Sermons

Sermons delivered by Good Shepherd clergy.

Finding the Eternal God in our Limits

Sermon for: 
6th Sunday of Easter
Delivery Date: 
Sunday, May 21, 2017
Text: 
Acts 17:22-31, John 14:15-21
Preacher: 
Mother Alwen Bledsoe

A little over a week ago my mother-in-law Connie died unexpectedly. It’s been a painful time for our family as we have faced that loss, and also have had to face our mortality and the reality that we have so little control over so much of our lives. In the space of a minute a life can end and the lives of those who loved her are also altered forever. And there is nothing we can do about it. Death comes for us all.

Do You Know the Voice of the Shepherd?

Sermon for: 
Fourth Sunday of Easter
Delivery Date: 
Sunday, May 7, 2017
Text: 
John 10:1-10
Preacher: 
Fr. Craig MacColl

Today is often called “Good Shepherd” Sunday.  Since our congregation is named “Good Shepherd” and not named after some historical saint, it’s as close to a patronal feast day as we get.

What Do You Do With Your Disappointments

Sermon for: 
Third Sunday of Easter
Delivery Date: 
Sunday, April 30, 2017
Text: 
Luke 24:13-35
Preacher: 
Fr. Craig MacColl

At some point in our lives all of us have suffered disappointments – times when we have put our faith in someone, perhaps a family member, or a leader, or someone we have fallen in love with –and felt betrayed or abandoned or manipulated. We’ve also had the experience of putting our hope in some great idea or cause – an investment tip from a trusted friend or adviser, a church community that seemed so full of life and promise - only to find out that what seemed to make our life more worth living, was, in fact an illusion, something less than what was promised.

Out of the Bunker Into the World

Sermon for: 
2nd Sunday of Easter
Delivery Date: 
Sunday, April 23, 2017
Text: 
John 20:19-31
Preacher: 
Mother Alwen Bledsoe

We have all heard stories about cults or fringe groups who stock pile supplies and then retreat deep into the woods. They go to live in bunkers, inside locked doors and thick walls, protecting themselves from the apocalypse, or the impure influences of the world. It seems crazy to us. After all, you never hear about Episcopalian bunkers equipped with kneelers and pretty robes for the priests. But maybe that kind of faith is not so foreign to us. Like those who retreat into bunkers to protect themselves from the world, we often have more faith in fear than in hope.

Standing With Mary; Following Her Into the World

Sermon for: 
Easter Day
Delivery Date: 
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Text: 
John 20:1-18
Preacher: 
Fr. Craig MacColl

Over the past 36 years I have served several suburban congregations. One of the things these parishes have had in common is that they were all located near a major interstate freeway. When I served as the Interim Rector at St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church in a south suburb of Portland, Oregon, depending on the traffic, I often had a 45-minute commute on I-5, one of the busiest interstates in the nation. Driving on I-5 was just like driving on I-25 or C-470.

Finding God In Our Failures

Sermon for: 
Easter Vigil
Delivery Date: 
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Text: 
Matthew 28:1-10
Preacher: 
Fr. Craig MacColl

In the gospel reading we will hear later tonight women play a prominent role on Easter morning and I think that’s fitting given the fact that, in a few moments, in the darkness of this holy night, we will be baptizing a young woman into the Christian faith. Of course, the legitimate question is, “where were the men?” Had all of them scattered like frightened sheep after Gethsemane and Golgotha? Why didn’t they have the courage to suffer with Jesus, as these women did?

Praying At the Foot of the Cross

Sermon for: 
Good Friday
Delivery Date: 
Friday, April 14, 2017
Text: 
John 18:1-19:42
Preacher: 
Fr. Craig MacColl

Today, the day we call Good Friday, we come face to face with Jesus’ willingness to suffer death on a cross. Today, we have to come to grips with a God who is willing to submit to the powers of this world, to the brutality of hardened criminals, to the violence of tyrants and dictators like King Herod, and to the senseless, mindless suffering we see on the streets of American cities and in the streets ofAleppo.

An Unexpected Encounter With God's Foolish Wisdom

Sermon for: 
Palm Sunday
Delivery Date: 
Sunday, April 9, 2017
Text: 
Matthew 26:36-27:60
Preacher: 
Fr. Craig MacColl

During the Sundays in Lent, in the Gospel of John, we have been hearing about different encounters that Jesus has – the Pharisee, Nicodemus, came to Jesus at night; a Samaritan woman met Jesus at a well; a man born blind has an anonymous encounter with Jesus prior to being healed. The Passion Gospel of Matthew, which we just participated in, describes a brief encounter between Jesus and a man named Simon of Cyrene as Jesus walks the road to the place of crucifixion. The gospel says that the soldiers “compelled Simon to carry” Jesus’ cross.

The Encounter That Leads Us to The Waters of Faith

Sermon for: 
Fourth Sunday in Lent
Delivery Date: 
Sunday, March 26, 2017
Text: 
John 9:1-41
Preacher: 
Fr. Craig MacColl

Jesus said, “I came into the world so that those who are blinded may see.” Those words have a very different meaning for me today than they did when I was first ordained 35 years ago. As many of you have seen, the church has a changed a lot. Not that many people go to church these days. Not as many Episcopalians go to church as often as they used to. And this raises questions about what it means to have faith today in a world where church does not seem to be important in people’s lives.

Take Me To the River When My Cup Runs Dry

Sermon for: 
Third Sunday In Lent
Delivery Date: 
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Text: 
John 4:5-42
Preacher: 
Fr. Craig MacColl

Several years ago, when I was in Oregon, a parishioner told me about her deceased husband’s habit of buying a new car every year, whether he needed one or not. She said that he would tell her was going out to change the oil in his car and would be gone for a few hours. Meanwhile, she would be sitting at home, saying to herself, “I know he’s going to come back with a new car!” Sure enough, he’d come down the driveway with a brand spanking new vehicle – usually a  different model and a different color that the one he had before.

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