Sacred Mountains, sacred encounters, listening: A Sermon for the Last Sunday after the Epiphany, 2020

Corrie and I lived on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere for five years. Actually, it was in middle Tennessee, and it wasn’t technically a mountain but the Cumberland Plateau but it was usually referred to as the mountain, and it had sacred significance for many as it was the home of Sewanee, the University of the South, a university affiliated with the Episcopal Church with one of the church’s theological seminaries. The Cumberland Plateau rises high above the countryside of middle Tennessee and when you are one of the bluffs on a clear day, there are spectacular views of the valley below. Having grown up on the flat land of Northwestern Ohio, I couldn’t get enough of those vistas. Continue reading

Get up! Do not be afraid! A Sermon for the Last Sunday after the Epiphany

I was struggling to figure out how to start my sermon this morning. I didn’t think the introduction worked very well at 8:00 so I went back upstairs between services and tried again. But it didn’t help; it still seemed flat. Then as I began to listen to the choir during the psalm chant, it came to me. The setting by Thomas Atwood is one of my favorites and as I listened, I was immediately transported back to Choral Evensong at All Saints’ Chapel in Sewanee, TN. I’ve come to love Anglican chant and a beautifully sung Choral Evensong is an opportunity for me to experience God’s beauty through music. As I listened to the choir this morning, I was reminded of the power and beauty of evensong, reminded of encountering God through music, and I was left wanting to hear more, to recapture those experiences of years ago. Continue reading