Monthly Archives: June 2017

Joy–A Sermon

SmileThe Rev. Noah Van Niel

June 4th, 2017

St. John the Evangelist

Pentecost (A): Acts 2:2-21; Psalm 105:25-35, 37; 1 Corinthians 12:3-13; John 20: 19-23

Of all the things you learn from being a parent, I think the thing that has surprised me most is how much I envy my son, Vincent. I don’t envy the fact that he gets to take a three hour nap in the middle of the day, or gets to eat with his hands, though those things would be nice. More than anything, I envy Vincent’s joy. Continue reading

Commencement–A Sermon

Grad CapsThe Rev. Noah Van Niel

May 28th, 2017

Easter VII (Sunday after Ascension): Acts 1:6-14; Psalm 68: 3-10; 1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11; John 17: 1-11

Tis graduation season, my friends. All those colleges last week, High Schools this week, heck I even drove by Wilder School a few days ago and there were about a hundred cars parked out front for what I guess must have been pre-school graduation. And with all these graduations, you know what that means: commencement speeches! Who spoke where? What words of wisdom did they offer?

Today is also the final Sunday of Eastertide; the great fifty days of celebration after Easter are drawing to a close. And it’s the first Sunday after the Ascension, which was celebrated on Thursday. That’s why we hear about that episode in our first reading from the book of Acts this morning. The Resurrected Jesus has been appearing to and among his disciples for weeks now, and it is time for him to finally head to Heaven, to take his place at the right hand of God. But not before he promises to send an Advocate who will guide the disciples in his absence, which is what we celebrate next week, at the jubilant feast of Pentecost, with the arrival of the Holy Spirit, and the birthday of the Church. With these two things, graduation season and Ascenciontide happening together, it got me thinking: today is kind of like the Disciples’ graduation—it marks the end of Jesus’ hand holding as they are sent forth into the world.

So I wonder, if Jesus were giving a commencement speech…what would he say?? Here goes: Continue reading