The Parish Church of Connersville, Indiana


How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:14-17).

The Fifth Sunday after Trinity 2023

Now, Jesus making a bunch of fish appear might not seem like it has any connection to this death-struggle for the universe, but it is miracles like this one which reveal just who it is that marched from Mary’s virgin womb to the cross-shaped battlefield upon which human sin lost and divine love forever won. Jesus stands on Peter’s boat and commands the fish to be caught because the God/Man is the same divine Word who caused the first fish to feel the water against its scales. This God/Man is the new Adam preparing for new creation: the ultimate human come to gift our redeemed-rebellious race with the authority and dignity and beauty which humanity was always meant to proudly bear. God has come to restore the crown and identity of Adam to humanity, and as we see today, the creation itself longs to do the will of its Creator; it longs to rise and serve the first man not to give His royal human dignity away for sin’s burning slavery.

Sermon Date: July 9, 2023

Passage: Luke 5

The Fourth Sunday after Trinity 2023

And if we recognize our place in salvation-history, if we recognize our place in the mighty acts of God in time and space, we can take each day for what it actually is: one blink of the eye for a royal priestly people preparing to storm the castles of evil and take back what is rightfully ours. As St. Paul writes to the Thessalonians, ‘For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air…’ (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). The Lord who returns on that day will not be coming back to attend anyone’s church picnic. On that day, Jesus Christ—the 2nd Joshua—will return to cleanse the new earth, the new Holy Land, the new creation, of the evil which the 1st Adam was too weak to exterminate. The evil which smiles at the death of children, laughs at the slaughter of men, and lives to keep humanity weak and enslaved to idols. Jesus is returning to bury evil forever, and St. Paul is telling us today that by the free grace of God it will be the resurrected victims of evil’s tragic reign who will follow our resurrected king into the last battle of the last war in the last hour of this fallen world. We learn that our entire life has been about winning this battle.

Sermon Date: July 2, 2023

Passage: Romans 8

The Third Sunday after Trinity 2023

People often ask in the midst of their suffering or in response to the suffering of others, ‘Where was God?’ Whenever this happens in a movie or a TV show everyone just clams up and looks sad, but in this room and in all rooms we take the Gospel, we do not ever need to apologize for our God. We can say without doubt or fear or shame, ‘Where was God? God was walking out of a tomb in A.D. 33; God was establishing a holy realm of faith and hope and love every day since; God was preparing an eternity more glorious than our imaginations can even begin to comprehend. That’s where God was.’ For the question no one will ask on the day our King returns, the day Satan is ripped from his perch, the day pain and sickness exhaust themselves, the question no one will ask is ‘Where was God?’ We will see and feel and taste and smell and hear his dominion and finally know that the question was never ‘Where was God?’ The real questions was ‘Where were we?’ Let our answer on that day be, ‘Humbly, by thy side my Lord. Humbly by thy side.’

Sermon Date: June 25, 2023

Passage: 1 Peter 5

The Second Sunday after Trinity 2023

The Pharisees who invited their Creator to dinner to try and murder Him, could not have embarked on this insane course unless they were sure they were the most righteous in the land. They tragically believed that their adherence to the law in some areas gave them the right to claim authority over not just the law but the Lawgiver Himself. This same virulent cancer of the soul affects American Christians in countless ways. From the religiously progressive Christian who decides he is specially qualified to tell Jesus and His apostolic witnesses what love really means, to the conservative Christian who thinks as long as he’s not gay or trans he’s sexually pure. From the progressive Christian who thinks the church should look just like every poisoned institution of the 21st century, to the conservative Christian unwilling to purge the false Christianity of the 20th century from God’s church. We (layman, bishop, priest, deacon, or lay deaconess) will never obtain some hypothetical level of righteousness by which we can be the judge of God; in fact, we are called to an embodied trust which manifests itself in everything we do. If the head of our church made Himself a slave to save the world, what does that mean we should do? Every part of us that bristles at the idea of surrendering to the infinite wisdom and providence of God is insane, illogical, and self-righteous. Every part of us that bristles at the idea of surrendering to the grace and justice of God is a part of us that doesn’t think sin is that bad, or at least doesn’t think our sin is that bad.

Sermon Date: June 18, 2023

Passage: Luke 14

The First Sunday after Trinity 2023

It was no accident when the early church, as some of her first acts, began to take care of widows and orphans and the poor destitute. She was simply doing the work her Savior demanded, a work given to God’s people: a sacred charge whereby we love those whose suffering makes them the special recipients of God’s grace—those especially wounded in the war between good and evil. The sacrifices those first Christians made were a flaming arrow into the heart of Roman society; a society which responded to their love, at first, with hatred and distrust before being changed and shaped and remade by it. When the Roman emperor Constantine, knelt before a cross for the first time, a mere 300 years after Jesus spoke these words we hear today, it was the marker of a new way of seeing humanity. If God chose to come to earth as a common man, what does that say about the value of a common man’s life? It means he has infinite value, and so we must treat him as such. It means we can never look at another human being again as either a tool for our pleasure or an obstacle to our happiness. It means we must walk away from our tables of plenty, open the gates, and beg Lazarus to sit at our side. For when we break bread with those grimly assaulted by our fallen world, we strike a blow against the dark evil which strips men of their God given humanity, and we prepare ourselves for the heavenly embrace of our Lord and King, who came to us as a commoner, died the death of a slave, and now wears the bright clothes of resurrection—which neither time nor death can ever strip away.

Sermon Date: June 11, 2023

Passage: Luke 16

Whitsunday 2023

This special role is why our Lord calls the Holy Spirit, ‘the Spirit of truth.’ Christ has perfectly revealed Himself as the ‘the way, the truth, and the life.’ Christ is the embodiment of truth because truth is more than a lifeless fact or even a holy doctrine—truth is the person by whom all things were created. And so, in our tragic and blessed age, the Holy Spirit serves as the ultimate lifeline back to reality, back to the truth all our questions and fears are groping toward. Anglican writer and apologist C.S. Lewis once said, ‘I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.’ The Holy Spirit, through Word and Sacrament, gives us a template for living by which truth can be received and obeyed— a way of living in the eternal realities our fallen world wars against. It is this living relationship with God the Holy Spirit which makes the Christian life so much more than a checklist of dos and don’ts but a portal into the life of the Trinity: an invitation into communion with the divine. Against all other creeds, the Christian life is a simple and transcendent life of prayer and fasting and feasting, joyful suffering and holy witness, a life whose roots dive deep into the earth and whose branches reach up to the heavens. This transcendent rootedness will see us through any storm and provide ample opportunity to bear good fruit for the kingdom of God. It is a life of peace as our neighbors and enemies run from distraction to distraction until they can’t run anymore.

Sermon Date: May 28, 2023

Passage: John 14

Sunday after Ascension 2023

And so, we are called to acts of prayer and sacrificial love, hospitality and divine service, not because these save us, but because they show us and the world who has saved us. These defiant acts of divine, loving obedience unite us with our ascended Savior, who even now, presents His body and blood as a sacrifice for us in the heavenly court, so we can humbly present the sacrifice of our redeemed hearts to the rusty thrones of the world’s fading powers. They may spit on our sacrifice; they may call us fools and zealots, but we will welcome the chance to share in the suffering of Christ that we may share in His glory.

Sermon Date: May 21, 2023

Passage: 1 Peter 4

The Fifth Sunday after Easter 2023

We keep hearing about ‘getting back to normal’ after the last four years of insanity, but there is no normal in a world which is slowly killing you. It is in prayer, in our act of loving sacrifice to God that we link ourselves with Christ against the world He has already overcome. So, it shouldn’t surprise us that the world thinks prayer is stupid and useless because, despite all evidence to the contrary, the world still believes life is about serving our desires until we can’t serve them anymore. The Christian in prayer is a living symbol of our holy resistance against this cult of death. The Christian in prayer is a living reminder that the power and ambition of sinful men does not rule history. The Christian in prayer is Man truly alive because, humbly, on our knees, we are overcoming the world by asking God to overcome us: to destroy us and make us new.

Sermon Date: May 14, 2023

Passage: St. John 16

The Fourth Sunday after Easter 2023

The Prince of this World loves hypocrisy because it is a sure sign of a society’s worshipful disorder—a rebellion against the beautiful order from chaos God first created Man to honor and defend. These types of inconsistencies and injustices are all over our fallen world, and what do people say when they are questioned about them, ‘It’s all for the greater good.’ But, when faced with this solemn pronouncement designed to silence our concerns, we should always ask, ‘What is good?’ From the fallen world, the answer one will always get is the same: the greater good is service to the gods. In ancient times, this reverence would have meant service to Odin or Isis, Mithras or Baal, Molach or Mammon, but all these ancient gods were personified gateways to the gods of our own unimaginative age—the gods named money or power or sex, and it is these gods the supposed ‘greater good’ defends; it is these gods to whom we are asked to sacrifice ourselves and our children. We learn today that the Holy Spirit has come to challenge these gods in every part of this dying world. In fact, the Holy Spirit has come to burn these gods from our hearts.

Sermon Date: May 7, 2023

Passage: St. John 16

The Third Sunday after Easter 2023

How strange it is that mercy is the means by which God shows His power—that mercy is the way in which God forges a nation from the maimed and broken people of our fallen world? How different is this manifestation of true strength from how we would go about showing our power; how different it is from how, through the ages, the leaders of the world have shown their power? But we must remember that God, unlike the all too human leaders of men, does not need to prove His power to us in some cruel display of force; no, the God who decided how many times our hearts will beat does not need to throw His weight around. In fact, He does the opposite. In a world where death and destruction are the final tools of every powerful leader, God shows His alien power in the new life of the risen Christ and the new life of the holy nation He creates through mercy. The people of God are this new nation, and we are the beloved.

Sermon Date: April 30, 2023

Passage: 1 Peter 2