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
Todayâs gospel is like any clear, simple narrative account in many regards. First of all, it is a story, not exactly a factual account: the characters are anonymous, and the setting is spare. Itâs another in a long series of stories told by Jesus, a series that weâve been hearing for a few Sundays, and […]
Letâs begin with an excerpt from The New Yorker magazine, from an article by Malcolm Gladwell. Itâs about, of all things, automobile safety â or the lack of it â and one manâs tragic automobile accident, now more than a decade ago. Quote: âRobert Dayâs crash was not the accident of a young man. He […]
On Christmas morning couple of years ago, I was walking down Eleventh Street in New Yorkâs Greenwich Village, to prepare for the eleven-oâclock service at my former church. There, at the curb, was someoneâs Christmas tree, laid out for the trash truck. Now, can you imagine this? It was 9:30 a.m. on Christmas Day, and […]
Today is Rogation Sunday, when the church has traditionally offered prayer for Godâs blessing on the fruits of the earth and the labors of humankind. The word ârogationâ is from the Latin rogare, âto ask.â Historically, the Rogation Days are a period of fasting and abstinence, asking Godâs blessing on the crops, for a bountiful […]
After hearing a presentation as profound as the Passion Narrative, mere words seem almost like an intrusion. Our reading of the Passion on Palm Sunday turns us from the triumphal entry of Jesus into the holy city Jerusalem, and calls us to face the grim reality of Holy Week ahead. Easter is there, beckoning, at […]
In the rural county of Norfolk, England, there is a town known as Little Walsingham. Inside the townâs church, there are a number of altars — one of them dedicated to the Feast of the Ascension. Itâs an unremarkable shrine, just a small table and few candles, but above it is a sculpture of clouds, […]
As we have worked our way through the beginning of Markâs gospel this Epiphany season, we have seen the explosive growth in Jesusâ ministry. In todayâs gospel his popularity has hit such a peak that the people can no longer gather close enough around him even to hear what he has to say. The word […]
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