We kick off the first Sunday in Lent by considering Jesus in the Wilderness, and more particularly the temptation at the end of the episode. Jesus is tempted in three different ways… or perhaps really just the one way. And yet he wanted something different. In our own lives, we can use new things and old things as temptations… distractions… from being present and kind to ourselves and others in our lives. We, too, are tempted, just as Jesus was.
This sermon was preached on March 10, 2019. The readings it is based on can be found here. It was preached at Trinity Episcopal Church in Warsaw, NY by the Rev. Sare Liz Anuszkiewicz.
This is a list of questions to help you prepare for the New Age Book Study that will cover Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now, chapters three and four. To find other review question blog posts on the same theme, check out this archive.
Remember, these are questions to help you go deep and engage. In an hour we won’t be able to cover them all, and so we won’t even try.
For more information about our New Age Book Study, check out its info page.
Tolle is saying that the issues of the mind cannot be solved by/with/on-the-level of the mind. Agree? Disagree? Undecided?
Which has been more precious to you? Time, or the Present?
Do you understand the point Tolle is making about The Now being where everything happens?
Have you experienced this? In a crisis have you had total focus with no past or future issues?
Have you ever had a moment of intense presence like the questioner here? Have you ever noticed yourself (perhaps after the fact) playing out ‘the reactive pattern’ Tolle describes?
Do you get Tolle’s distinction between clock-time and psychological time?
“The belief in a future heaven creates a present hell.” Agree? Disagree?
Do you believe that for the future to be better a change has to occur (more than just the passage of time), or that the future can be better without changes on your or anyone’s part?
Do you agree or disagree with the idea that you could be totally present in the now AND unhappy? Do you see a difference between what Tolle defines as your Life and your Life Situation?
What do you think of the notion, “The mind unconsciously loves problems because they give you an identity of sorts. This is normal, and it is insane.”?
Could you believe that we’re in the midst of a planet-wide rising consciousness or awakening?
Are you familiar with this idea – if there is joy, ease, lightness in what you’re doing, you’re being present? Have you lived it?
Tolle says that our real problem isn’t comprised of the details of our life situation (which may be, objectively, dreadful), but of NOT realizing that happiness comes from living in the now, and not even understanding what that is, or means. How do you feel about this assertion?
Are you familiar with some of your own ‘background static’? A low-level continuous unease, discontent, boredom, nervousness…?
Have you seen that face on others? Here’s a challenge: The next time you leave the house, look at people and look deeply. Do they seem happy? Count the number of smiling or relaxed faces.
What is going on inside you right now?
How much of the day do you spend in resentment, mild or massive? 5%? 15%? 85%?
Have you tried any of Tolle’s suggestions for being present – or others you may be familiar with? How did that go for you?
What do you THINK about Tolle’s idea that all you have in the journey is the step you’re taking now? How do you FEEL about that?
What do you THINK about dealing with the past only as it crops up in the present? How do you FEEL about it?
Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also…
In Lent you can pick up a practice just as well as you give one up. The point is that we can learn something about ourselves that we didn’t know before, and that can help our relationship with the Living God.
This sermon was preached on Ash Wednesday, March 6, 2019. The readings it is based on can be found here. It was preached at Trinity Episcopal Church in Warsaw, NY by the Rev. Sare Liz Anuszkiewicz.
*Why did Mother Sare say in the sermon, “Some of us are allowed to complain as much as we want!”? Because she had just mentioned that perhaps someone wants to give up complaining for Lent. However, if someone is struggling with chronic pain, or chemotherapy, or any horrific life circumstance which in former times would lead to sitting in sackcloth and ashes and entering a phase of mourning… please don’t imagine that God wants you to suffer in silence. When the pain inside won’t stop, complaining is an entirely reasonable endeavor and not something that should be given up for Lent.
Ash Wednesday is almost upon us!
Ashes to Go will be from 5-6 PM in the parking lot next to the church. If you don’t have time for an inside service, stop on by in your car and we’ll help you kick off the Lenten Season. No worries.
Our inside service for Ash Wednesday will be at 6 PM in the Sanctuary.
When is Ash Wednesday? March 6th.
Sometimes we want to live in the past. There are some beautiful times, after all, that we’ve had back then. And maybe we think all of our best times are, in fact, in our past. But the lesson of the Transfiguration is that no matter how amazing our life has been just a moment ago, we must continue to live in the present, for it is in the present that God has plans for us to do and be in the world.
This sermon was preached on March 3, 2019. The readings it is based on can be found here. It was preached at Trinity Episcopal Church in Warsaw, NY by the Rev. Sare Liz Anuszkiewicz.
This is why it’s hard to be an active Christian, not a hypocritical one.
This sermon was preached on Christmas Eve, 2018. The readings it is based on can be found here. It was preached at Trinity Episcopal Church in Warsaw, NY by the Rev. Sare Liz Anuszkiewicz.
Cursed are you who trust in your own strength… blessed are you who trust in God. …Does this mean that God curses us when we’re prideful? That God blesses only those who toady up to him? It’s been a popular understanding for years (millennia). Have we been misunderstanding this all this time?
This sermon was preached on February 17, 2019 and the readings it was based on can be found here. It was preached at Trinity Episcopal Church in Warsaw, NY by the Rev. Sare Liz Anuszkiewicz.
*Mother Sare misspeaks in the beginning of the sermon and calls Jeremiah Isaiah once or twice. She clears it up eventually. Also, the favorite poet she mentions is Hafiz. The poem in question is called ‘Purity’ as translated by Daniel Ladinsky.