Sermons 2006
"Choices." Proper 16B, 30 August 2006, Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-25; John 6:60-69

Home | "Light and Darkness", Christmas 2C, 31 December 2006, John 1:1-18 | Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 2006 | "What then shall we do?", Advent 3C , 17 December 2006, Luke 3:7-18 | "Luke's Gospel", Advent 1C, 3 Dec 2006, Luke 21:25-31 | Which Jesus? Proper 29B 2006, 26 November 2006, John 18:33-37 | Apocalypticism and Fundamentalism, Proper 28B, 19 Nov 2006, Daniel12; Mark 13:14-23 | "The Widow's Mite: All and Everything", Proper 27B, 12 November 2006, Mark 12:38-44 | "The Commandments to love God, Neighbor, One Another" Proper 26B, 5 November 2006, Mark 12:28-34 | "Sight -- and Seeing" Proper 25B, 29 October 2006, Mark 10:46-52 | "Baptism: Overwhelming Washing", Proper 24B, 22 October 2006 Mark 10:35-45 | "God's Transforming Love", Proper 23B, 15 October 2006, Mark 10:17-31 | "Divorce", Proper 22B, 8 February 2006, Mark 10: 2-9 | "Hard Sayings and Sharp Words", Proper 21B, 1 October 2006, Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48 | "First or Last?" Proper 20B, 24 September 2006, Mark 9:30-37 | "Unintended Consequences", Proper 19B, 17 September 2006, Mark 8:27-38 | "Ephphatha! Open up!" Proper 18B, 10 September 2006, Mark 7:31-37 | "Rituals", Proper 17B, 3 September 2006, Deuteronomy 4:1-9; Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 | "Choices." Proper 16B, 30 August 2006, Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-25; John 6:60-69 | "Come to the Table." Proper 15B, 20 August 2006, John 6:53-59 | "Do not be afraid." Proper 12B, 30 July 2006, Mark6:45-52 | "General Convention and Jesus' Compassion", Proper 11B, 23 July 2006, Mark 6: 30-44 | "Basics for the Journey", Proper 10B, 16 July 2006, Mark 6:7-13 | "Jesus and Rejection", Proper 9B, 9 July 2006, Mark 6:1-6 | "Trust, Faith, and Belief" Proper 8B, 2 July 2006, Mark 5:22-43 | "Storms, Fear, and Faith" Proper 7B, 25 June 2006, Mark 4:35-41 | Mighty things from Small, Proper 6B, 18 June 2006, Mark 4:26-34 | Trinity, Pentecost 1, 11 June 2006, Exodus 3:1-6; John 3:1-16 | The King Jesus Fire-Baptized Holy Spirit Church, Pentecost , 4 June, Acts 2:1-11; Jn 20:19-23 | "That they may be one" General Convention 2006, Easter 7B 28 May 2006, John 5:9-15 | "Friends, friendship, and love" Easter 6B, 21 May 2006, John 15:9-17 | Mother's Day, two mothers' love!" Easter 5B, 14 April 2006, John 14:15-21 | "Interesting, this Good Shepherd!" Easter 4B, 7 May 2006, John 10:11-16 | "How do you prove you are alive?", Easter 3B, 30 April 2006, Luke 24:36b-48 | "Do you believe because...." Easter 2B, 23 April 2006, John 20:19-31 | "He goes before you to Galilee...." Easter B 2006, 16 April, Mark 16:1-8 | "Journey into darkness", Palm Sunday B, 9 April 2006. Mark 11:1-11, 14:32-15:47 | "Sir, we would see Jesus!" Lent 5B, 2 April 2006, John 12:20-33 | "Miracles and Faith, Ordinary and Not", Lent 4B 2006, 26 March 2006, John 6:4-15 | "Rage, Rampage, and Outrage", Lent 3B, 19 March 2006, John 2: 13-22 | "Images of the Cross", Lent 2B, 12 March 2006, Mark 8:31-38 | "Baptism, Temptation, Redemption," Lent 1B, 5 March 2005, Mark 1:9-13 | Ash Wednesday , 1 March 2006, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 | ""Nanny McPhee' and transfiguration", Epiphany Last B, Mark 9:2-9 | "Jesus, leprosy, and the law of Moses", Epiphany 6B, 12 February 2006, Mark 1:40-45 | "Healing, wholeness, forgiveness, and love", Epiphany 5B, 5 February 2006, Mark 1:29-39 | "Haints, Unclean spirits, and demons" Epiphany 4B, 22 January 2006, Mark 1:21-28 | Epiphany 3B, 22 January 2006, "God's Call -- and Our Response", Mark 1:14-20 | Epiphany 2B, 15 January 2006, "Call and Response", John 1:43-51 | Epiphany 1B, 8 January 2006, "The Baptism of our Lord -- and Ours", Mark 1:7-11 | The Holy Name, 1 January 2006, Luke 2: 15-21

Proper 16B 2006 Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-25; John 6:60-69

Choices. We are faced with choices all the days of our lives. Constant little choices: Tea or coffee, to begin with. Regular or decaffeinated. What do we want for breakfast; what shall I wear today; what do I do first; where shall I have lunch; where do go for dinner tonight; what do I watch on television tonight; do I play golf – go fishing/hunting on Sunday or go to church – or just sleep in.

Recurring middle range choices: Do I call the plumber or should I try to fix it myself; Do I want to change InterNet Service Providers, do I want dialup or DSL Broadband; do I work on this painting for the art show tonight or do I work on Sunday’s sermon instead; Do I paint this room myself or do I call a professional painter; do I want wall to wall carpet in my new house or do I want hardwood floors with Oriental rugs; do I replace the faltering electric stove with a new electric range or a gas one?.

And for many of us, choices that can seem very large: Do I need to downsize to a smaller house or go to a Continuing Care Retirement Community, like Rappahannock Westminster Canterbury or just try to stay here until they carry me out feet first. Do I need to replace my old vehicle or not. Do I replace it with a Mercedes, Toyota, or good used car. Can I keep sailing or do I need to switch to a smaller motor vessel. Do I move closer to children or stay where I am.

Our choices have shaped who we are; what we have become; the content of our character; and whether or not the world is a better place for our having lived in it. Take education, for example. To go to college or not, is the first choice we make during our high school years. If we choose to go, then which college or university.

It has been interesting to read the most recent US News and World Report. The issue was entitled America’s best Colleges: An Exclusive Guide to the Top Schools, with articles on Our Exclusive Guide to Getting a Great Education, Hot Tips on Getting In; How to Boost your SAT Score; Making your Best Case; Five simple steps to choose the college. I was pleased to note that in the category of engineering schools whose highest degree is a bachelor’s or master’s that two schools who only offer a bachelor’s were tied at third place in the country: The United States Military Academy (we don’t play football too well any more but we’re doing something right) and the Naval Academy. The Air Force Academy was tied in seventh place. Over all not bad. A good return on the tax payers’ investment in those three institutions. But I digress. On purpose.

And it is true these days that choosing a college is one of the earliest very large choices we make in life. WWE often make either our permanent or choice of a first spouse during these college years. We choose which career path we wish to follow -- at least at first.

It is even more interesting to note among the young and very wealthy the pressure to choose the right pre-Kindergarten and private K-12 school for their children. It’s also interesting that church schools are very important in this role.

And so as we baptize Owen Carl today we pray that he and his parents will make the right worldly choices so that he will have the potential to make the world a better place for his having been in it.

But the fact is, these are only penultimate choices. Our Old Testament lesson and Gospel remind us sharply of the ultimate choices, the choices that are for all time and eternity, Chronos and Kairos.

At the end of his life, with the conquest of the Promised Land of Canaan not yet complete, with the tribes and people of Israel bedazzled and tempted by idols and other things, Joshua gathers them together at the Great Assembly of Shechem – the first great assembly of the Chosen People sense they lay encamped before Mount Sinai as Moses brought them the Ten Commandments straight form the mouth of God and engraved in stone by God’s fiery finger.

Choose you this day whom you will serve, Joshua challenged the Chosen people -- and challenges us to day with the ultimate questions. Choose you this day whom you will serve, the idols among which you find yourselves or the false gods of the past or choose you this day to serve Lord your God.

One of the things we are doing in Holy Baptism is reminding parents, god parents, and grandparents that in the vows and promises they make they are echoing Joshua’s promise: “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” And to prepare young Owen to make this ultimate commitment on his own as grows in wisdom and stature.

And to remind him of Peter’s answer to the Lord’s challenge when many of Jesus’ disciples were complaining that Jesus’ teaching, that the Good News, was too difficult to accept. Jesus asked the Twelve, “Do you also wish to go away? Do you also wish to disbelieve? Do you also find the path I lead you on too difficult?”

And this time Peter got it right. Simon Peter answered Jesus, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” And that is your task, parents, and god parents, and grandparents: to make certain Owen gets it right, too.


Wicomico Parish Church
PO Box 70
Wicomico Church, Virginia 22579