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
Let’s begin today with a familiar verse from Deuteronomy; it’s not in today’s lectionary readings, but it lies behind this whole series we’ve been hearing from John’s gospel. It also shows up in the temptations stories in Matthew and Luke, and is tied to the reading from First Kings. Moses is giving the Law to […]
It’s a simple little story, but the reading we just heard from Mark is one of the most moving, and most challenging, parts of this gospel. It’s from the first chapter of Mark, and it describes the second part of a sort of model day in the ministry of Jesus. We heard the first part […]
Isn’t today’s gospel reading the darndest parable? The whole thing just sort of jerks along, and doesn’t quite work – especially when you get to the poor fellow who is tossed into the outer darkness for violating the dress code. Puzzling. Let’s unpack it a little and maybe make it a bit easier to grasp. […]
âJesus, Master, have mercy on us.â Thatâs a good prayer to know. The story of the ten lepers is really a story about life and death. It is really a story about our lives, and about our deaths â and about the choices we have. Itâs a simple story, very familiar. But it is easy […]
[NOTE TO READER: Gerasene demoniac is pronounced JER-uh-seen de-MON-ee-ak] Letâs look for a minute at the story of the Gerasene demoniac; itâs about time somebody did. The story doesnât get a lot of attention in preaching these days, and thatâs a shame. Thereâs some really good stuff here, and itâs pretty funny if you come […]
Sometimes we are so familiar with something that we donât 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. Itâs so familiar itâs invisible. But it is dreadfully important and says some absolutely basic things about our […]
Over thirty years ago, Karl Rahner, one of the finest theologians of this century, lamented the fact that most Christians are âmere monotheists.â By this he meant that if the doctrine of the trinity were eliminated from the faith, then the bulk of popular Christian thinking, preaching, writing, and singing, and the mind set it […]
Everybody knows that oysters sometimes make pearls; and that fascinating reality has been used to illustrate many a point. But hereâs an old truth said in a new way, a way that gives it more power. It seems pearls arenât automatic. When an oyster — who must ordinarily have an enviably calm life lying around […]
Simon Peter replied, âYou are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.â And Jesus answered him, âBlessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father, in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, […]
Everybody knows the old bit about optimists and pessimistsâhow a pessimist says the glass is half empty and an optimist says the same glass is half full. Itâs a familiar platitude. But did you ever stop to think about how terribly important the issue here is? It really matters how you understand that glass. What […]
It would seem like a good idea today to talk and think about the Book of Hosea. We heard a bit of it just a minute or so ago as our Old Testament reading. We donât hear from Hosea muchâin the whole three years of the Sunday Lectionary, there are only two readings from this […]
Last Sundayâs readings talked about baptism and identity, and included that wonderful sentence from Isaiah, where God says to Israel, to Israelâs servant, and to us, three things: God says, âI have called you in righteous-ness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the […]
Don’t forget to subscribe to the Sermons That Work podcast to hear this sermon and more on your favorite podcasting app! Recordings are released the Thursday before each liturgical date.