Shaker Heights

Luke 17: 11-19


Last year I visited the Detroit Institute of Art to see a special exhibit titled “Rembrandt and The Face of Jesus.”
Rembrandt frequently used religious events and people from the Bible for his paintings. This particular exhibit focused on those paintings he did of Jesus, which comprise a significant part of his opus.

Read the entire sermon here.

 

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