Waterworld

December 14th, 2014 by J. Douglas Ousley

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

People who live in dry climates, not surprisingly, always worry about water. They know it’s a precious commodity, and their life and health depend on it.

People of the desert also look upon dryness as an image for spiritual need. When we feel “dryness” inwardly, we feel a kind of emptiness. We have a spiritual thirst that only God can satisfy.

No wonder, then, that the Bible is filled … Read More


God Speaking

December 7th, 2014 by J. Douglas Ousley

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

Lessons and Carols is the most complex service in the Anglican Church Year. There are more readers and more hymns and more choral pieces than on any other day.

And yet there is one theme that unites all the lessons and the carols: this is the idea that God speaks to human beings.

In the First Lesson, God speaks to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden—though they … Read More


Seasons of Life

December 4th, 2014 by J. Douglas Ousley

“The Seasons of Life”

November 30th, 2014 by J. Douglas Ousley
  1. Is 64/Mk 13

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

 “The Weather” is what’s called a “neutral” topic of conversation.

 You can meet someone at a party and the two of you can amiably make remarks about the weather outside and discuss what the forecasters say will be coming tomorrow – all without worrying about getting into an argument. We can talk about this topic with anyone, whatever the other person’s politics or religion.

 Read More


Christ the King/”Judgment Call”

November 23rd, 2014 by J. Douglas Ousley

Mt 25. 31-46

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

The Gospel lesson for today is sometimes assigned to be read in church just before Thanksgiving, as it is today. Right before the festive holiday, it can seem jarring.

For in the text, Jesus presents a vivid image of the final judgment. People are accepted to eternal life or condemned to eternal punishment according to only one single criterion: did they help those in need?

It doesn’t Read More


Here Comes the Groom

November 15th, 2014 by J. Douglas Ousley

“Here Comes the Groom”

November 9th, 2014 by J. Douglas Ousley
  1. Matthew 25:1-13
  2. In the Name of God: Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier. Amen.

 A little more than two years ago, we New Yorkers were trying to cope with the damages caused by Superstorm Sandy.

 Since that disaster, all sorts of preparations have been made for the next storm that might come along. For example, networks have been formed of clergy and churches that  can spread the word about possible dangers and also deliver aid to people after a storm Read More


Beatification Project

November 2nd, 2014 by J. Douglas Ousley

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

Today, we are singing one of my favorite hymns.

The hymn is called, “Jerusalem, my happy home,” and it’s appropriate for this All Saints Sunday, the Sunday when we honor those who have found the eternal joy of the heavenly city of God.

The Gospel reading for All Saints gives a series of sayings of Jesus known as the “beatitudes.” This name comes from the Latin for the first word … Read More


Face to Face

October 22nd, 2014 by J. Douglas Ousley

Face to Face

October 19th, 2014 by J. Douglas Ousley

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

Some Christians claim that every word in the Bible is “literally true.” Others claim that it is “inerrant”—that is, that it contains no errors. Our own branch of Christianity makes the less extreme but still substantial claim that the Bible contains “all things necessary for the health of one’s soul.”

Whatever we think about the Bible, our beliefs are likely to be challenged when we read the Old Testament Lesson … Read More