J. Barrington Bates

Barrington Barrie Bates Episcopal

Biography

Now retired, Barrie Bates has served Episcopal and Lutheran congregations in California, New York, and New Jersey over the past 20+ years. He holds a Ph.D. in liturgical studies and serves on the General Board of Examining Chaplains. He looks forward to spending more time on the shores of Lake Michigan, and he welcomes conversation about his sermons.

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April 11, 2020

Download Sermons for Holy Week 2020 Imagine this, a conversation between two women named Mary, long ago and far away: “Let’s go home, Mary. There’s nothing more to be done, really. It’s pointless.” “No, Mary, it’s important...

January 26, 2020

There’s a story about a farmer from a rural part of the country. And this farmer comes to visit a relative in a major city. They’re walking down the busy and noisy main street, amidst the clamor and confusion and traffic and general...

August 4, 2019

Doesn’t Jesus make you feel a bit uncomfortable, sometimes? And other times, he’s maybe even more than that, even a bit annoying! Today, for example, he tells us to be on guard against all kinds of greed, that our life does not consist...

May 19, 2019

“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.” With these eleven words, Jesus turns the world order upside-down—in first-century Palestine and here, today. “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.”...

December 2, 2018

On May 24, 1966, a new musical opened on Broadway. Music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, starring Angela Lansbury and Bea Arthur. It’s the story of the madcap life of eccentric Mame Dennis and how her bohemian, intellectual, arty clique...

March 27, 2018

Suffering is not something we do well, generally speaking. Suffering is not something we seek out, not something we cultivate, not something we practice so we can do it even better. No, suffering is something we avoid—or try to...

January 6, 2018

Today, we commemorate the baptism of Jesus by his cousin John in the River Jordan. Now, John’s that guy we’ve been hearing a lot about lately (since the beginning of Advent), and after today, he will drop into the background. You see...

June 24, 2017

In today’s gospel, Jesus instructs his apostles about the cost of discipleship. Christianity just is not an easy life, he seems to say. In fact, you may be handed over to councils who will flog you, dragged before governors and kings,...

January 1, 2017

This day that our society celebrates as the beginning of a new year has not always been so. Although the Gregorian calendar established January 1 as new year’s day as far back as 1582, in England it was not until 1752 that it replaced...

June 25, 2016

That Jesus: he can be quite enigmatic. His disciples ask if they should command fire to come down from heaven and consume unbelievers, and he sternly tells them, “No.” A village does not welcome him, and he simply moves on to...

January 30, 2016

Baptism is an amazing gift and an awesome responsibility. We Christians are set apart, commissioned, and ordained to boldly confess Jesus as Savior, to strive for justice and peace among all people, and to seek and serve the Christ in...

September 26, 2015

Lest you think you’ve inadvertently stumbled onto yet another cable television cooking show, remember that Jesus himself brought it up: salt. Salt is essential to human life. The National Academies of Science recommend that each of us...

March 14, 2015

John 3:16 – it appears a lot of places, and mostly not a quote of the text but just that citation of gospel, chapter and verse. Just the name “John” followed by the number “3,” a colon and the number “16.” It appears on placards at...

December 20, 2014

We always celebrate some aspect of the Annunciation on this Fourth Sunday of Advent. Each year, we hear a different part of the great story involving the Angel Gabriel, Joseph, Mary and her cousin Elizabeth. And all of this foretells the...

October 11, 2014

Today’s gospel passage probably requires a bit of translation. There’s a big difference between the cultural expectations of first-century Palestine and 21st-century America. Not only about marriage, of course – but marriage is what...

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Editor, Sermons That Work