The Rev. James Liggett is the retired Rector of St. Nicholas’ Episcopal Church in Midland, Texas. He is a native of Kansas and a graduate of the University of Houston and the Episcopal Divinity School. He has served parishes in Kansas, Texas, and Oklahoma and has been a contributor to Sermons That Work since the 1980’s.
Sermons and Bible Studies
[RCL]: 1 Samuel 16:1-13; Psalm 23; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41 That long reading from John about the man born blind is always very current. We only need to look at the news, or around town, or in our own lives, to ask the disciples’ question: “Who sinned” and thus caused this to happen? Today, let’s […]
[RCL]: Isaiah 61:10-62:3; Psalm 147 or 147:13-21; Galatians 3:23-25; 4:4-7; John 1:1-18 Have you ever noticed that when you get together with your family and start telling stories about when you were growing up, or what happened years ago, the same events sound very different as different people tell the story? Depending on who’s describing […]
Note: This sermon includes references to an icon that can be downloaded via a link at the bottom of this page for distribution to the congregation. Alleluia, Christ is Risen! The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia! This morning, I want to say a word about Easter, a word taken from one of the great Eastern […]
I want to talk a bit about the Baptism of Jesus, about what it means. The place to start, of course, is with the story we just heard. We heard the first part of it just a few weeks ago. Remember how John was at the Jordan River (the place where the people of Israel […]
Sometimes we are so familiar with something that we don’t even notice it anymore. The little bit from the second chapter of Genesis that we just heard, and that we just heard Jesus quote, is like that. It’s so familiar it’s invisible. But it is dreadfully important and says some absolutely basic things about our […]
The church is full of hypocrites. Ever heard that? I hear it all the time. It usually comes from folks who are anxious to justify the neglect of their own religious duties by dumping on church folks. At first glance, it seems a well-aimed attack, too. After all, Jesus is very hard on hypocrites, in […]
Today we’re celebrating the Feast of the Transfiguration, so we get to hear, again, this familiar story. In fact, since we also hear the same story every year on the Last Sunday after the Epiphany, this is probably one of the most frequent Gospel readings in the Church’s calendar. We get it a lot. As […]
I strongly suspect that even a casual familiarity with any of today’s various sources of streaming news would absolutely satiate anyone’s interest in Caesar and Caesar’s taxes—but here they are again. Still, Jesus is being quite non-partisan here, and, although frequently misunderstood, this little story has much to say to any age, including our own. […]
These long readings from John’s Gospel during Lent have a depth and a power to them that can reach to the very core of our lives. Today we hear about death and new life, about the end of some things, and, perhaps, the beginning of others. Death is always a topic close to home, one […]
There are some words that just sound good, that are attractive all by themselves. A great example, which the Gospel reading especially brought to mind, is ‘penultimate’. It’s a fine old Latin word that means ‘next to the last’. Not the last, not the ultimate, but next to that, before that. The penultimate things are not […]
There is something perplexing and difficult at the heart of the Christian faith. This perplexing something is the central value of the Kingdom of God; the primary, identifying characteristic of the Christian Church at its best and the clearest picture we have of our relationship with Jesus and his relationship with us. At the same […]
The Fourth Sunday of Easter is always Good Shepherd Sunday, and there are always sheep everywhere you look. This year they’re especially thick – we hear two of the most familiar and cherished portions of scripture – the 23rd Psalm and the section from John’s gospel where Jesus says “I am the good shepherd.” Over […]
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