The Rev. Jay Lawlor Sermons

“Eucharist and Bread of Life” The Rev. Jay Lawlor 12th Sunday After Pentecost, Proper 14, Year B – Aug 12, 2018 Church of the Nativity - Indianapolis, IN John 6:35, 41-51 Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.” (John 6:35) Bread was an important staple of diets in Jesus’ day. Daily bread was central to daily nourishment. “Give us this day our daily bread” in the Lord’s Prayer is as real as it gets in praying for basic needs. Without bread, meals would be lacking. Without bread, people went hungry. Bread played an important role in gathering people in table fellowship to encounter Christ. It should come as no surprise, then, that Jesus in John’s gospel says “I am the bread of life.” The people of Jesus’ day understood how important bread was to sustaining life. They understood the place bread held on their tables, and in their lives ...
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"Sabbath Rest” a sermon by The Rev. Jay Lawlor 9th Sunday After Pentecost, Proper 11, Year B – July 22, 2018 St. Paul’s Episcopal Church – Richmond, IN Mark 6:30-34, 53-56 Jesus calls his disciples to many and varied ministries. In the story from Mark's Gospel today they’re all exhausted. So Jesus calls them to some time away. To rest. To reflect. Jesus invites them to go for a boat ride and get away from ministry for a time. So Jesus and the disciples get in a boat on the Sea of Galilee. It’s time for some rest. Brother Mark Brown, SSJE once commented that “Resting, getting away from it all, retreating is a spiritual practice. It’s also a religious duty: it’s right there in the Ten Commandments, the Sabbath Rest.” He explains that the Sabbath Rest in the most literal sense is about taking it easy on the seventh ...
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“Let God Be Our Pilot” A Sermon by The Rev. Jay Lawlor 7th Sunday After Pentecost, Proper 9, Year B – July 8, 2018 St. Paul’s Episcopal Church – Richmond, IN Psalm 48:13 | Mark 6:1-13 Do you remember the bumper sticker “God is My Co-Pilot”? Bumper-sticker theology can be puzzling. I've always wondered about that particular bumper sticker theology. I get the point it is trying to make. But why is God the co-pilot? Isn't God the pilot? I think of our Psalm this morning: “This God is our God for ever and ever; he shall be our guide for evermore.” (Psalm 48:13) So God as co-pilot is of good intentions, but where theology gets lost somewhat in translation. It can be hard for people, particularly Americans who value individualism, to accept our authority is not our own; that our authority to minister comes from God. Yes, we need ...
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“Faith Like a Mustard Seed” A Sermon by the Rev. Jay Lawlor 4th Sunday After Pentecost, Proper 4, Year B – June 17, 2018 St. Paul’s Episcopal Church – Richmond, IN Mark 4:24-34 [Jesus] said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.” (Mark 4:32-33) Our lectionary offers us a sample of how Jesus taught people in his day. He offered them stories they could relate to based on their culture and experiences. Farmers, fisherman, merchants. Women baking bread to help feed their families. And with each ...
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