The Rev. Ken Kesselus, author of John E. Hines: Granite on Fire (Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest, 1995), is retired from full-time, active ministry and lives with his wife, Toni, in his native home, Bastrop, Texas.
Sermons and Bible Studies
Todayâs gospel reading is very familiar â the parable of the four soils. Many of us learned it in Sunday school. Millions enjoyed the graphic enactment of the parable in the movie âGodspell.â For centuries, paintings and stained-glass art have represented it. Easy to remember because of the vivid description, we readily envision an ancient […]
Many of us hearing todayâs Old Testament reading from Ezekiel â that rich and vivid story about the valley of dry bones â instantly remember the words of a song learned in childhood. These words: The toe bone connected to the foot bone, The foot bone connected to the ankle bone, The ankle bone connected […]
It is hard to hear todayâs epistle without recalling Aesopâs fable about the grasshopper and the ants. Thinking about the fun-loving grasshopper who showed up at the hard-working antsâ door, cold and starving during a winter storm, seeking food and shelter, itâs easy to imagine what the ant doorkeeper had to say. Maybe something like: […]
Last December, after a Fort Worth, Texas, policeman was killed in the line of duty, his family spent a gut-wrenching week, planning and attending the funeral and having many conversations with those whose lives had crossed that of their loved one. When all was said and done, this young officerâs mother realized that one story […]
Think about filling up a cup with water. You can fill it only so far, right? Once it has been filled to the brim, what happens when you try to add more water to it? It overflows, of course. The same is true of a sponge that, submerged in water, becomes so saturated it can […]
Reading deathbed quotations can provide information and amusement, bewilderment, and boredom. Seldom, though, do famous last words produce meaning and inspiration. Such is not the case with Jesus, however. Commonly, Good Friday sermons reflect on Christâs last words from the cross. But his truer deathbed quotations come in the lessons for todayâs worship. Okay. What […]
Consider your condition in life. Are you relatively well off financially? Are you secure, with an abundance of material possessions? Do you often eat out, sometimes in expensive restaurants? Do you have a comfortable home? Do you enjoy life? Are you well thought of in your church, neighborhood, and community? Do you have a lot […]
Todayâs gospel reading is the story of the Transfiguration. Six months from now we will hear this same lesson on the last Sunday of Epiphany, just as six monthâs ago we heard the parallel story from the Gospel of Mark. The transfiguration event is retold every year on the Sunday before Lent. We use it […]
Why Mary for the mother of God? Why Mary? Mary was apparently an ordinary person. She was not rich or wellborn. Wasnât she an unlikely representative of humankind to give birth to the savior? Mary was so simple, so plain, so ordinary, so much like the rest of us. And thatâs the answer, isnât it? […]
We have learned to embrace God as all-loving, all-caring, and all-forgiving. On this Christ the King Sunday we might imagine God as a the ultimate benevolent rulerâone who takes care of his subjects and provides a peaceful, safe, and satisfying environment. Wouldnât we be pleased with a ruler who welcomes everyone, outcasts and all, who […]
Long ago the great Anglican priest and poet John Donne reminded us that, âno man is an island, entire unto himself.â For centuries we have considered a person living totally alone to be a hermit. More and more we are discovering that even in densely populated cities loneliness is a chronic, debilitating, and common condition. […]
Sometimes thinking in the Episcopal Church is too sophisticated. Sometimes, we tend to miss simple truths, stated plainly and simply. How many of us would feel comfortable in a congregation where the people express a form of the old time religion? One such church developed a kind of chant that expressed a simple truth. The […]
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