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Sermons

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Proper 9 Sermon Year A 2014
“You Like Potato And I Like Potahto”
Sunday, July 6, 2014
The Rev. Peter Faass, Rector
Christ Church, Shaker Heights
Matthew 11: 16-19, 25-30

Have you ever felt that regardless of what you do or say, you just cannot please some people? That despite your best efforts, someone will find fault with what you have done or with what you have said? The official term for this is contrarianism, which is the desire to be contrary for no other reason than being contrary.
Now mind you this is not just having a differing opinion or viewpoint. This is always taking an opposing view, regardless of what it may.

Read the entire sermon here.

 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Trinity Sunday Year A 2013
“Doubt”
Sunday, June 15, 2014
Christ Church, Shaker Heights
The Rev. Peter Faass, Rector
Matthew 28: 16-20

How many of you have had some doubts about the doctrines and creeds of the Christian faith? Despite your belief and your faithfulness have you ever had moments when you thought, “this doesn’t make any sense? This is just not computing for me. This is not meshing with the reality of my life experience?


Be honest, now. I am not keeping track of the admitted doubters and I guarantee that coming out of the doubters closet will not imperil your salvation!


I have very good news for you. You are in very good company if you have a life of faith that includes doubt.

Read the entire sermon here.

 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Easter VI Sermon Year A 2014
“I Will Not Leave You Orphaned.”
Sunday, May 25, 2014
The Rev. Peter Faass, Rector
Christ Church, Shaker Heights
John 14:14-21

Today’s Gospel is a segment of what is known as Jesus’ Farewell Discourse: that soliloquy which Jesus delivered to his disciples the night before his crucifixion. We might liken this discourse to a loved one on their deathbed, offering their final words and blessings, in an effort to comfort and strengthen those being left behind.

Read the entire sermon here.

 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Easter V Sermon Year A 2014
“Did I Stutter?”
Sunday, May 18, 2014
The Rev. Peter Faass, Rector
Christ Church, Shaker Heights
John 14:1-14

For the past two weeks I have preached about being aware of God’s presence in our lives. My goal has been to give you a GPS – if you will - guiding you to a richer relationship with God. Two weeks ago when the gospel story was about the two disciples encounter with Jesus on the road to Emmaus, I spoke of being aware of the presence of God in the stranger. Last week when the gospel was about Jesus being our shepherd and we the sheep hearing his voice, I spoke about hearing Jesus’ voice in the wonders of the natural world, the animal kingdom and again, in those people – known and unknown - who we encounter in everyday life.

Read the entire sermon here.

 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Easter IV Sermon 2014
Sunday, May 11, 2014
The Rev. Peter Faass, Rector
“You Heard Whose Voice?”
Christ Church, Shaker Heights
John 10:1-10

What would happen if you told an acquaintance that you had heard the voice of Jesus speaking to you? What would their response be?


Would they say, “Way cool! Tell me what he said.” Or would they say, “Oh, umm, really?” as they slowly walked away from you to go and do a GOOGLE search for “Psychiatrists in Cleveland?”

Read the entire sermon here.

 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Easter III Sermon Year A, 2014
“Walk quietly. Listen carefully. Rejoice Boldly.”
Sunday, May 4, 2014
The Rev. Peter Faass, Rector
Christ Church, Shaker Heights
Luke 24:13-35

Earlier this week a colleague of mine posted a challenge on Facebook asking her friends to offer a six-word reflection on today’s gospel story about the Road to Emmaus. I thought about that for a while and then posted back, “Walk quietly. Listen carefully. Rejoice boldly!”

 

Read the entire sermon here.

 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Year A, 2014
“Better than Chocolate!”
Sunday, April 20, 2014
The Rev. Peter Faass, Rector
Christ Church, Shaker Heights

Alleluia! Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!


“After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow.”

 

Read the entire sermon here.

 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Alleluia Christ is Risen!
April 19, 2012 - Easter Vigil
Romans 6:3 – 11; Psalm 114; Matthew 28:1 – 10
Dr. Carol S. Franklin

Christ Church, Shaker Heights

Alleluia Christ is risen!


This night is the most blessed of all nights. As we have engaged in the purposeful wakefulness of this Easter Vigil we have listened to the story of the people of God in relationship with each other and with God. In the beginning was God. God the father and mother of us all, God the flood bringer and covenant renewer. God the deliverer and liberator, God the wisdom giver and gatherer and finally God the Son and Savior.

Read the entire sermon here.

 

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.

 

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