The Rev. Jay Lawlor Sermons

"Jesus Loves" The Rev. Jay Lawlor 2nd Sunday of Easter – Year B (RCL) - April 8, 2018 St. David's Episcopal Church – Bean Blossom, IN John 20:19-31   When it was evening on that first Easter Sunday, the disciples were gathered together in the Upper Room behind locked doors because they were afraid. They were afraid because their leader, the one who was going to bring down an oppressive empire and establish God's reign on earth, had been beaten and a hung on a cross to die. They were afraid because the one whom they believed in, the one whom they loved, was dead and buried in a tomb. All hope seemed lost. The disciples were afraid because they were a marginalized group of Jews who were part of a movement begun by Jesus that now seemed over. Their “fear of the Jews” in John's Gospel is more accurately ...
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The Rev. Jay Lawlor “The Urgency of God's Reign” 1 Lent, Year B, February 18, 2018 St. Alban's Episcopal Church – Indianapolis, IN Mark 1:9-15 Mark's gospel is about the urgency of getting to the work of God's reign. It is why Mark presents us with much shorter narratives than the similar stories in Matthew or Luke. Today's reading for the First Sunday in Lent is no different. Yet, for such a short narrative, this week's passage from Mark's Gospel includes three episodes: Jesus’ baptism (Mark 1:9-11), his temptation (Mark 1:12-13), and his inaugural preaching (Mark 1:14-15). The three scenes are related and are instructive for us as Christian's today. They individually and collectively speak to how the “kingdom (or reign) of God has come near” in Jesus. As one commentator wrote this week: “God’s kingdom -- better, “kingship,” “reign,” “sovereignty” -- is not a place but a power. It ...
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The Rev. Jay Lawlor “Jesus as the Incursion of God” 4th Sunday After the of Epiphany, Year B, January 28, 2018 St. Paul's Episcopal Church - Richmond, IN Mark 1:21-28 First acts are important. The first act in a book, play, or movie establishes what the story is going to be about and sets us on the journey as that story unfolds. Paying attention to the first thing Jesus does as a public act of ministry in a gospel is important to the theology and outlook of the gospel writer. In Mark, Jesus' first act of public ministry is to go to the synagogue and teach. While there, he heals a man of an unclean spirit – he calls out evil with authority. The crowd is so amazed at Jesus' teaching “What is this? A new teaching—with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” At once ...
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The Rev. Jay Lawlor "Follow Me" 2nd Sunday After the Epiphany, Year B, January 21, 2018 St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Richmond, IN Mark 1:14-20 After John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” (Mark 1:14-15 NRSV) Here Mark chronicles the beginning of Jesus' public ministry – the start of his movement. John the Baptist has been imprisoned, and Jesus sets out on his own. He comes to the small fishing village on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. He proclaims good news. The term Good news (the word gospel), was commonly used in antiquity to announce benefits to the people. Here, Jesus announces God's intervention on behalf of the people. The kingdom (reign) of God has come near in the person of ...
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