James Liggett

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

God Gives Us Bread…, Proper 14 (B) – 2012

August 12, 2012

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 […]

That Same Grace Is Offered to Us, Epiphany 5 (B) – 2012

February 05, 2012

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 […]

The Darndest Parable, Proper 23 (A) – 2011

October 09, 2011

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. […]

Jesus, Master…, Proper 23 (C) – 2010

October 10, 2010

“Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” That’s 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 – and about the choices we have. It’s a simple story, very familiar. But it is easy […]

Let’s Look For A Minute…, Proper 7 (C) – 2010

June 20, 2010

[NOTE TO READER: Gerasene demoniac is pronounced JER-uh-seen de-MON-ee-ak] Let’s look for a minute at the story of the Gerasene demoniac; it’s about time somebody did. The story doesn’t get a lot of attention in preaching these days, and that’s a shame. There’s some really good stuff here, and it’s pretty funny if you come […]

Sometimes We Are So Familiar…, Proper 22 (B) – 2006

October 08, 2006

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 […]

Over Thirty Years Ago…, Trinity Sunday (B) – 2006

June 11, 2006

Over thirty years ago, Karl Rahner, one of the finest theologians of this century, lamented the fact that most Christians are “mere monotheists.” 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…, Easter 7 (B) – 2006

May 28, 2006

Everybody knows that oysters sometimes make pearls; and that fascinating reality has been used to illustrate many a point. But here’s an old truth said in a new way, a way that gives it more power. It seems pearls aren’t automatic. When an oyster — who must ordinarily have an enviably calm life lying around […]

Simon Peter Replied…, Proper 16 (A) – 2005

August 21, 2005

Simon Peter replied, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed 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…, Proper 10 (A) – 2005

July 10, 2005

Everybody knows the old bit about optimists and pessimists—how a pessimist says the glass is half empty and an optimist says the same glass is half full. It’s 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…, Proper 5 (A) – 2005

June 05, 2005

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 don’t hear from Hosea much—in the whole three years of the Sunday Lectionary, there are only two readings from this […]

Last Sunday’s Readings…, Epiphany 2 (A) – 2005

January 16, 2005

Last Sunday’s readings talked about baptism and identity, and included that wonderful sentence from Isaiah, where God says to Israel, to Israel’s servant, and to us, three things: God says, “I 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 […]

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Christopher Sikkema


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