Ashes and Stardust

ASHES AND STARDUST The First Sunday of Lent – February 17, 2013 A sermon by The Rev Barbara Mraz St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church, St. Paul, Minnesota Luke 4:1-13  There is a kind of reverence surrounding the movie “Lincoln,” a story about the 16th president’s efforts to pass the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery.  In a performance close […]

Easter In Transition: Love Wins

Any of us who have struggled to learn a foreign language can sympathize with the teacher trying to explain the significance of Easter to people with no experience of the Christian faith, especially if these people were also struggling to learn English. That was the dilemma facing David Sedaris, an American writer living in France, […]

Jesus at a Distance

School breaks and “spring” vacations have ended.  The chocolate bunnies have been eaten, the eggs have been found, the lilies are fading. The emotional highs connected with Easter Sunday have dissipated, even though the Church celebrates Easter for fifty days. In John’s Gospel, the disciples, too, are back at their old jobs: fishing on the […]

SAYING IT: “Consenting to the Faith That is Latent within You”

We like the big moments; the emotional highs that take our breath way and make us forget our problems.  A brother and sister reunited after 35 years.  The small-town basketball team that squeaks out a win over the big city giants in the last seconds of the game.  Climbers near death on a mountain saved […]

A Piece of the Road: The Story of the Good Samaritan

The story in Luke of the Good Samaritan is one of the most-quoted segments of Scripture.  It is easy to dismiss because we have heard it so many times. The story has so worked its way into our culture that “Good Samaritan” is now a term used to describe a person who does an unexpected […]

The Gate

I’ve always worked for wealthy people.  In high school and college, I worked for the Dayton Family at the legendary and iconic department store of the same name.  After college, I taught briefly in one of the richest of Minneapolis suburbs at Edina High School. And then for 25 years I taught at the Blake […]

More than Courtesy

There are several reasons not to give someone a compliment.  Let’s suppose you’re at the theater and a person you know is in the cast. You thought their performance was less than stellar but tradition dictates that you go backstage after the show. One way to get out of giving an unfelt compliment is to […]

The Cross and the Wreath

We come to church for many reasons: worship, community, comfort, guidance, music, habit, the Sacraments. But once we’re here – in this building – or involved in something “religious” — I think that often we become less honest with ourselves: There are burning questions we suppress. There are contradictions we ignore.  The logic of some […]

MASS: The Big Stage on Which Christmas Happens

MASS The Big Stage on Which Christmas Happens A Sermon by The Rev. Barbara Mraz December 22, 2013 St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church St. Paul, Minnesota  Matthew 1:18-25  The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics went to Peter Higgs, professor emeritus at Edinburg University, for identifying the mechanism by which subatomic material acquires mass. This […]

Declaration of Love

Declaration of Love A Sermon by The Reverend Barbara Mraz January 12, 2014 St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church St. Paul, Minnesota The Baptism of Our Lord Matthew 3:13-17 and Isaiah 42:1-9 We’ve all been in those social situations where, suddenly, we feel lonely in the midst of a crowd, even with our friends. Then […]