All Recordings from The Episcopal Church of the Redeemer
Captives of Our Own Culture| The Rt. Rev. Martin G. Townsend
Captives of Our Own Culture
We, surrounded as we are by prosperity, do not comfortably see ourselves as captives of our culture, estranged from our true home in God. But that is what Isaiah invites. He is calling both the discouraged faithful and those who have been assimilated into Babylonian culture back to a center that will hold.
Sitting Around Drinking Wine| The Rev. Melanie W. J. Slane
Sitting Around Drinking Wine
It’s the greatest book ever written and I’m so glad that we get to read it together, here in our book club. People may look at us and think we are just sitting around talking, but we are actually being transformed. So that we, in turn, can help transform the world. Onlookers might think that we are just living in a fantasy world. Some alternate reality. Some dream of what could be. But we are experiencing the divine nature of God in our midst.
Born for Something New| The Rev. Melanie W. J. Slane
Born for Something New
In baptism, we are asking that our old self, our born self, our human self be set aside. That some of the things that are just inherent to our human nature, we let those things die. So that we can choose a new life, a blessed life, a life that blesses others. A life that goes out into the world in witness to the love that Jesus shared with us. A self-sacrificing love, a love that gives everything for the love of the world.
Make God's Presence Obvious| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
Make God's Presence Obvious
Jesus cares about participating with John in John’s work of blessing, and this shifts everything. It becomes about a mutual, relational act. And in that mutual, relational act, God’s presence and the Glory of God working in the world in Jesus Christ is revealed to us, is manifest, is obvious.
Becoming Beloved Community: We're Here to Wrestle| Redeemer Podcast Team
Becoming Beloved Community: We're Here to Wrestle
In this episode, we share a sermon from our Rector, the Rev. Philip DeVaul. In his sermon, Philip shares that we are often called to not just blindly accept what God is telling us but to wrestle with God, to push back, to fight back, to fight for our lives. And that our struggle, our striving and our wrestling are not separate from our connectedness to God. They are instead intrinsic and central to that connectedness to God.
Faithful and Scared| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
Faithful and Scared
"There’s so much in our lives right now. Such a sense of dread and panic, such a sense of losing something of ourselves. Or maybe we have already lost it. Where is God in all of this? Where is Jesus? How will we find him and how are we supposed to be faithful when we are this scared? If we are scared and if we are panicking, does it mean that we have no faith? I love this story so much, because in the midst of the panic and the fear, which are so real to us, in the midst of Mary and Joseph’s uncertainty, […] Jesus is about his Father’s business."
Not Lost| The Rev. Joyce Keeshin
"We might feel like we don’t know the way. We don’t know the path. We don’t know what is asked of us. In those moments, we are not lost. We may feel lost or rudderless, but we are not lost. Mary and Joseph didn’t know where Jesus was, but Jesus was not lost. Jesus wasn’t with his parents but he was not lost. […] Jesus was in his father’s house and we are too."
Looking at How We Got Here| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
Looking at How We Got Here
"It would be a lot more fun to do the work of racial justice, healing, and reconciliation if we could just ignore a bunch of things about ourselves. 'Oh no, we used to be all those things, but now we’re really interested in this. We have good intentions and we are good people, so work with us and this will be good.' Does that sound like a real understanding of ourselves? Do we think we are going to actually be able to engage honestly and authentically in the work of racial justice, healing and reconciliation without taking a look at how we got here?"
A Perfect Christmas| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
A Perfect Christmas
"When we seek to love one another and seek to live our lives for justice, for mercy and to share real, honest connection and relationship with one another, we’re not doing it so that God will show up. We are doing it because God is there. In Jesus Christ it is God who makes us able to love. Makes us able to love each other. Makes us able to love ourselves. Makes us able to love this world as it is and not as we’d have it be. It is God who is with us tonight, who gathers us together. It is God who is with us tonight and nourishes us with God's self. It is God who is with us tonight and sends us out into our imperfect lives and un-ideal situations (and still very messy homes). So that we can see God everywhere."
New Life| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
"God is bringing salvation. God is working in this world for change, for justice. That’s not a question to the prophet. That’s not a question for the angel. They believe that. The question they ask Ahaz, the question they ask Joseph, the question they ask us is not: “Do you believe God is working in the world?” or will he show up. The question for Ahaz, for Joseph, and for us is: “When God shows up, how will we participate in the work that God is doing?"
Excited for Christmas!| The Rev. Mitchell Bojarski
Excited for Christmas!
"This is how God chooses to show the people that he is in this with us. We weren’t getting it and so he tries another way. He offers himself as a baby with us. This baby Jesus is the present that is Christmas. It’s a gift for all of us to remember and to get excited about!"
Eyes for God's Kingdom| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
Eyes for God's Kingdom
"When Jesus says there’s literally no one better than John on this earth, and by the way, the kingdom of heaven is filled with people who are just so much better than that, what it really does is it obliterates our whole idea of what is good, what’s great, what’s better, what’s best. It’s not that he’s trying to get you to be something you can’t be. It’s that he’s saying that whole idea of comparing yourself to others to figure out who is best doesn’t work. Can you imagine your life where you did not compare yourself to others? Or compared them to you?"
Divine Flexibility| The Rev. Gary Lubin
It is fortunate for us that Jesus did not come confined by preconceived expectations of judgment and wrath. Because there aren’t too many ways for an implacable God to respond to a misguided, stubborn self-determination. Imposing our own free will be done, puts God in a box, allowing now room for divine flexibility. We may just end up sentencing ourselves for everlasting life to some kind of self-made Kafkaesque prison, a hellish metamorphism with no exit. Fortunately, again, for us God fails to conform to popular expectations. Instead God surprises us. Jesus did not come to create an earthly empire. Jesus came to establish God’s reign.
Love and Repentance| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
Love and Repentance
"What John is not saying is, “you should feel shame, you should be ashamed of yourself, you should feel miserable and awful about yourself.” That’s not what he’s talking about. He is saying God is here. […] God is present, make a point of looking around and finding God. God is coming close to you and bringing God’s kingdom, which is to say, God’s reign of love and mercy into this world, and you are facing a direction, living a way that you are not able to see it."
The Hearth of God| The Rev. Melanie W. J. Slane
The Hearth of God
"Drawing near to [the fire] and embracing it as a contrast to that cold and dark, is just like how the church gathers for Advent. […] The hearth becomes the heart of God. Drawing us in towards light and life and togetherness. The act of building a fire allows us to hold a little piece of what God has for us. It allows us to be reminded that like fire, God gives us warmth, provide us with light, enlivens our senses, and can literally be seen on your face when you draw near to it."
Expect Joy| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
"Are we going to wait for Jesus to show up exactly as we expect Jesus to be? Are we going to allow ourselves to be surprised by Jesus’ presence in the person right in front of us, maybe even when we look in the mirror? Jesus is coming. Jesus is here. You don’t need to look busy. You don’t need to try to be anything other than who you are. This season, this year, this life – bring all of yourself to the table. Bring all of what you are and what you have to God. To the one who sees you in your fullness, in your wholeness, in your ugliness and your beauty, in your pettiness and your death. Bring it to God. And when you place yourself before God in this world, it’s okay to be scared, it’s okay to wonder how it will go, but also, in Jesus’ name, expect joy."
Solid Peace| The Rev. Mitchell Bojarski
"The kind of peace that God is going to bring is something so far beyond what we are able to achieve that it’s foolishness for me to stand up here and say, ‘go and make that peace.’ [...] So, what do we do? How are we to live then? If, as we’re told, Advent is a season of preparation, what does that preparation look like?
Our task is to live as though we believe that the Lord is bringing that peace. To live as though we believe that there will a day when there will be peace so solid and firm and universal, that we won’t need the kinds of weapons that we use against each other. [...] That peace can come and will come from God. God will make that peace in the world. And we can start preparing for it today."
You Can't Forgive Like Jesus?| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
You Can't Forgive Like Jesus?
"God is not letting anything get in the way of holding on to you and caring for you. You can’t forgive like Jesus? Alright, Jesus can forgive like Jesus. And he is forgiving you, right now. You can’t hold on to humanity the way that God holds on to you? Well, you’re not God, but God is holding on to you. Can you give yourself a chance to be a little frail, a little fragile, a little weak, a little tired the next few weeks? Can you give yourself permission to be a little bit of a disaster? […] Can we shift our energy away from ourselves and all the things we are supposed to be and towards who God is in this world and who God is for us?"
The Beginning of Something Else| The Rev. Joyce Keeshin
The Beginning of Something Else
"Some of us are at the stage right now of recognizing that we have to let things go. That anytime we are welcoming something new we are also frequently saying good-bye to something else. Maybe something we hold very dear, maybe loss of a loved one, our health, a job. Maybe it’s loss of something we believe in strongly and it no longer seems to be what we thought it to be. It’s almost as if we have to experience that loss to be open to creating the space for something new, something surprising to come."
Grounded in the Real Truth| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
Grounded in the Real Truth
"Jesus does not pretend that the world as we know it will stay exactly the same. Jesus does not pretend that if you believe the right thing, you’ll be spared. Instead, Jesus tells us the truth. Things will fall apart. Legacies will die. Your body will die. And you belong to God forever."