J. Barrington Bates
Now retired, Barrie Bates has served Episcopal and Lutheran congregations in California, New York, and New Jersey over the past 20+ years. He holds a Ph.D. in liturgical studies and serves on the General Board of Examining Chaplains. He looks forward to spending more time on the shores of Lake Michigan, and he welcomes conversation about his sermons.
Sermons and Bible Studies
[RCL]: Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-21; Psalm 114; Romans 6:3-11; Matthew 28:1-10 Download Sermons for Holy Week 2020 Imagine this, a conversation between two women named Mary, long ago and far away: “Let’s go home, Mary. There’s nothing more to be done, really. It’s pointless.” “No, Mary, it’s important that we anoint his body, if we can. That’s […]
[RCL]: Isaiah 9:1-4; Psalm 27:1, 5-13; 1 Corinthians 1:10-18; Matthew 4:12-23 There’s a story about a farmer from a rural part of the country. And this farmer comes to visit a relative in a major city. They’re walking down the busy and noisy main street, amidst the clamor and confusion and traffic and general hubbub […]
[RCL]: Hosea 11:1-11; Psalm 107:1-9, 43; Colossians 3:1-11; Luke 12:13-21 Doesn’t Jesus make you feel a bit uncomfortable, sometimes? And other times, he’s maybe even more than that, even a bit annoying! Today, for example, he tells us to be on guard against all kinds of greed, that our life does not consist in the […]
“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.” With these eleven words, Jesus turns the world order upside-down—in first-century Palestine and here, today. “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.” Jesus tells us that everyone will know we are his disciples if we have love for one another. […]
On May 24, 1966, a new musical opened on Broadway. Music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, starring Angela Lansbury and Bea Arthur. It’s the story of the madcap life of eccentric Mame Dennis and how her bohemian, intellectual, arty clique is disrupted when her deceased brother’s 10-year-old son Patrick is entrusted to her care. Rather […]
Suffering is not something we do well, generally speaking. Suffering is not something we seek out, not something we cultivate, not something we practice so we can do it even better. No, suffering is something we avoid—or try to avoid—as best we can. And, when you come right down to it, suffering is not something […]
Today, we commemorate the baptism of Jesus by his cousin John in the River Jordan. Now, John’s that guy we’ve been hearing a lot about lately (since the beginning of Advent), and after today, he will drop into the background. You see, we no longer need that voice crying in the wilderness, “Prepare the way […]
In today’s gospel, Jesus instructs his apostles about the cost of discipleship. Christianity just is not an easy life, he seems to say. In fact, you may be handed over to councils who will flog you, dragged before governors and kings, betrayed by your family, and hated by all because of the very name of […]
This day that our society celebrates as the beginning of a new year has not always been so. Although the Gregorian calendar established January 1 as new year’s day as far back as 1582, in England it was not until 1752 that it replaced March 25 as the beginning of the new year. March 25, […]
That Jesus: he can be quite enigmatic. His disciples ask if they should command fire to come down from heaven and consume unbelievers, and he sternly tells them, “No.” A village does not welcome him, and he simply moves on to another village. A convert says she will follow him, “wherever you may go,” and […]
Baptism is an amazing gift and an awesome responsibility. We Christians are set apart, commissioned, and ordained to boldly confess Jesus as Savior, to strive for justice and peace among all people, and to seek and serve the Christ in everyone we meet. And we can see this theme reflected in today’s gospel passage and […]
Lest you think you’ve inadvertently stumbled onto yet another cable television cooking show, remember that Jesus himself brought it up: salt. Salt is essential to human life. The National Academies of Science recommend that each of us, on average, take in about 2400 milligrams of sodium daily. That’s about eight-hundredths of an ounce, or roughly […]
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