Special Occasions & Feast Days

A Homily for the funeral of Susette Fink-Jensen-van Oordt

What is stronger, death or life? In the front row is my wife, 32 weeks pregnant, about to give birth to a son not to be met by my mother. For there is the coffin with my mother’s dead body. Life or death? Now, we can fool ourselves that life is beautiful in how it continues – my mother lives on in her prodigy and our memories (and that’s partially true) – but it’s not…

Harvest Thanksgiving – Sowing and Reaping

    (preached in Zwolle Anglican Church) Today’s Harvest Thanksgiving is a day of pause to give thanks.  We have signs all around us of the harvest of the fruits of the earth. The Church of England, has set aside a Sunday to give thanks to God for the abundance of the harvest of the fruits of the earth since the 19th century.  It was much earlier in North America.  According to one historian, the original…

All Souls Day – Commemorating the Faithful Departed

Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgement, but has passed from death to life. St John 5:26 We are coming to the end of Trinity season.  As we think of the union of our souls with God, even tasting and glimpsing the life of heaven on earth, it is most reasonable that there would be all of these commemorations of the faithful departed…

All Things…Invisible

Let the thoughts of my mind and the mediations of all our hearts always be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, our Strength and our Redeemer. Amen. After this sermon we will confess with the words of the Nicene Creed that we believe in God the creator of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. It is easy for us to recognise God in the visible creation, we are every day reminded of…

Transfiguration

Today we celebrate the feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord. This day counts as one of the great feasts on the liturgical calendar. Though I guess not many of us will be aware of this. Most of the other great feasts are connected to holidays and this one is not. Though for a lot of us the 6th of August comes in the middle of our Summer holidays. And now it is even right…

All Saints’ Sunday

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of all our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, our strength, and our redeemer. Amen (Ps. 19:14) I don’t know how long you have been coming to church and how long you have been reading your Bible. You might think that the Beatitudes we just heard, some of the most famous words of Jesus, are both comforting and beautiful. Many in our society think…

Harvest Thanksgiving – Sower and Reaper

You shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Deuteronomy 8:10 Today’s Harvest Thanksgiving is a day of pause to give thanks. We have signs all around us of the harvest of the fruits of the earth.  (Thank you Anne, Hertha, Kim for the decorating of God’s house!)  God has blessed us with so much. In Deuteronomy [8:7-10], Moses, in his final…

Transfiguration – Like the Sun

Jesus …was transfigured before them: and his face shone like the sun and his garments became white as light. [Matt 17:2] We celebrate today the Transfiguration of our Lord. In July I was on holidays and had opportunity to worship on Sundays in different churches – as well as worshipping in other Anglican churches, I’ve been able to attend services in the Syrian and Russian Orthodox churches in Amsterdam, services in the Armenian Apostolic Church…

Besnijdenis (1 jan): Verlost door de besnijdenis van Jezus

This sermon will soon be available in English. “En toen acht dagen vervuld waren, en men het Kind besnijden moest, werd Hem de Naam Jezus gegeven, die genoemd was door de engel voordat Hij in de moederschoot ontvangen was. “ Je zou kunnen denken dat de besnijdenis niet zo belangrijk was. Als Joods gebruik moest het maar gebeuren. Waarom moeten we dat dan vieren, zou u kunnen vragen? Waarom ons niet richten op nieuwjaarsdag? Inderdaad nieuwjaarsdag…

Dag van Stephanus (26 dec.): Jezus, een nieuw begin!

This sermon will soon be available in English. Vandaag vieren wij de eerste van drie heilige dagen in de octaaf van kerstmis: de dag van Stephanus, de eerste martelaar van de kerk. In een octaaf gedenken we niet alleen het feit waar de feestdag naar terugverwijst, maar ook de huidige en toekomstige betekenis en vervulling ervan. Zo vierden wij gisteren het hoogfeest van Kerstmis, daar gedachten wij het grote mysterie van de menswording van Gods…