True Thanksgiving

Sermon for Sunday November 25, 2018
Passages: Isaiah 36:1-9; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10; Luke 12:13-31

In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit Amen!

A beautiful feast to celebrate.
Food for us to eat.
Hours of preparation
On Thanksgiving we will meet.
Our tables are full of several things,
Turkey, stuffing and napkin rings.
As Armenians we’ll also have,

Rice pilaf, sarma and more,
Everywhere food galore.1Thes

Our mothers, sisters and grandmothers,
Toil away to clean and set,
While most of us young and old gentlemen,
Try steering clear this I bet.
And on the TV we watch the game,
Bears crushing the Lions
No surprise there.
And if the weather does hold true,
We can be play a game of football
All the way through.
What a beautiful way to celebrate,
A feast of thankfulness.
With traditions from far and near
As we remember how we are blessed.

Yes, one day a year we celebrate
Everything we are thankful for.
Our families, our health, our jobs
And much-much more.
Yet, in this season of feast and more
I wonder if we care,
About our brothers and our sisters
Who are in need of solemn prayer.
I ask this not to put on guilt,
I ask this not to judge,
But I wonder in my heart, I do
So that my soul would start to budge.

Because this feast comes not alone,
But brings with it a day,
Right after we celebrate what we are thankful for,
We covet each other on Black Friday.
No, to have possessions is not so bad,
But does it give us worth?
When today we remember what we are thankful for,
And tomorrow we shove our brother to the earth.

In the Gospel today we read, a man comes to Christ
Asking of him to help divide ownership of property
And all things he holds nice.
And Christ looked at him and began to teach
That his worth is not in what he owns,
“Take heed, and beware of all covetousness” Christ begins to warn.
“For a man’s life does not consist in the abundance” of all materials he holds dear. (Luke 12:13-31)
No my dear brothers and sisters Christ’s teaching is very clear.
Today we’re here, tomorrow not,
Life is not about what we sold or bought
But our worth that should be defining us
Should be found in our action and our loving hearts.

I wonder in this blissful feast,
If we truly see Christ’s words.
In the way we treat each other
In our prayerful words.
Because I fear our pockets
Have become too heavy for us
To rise up to heaven and be with God,
If so we must adjust.
Our prayers seen in action.
We must change our ways, reflect this day,
Not just random chants and hymns,
Not just words to say.

St. Paul teaches each of us,
“We give thanks to God for all that is true”
Our labors of love, our faith, our hope in Him
For He who has chosen you. (1 Thessalonians 1:1-10)
Yes God has chosen each one of us to bring his love to one another
And only in our faith in actions,
Our worth will be seen by our brothers.
Food and football and all possession are blessings given by God.
But the greatest blessing I am thankful for
Is his love in who we are.
Whether we are in pain and sorrow,
Or we are now at peace.
God’s love has never failed us.
God’s love will never cease.

Christ died for our sins and freed us all,
If we just accept,
The banquet table that is here set for us
Truly is the best.
Yes, on Thursday we gathered for food in our homes
And God also invites us to celebrate,
Around this table up in heaven
Within the heavenly gates.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters dear,
Let us remember once more,
What we are truly thankful for
All that God has given for.
Happy Thanksgiving to us all
God love us my dears,
Let us remember these words during this season
Spreading Gods love instead of Gods fear.









Sermon for Sunday November 11, 2018
Passages: Isaiah 24.1-12; Ephesians 5.15-33; Luke 8.49-56

Names to Remember: Stephen, Joseph, Alexander, Paul, Michael, Gabriel, Raphael.

In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit…

In 1862 US General Daniel Butterfield camped with his troops trying to recuperate, after a long 7 days of battle during the Civil War. His men had seen the worst on the battlefield and they needed to rest and be prepared for the freedom for which they strived for. According to military custom at the time a bugle was played loudly to signal the time of rest had come for that day. However, the sound of the bugle did not stir anything in General Butterfield’s heart. It was not pleasing to him and he reworked the melody to his liking. Today that melody is heard every time we lay a solider to rest. The music of Taps, was born.

how-did-taps-originates-featured-photo.jpgThough only a few notes, it echoes in our souls and stirs us every time we hear it. Today we remember 100 years ago the fields of WW1,  where this melody was all too familiar. And yet, today though not as often heard but the general public unless you attend a military funeral, but the pain of waking up to hearing the loss of a loved one is all too familiar. And for us who lose that loved one, there is no rest, only memories. The sound of the bugle rings on.

Yesterday, at a youth retreat one of our priests spoke about trumpets. And the sound of the bugle and the 11th of November and the events of this past week resounded in my heart. The bugle is a type of trumpet and trumpets are not associated with quiet or calm music. If any one of you has ever played a trumpet, the control it takes is very difficult. Throughout scripture we read of the trumpet as a instrument to announce battle, life and kingship. We see trumpets at the battle of Jericho. The walls are brought down with a blow of a trumpets call. We see trumpets at the last judgement alerting us of the coming of Christ. Yesterday, we celebrated the feast of the Archangels and it is they who blow the trumpet bringing forth such news in the book of revelations. In 1 Corinthians (15:51-52) we read, “Lo! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.” The trumpet raises the dead.

These images are loud and powerful. They are not timid or afraid. In fact the bugle was also played to signal a charge by the military. To be a trumpet player in battle took courage. I rather have a rifle in my hand and be hiding rather than run on the field blowing a trumpet. Like I said yesterday the youth of our Diocese had gathered in New Hampshire and during one my talks I spoke about the “hot topics” or the taboo issues that our society faces today. One of the young gentlemen asked me why don’t we as Christian’s speak out against such issues. Why do we allow hate and wrong thoughts about our faith to be preached. We see extremists of both sides left and right screaming and polluting what Christianity actually teaches, why are we so quiet?

It’s interesting that with last weeks political events and some of the comments I read on social media, truly this mans words spoke to me. Because unfortunately those who are most ignorant are always the ones who have the most to say and the loudest in saying it. This week I witnessed the most awful comments on my social media feed about gun violence, about immigration and about voting. Loud, boisterous, in your face. Why? Without blaming extremists and their loud approach, regardless of who voted left or right or what their views on all the “hot topics” are, the passion that is felt in peoples heart spoke out. Passion for what they believe in. However my dear brothers and sisters, when will we be as passionate about faith?

We are bombarded with hate, violence, pain and darkness in this world. What about the call of God? Not the call done from this pulpit, not one from angels and miracles. But each one of us through our actions, resounding like trumpets. Our voices, our actions which can bring down the walls of Jericho and change the world. Our voices, our actions can raise the dead. Our voices, our actions can announce the coming of the Lord our God. As Christ says, “if we have faith”…we can tell the mountain to move. But we like the bugler cannot be timid or quiet. We must be steadfast in our faith and fully trust in God, in his love. So that we can be a testament of that eternal love both on the battlefield of life and when God finally calls us to rest.

As plain as the melody of taps is, it echoes and stirs the depths of our soul. As plain as our actions may seem, our kind words may seem, it echoes and stirs the depths of our souls. When we share a kind word, when we forgive someone who hurts us, when we simply smile. The weather is cold, perhaps when we go to grab a hot tea or coffee, we can buy an extra one for someone who is sitting on the street. Downstairs in the hall, the ACYOA is collecting items to donate to those less fortunate. Though those who receive will never know us by name, that act will echo louder than the call of the loudest trumpet.

Therefore my dear brothers and sisters, let us not be timid and afraid to proclaim our faith. Let us not incline our ears and hearts to those hateful words of this world. Let us be the calming call of Christ love in all circumstance through our actions. Let us be the bugle’s call who brings peace and rest to this world.