“In the Flesh”

September 7th, 2014 by J. Douglas Ousley

Romans 13:8-14

In the Name of God: Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier. Amen.

“Make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”

This text seems to be one of those Bible sayings that isn’t followed!  Think of  celebrities and all the provisions they make for their flesh—think of all the ways they satisfy the desires of their bodies. Think of all their indulgences that so often lead not to pleasure but to failed relationships and tragic addictions.

Yet, despite the … Read More


Praying for Good Weather

August 25th, 2014 by J. Douglas Ousley

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“Jesus the Libertarian”

August 17th, 2014 by J. Douglas Ousley

 

Matthew 15: (10-20), 21-28

In the Name of God: Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier. Amen.

I begin with some words of Jesus that we just heard—words that seem to go against the grain of our culture today: “Listen and understand. Jesus says: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles.”

Now we Americans seem to worry most about “what goes into the mouth.” We worry Read More


“Praying for Good Weather”

August 10th, 2014 by J. Douglas Ousley

 

Matthew 14:22-33

 

In the Name of God: Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier. Amen.

In our church, we clergy don’t choose the Bible texts that we preach about.

Instead, liturgical scholars draw up what is called a “lectionary” that assigns the lessons to be read on each Sunday in the church year. The results are then approved by a convention of the Episcopal Church.

But even though I had nothing to do with selecting today’s Gospel, I would say that Read More


Bad Apples

July 22nd, 2014 by J. Douglas Ousley

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Bad Apples

July 20th, 2014 by J. Douglas Ousley

In the Name of God: Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier. Amen.

“One bad apple spoils the barrel.”

I grew up on an apple orchard that had been planted by my great-grandfather. I worked there sometimes as a boy and I also worked in another orchard a few miles away that belonged to my grandfather.

So I had personal experience of the truth of this maxim. If you have apples in a crate together and a small patch of decay appears in … Read More


Grounded

July 15th, 2014 by J. Douglas Ousley

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Grounded

July 13th, 2014 by J. Douglas Ousley

In the Name of God: Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier. Amen.

People have very different reactions when they confront the claims of Christianity.  Not everyone who enters the doors of a church has the same experience.

Some of these reactions to Christian faith are portrayed in today’s Second Lesson. In this text, Jesus tells a story about a farmer who plants seeds.

Some seeds fall on the path alongside the field; these seeds aren’t really planted and so they are eaten … Read More


Priorities

June 20th, 2014 by J. Douglas Ousley

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Priorities

June 15th, 2014 by J. Douglas Ousley

In the name of God: Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier.  Amen.

I make this resolution every summer.

When many members of Incarnation are away on vacation, and parish groups are taking a break, I have more unscheduled time.  So I promise myself that I will use some of my extra time to clean out my office!

I will sort old files, and I’ll give away surplus books, and I’ll throw out papers that are no longer needed.  In general, I’ll try … Read More