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Showing posts from August, 2012

Final Sermon at St. James': "God is Terrible at Hide and Seek"

Final Sermon: God is Terrible at Hide and Seek
The Rev. John Ohmer, Rector St. James’ Episcopal Church
August 19, 2012

I’ve been with you for fourteen years, and in all those years, I’ve preached a lot of sermons. In fact – I asked Kay Gregg to go back through the parish register and checkthe exact number –I have preached here at St. James’ 3,087 times.
And in all those sermons, I’ve only really been trying to make three points:
One:
There’s a God-shaped hole inside each of us that only God can fill, and 99% of human trouble, loneliness, and unhappiness comes from trying to fill our God-shaped hole with something or someone other than God.
Two:
If we can follow the First Commandment, the other nine come easily, and the first commandment starts out not with a prohibition, but a reminder, a reminder that God is a god of freedom: “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” God seeks to free us from whatever enslaves us, and the God who crea…

So Long, Farewell, Godspeed

About six or seven years ago (our records are unclear if it was late 2005 or early 2006), as part of a Vestry and clergy initiative to improve communications, we happened upon the idea of sharing the weekly Sunday morning printed “Announcements” sheet in – gasp! – electronic form, so they’d appear in people’s email inboxes each Friday instead of only being distributed in hard copy.(Such innovators we were!)
We also thought, “Well, as long as we’re sharing the Announcements each week, why don’t we also include a weekly inspirational message, written by me or one of the other clergy?”

And so – thanks to the technological savvy and patience of Janine Wilson – thus was born “the e-Pistle of St. James’”.
Since that time, I, with frequent pitch-hits from Pastor Mary and Reverend Kate – have written over 330 e-Pistles.
With Sunday being my last Sunday as Rector of St. James’, I’m not only handing over the keys to the church and other symbols of my ordained ministry, I’m also (symbolically) ha…

God Provides

A sermon preached August 12, 2012

The Rev. John Ohmer
Rector, St. James’ Episcopal Church
Leesburg, Virginia


Elijah went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a solitary broom tree. He asked that he might die: "It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors." Then he lay down under the broom tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said to him, "Get up and eat." He looked, and there at his head was a cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. He ate and drank, and lay down again. The angel of the LORD came a second time, touched him, and said, "Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you." He got up, and ate and drank; then he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God. (1 Kings 19:4-8)

This morning’s lessons – the Gospel but especially the Old Testament lesson – pick up on a recurring them in the Bible: