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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June 28, 2014

We have in today’s readings some very difficult texts. First, the frightening passage from Genesis, where God tests Abraham. The idea that God would demand that Abraham sacrifice his own son is so terrifying to us that the compilers...

February 1, 2014

Today we celebrate one of the principal feasts of the church – and, no, we are not talking about the Super Bowl! The strange thing is that many will never have heard of it. The Feast of the Presentation occurs each year on...

November 9, 2013

As is fairly typical, in today’s gospel story Jesus replies to a conundrum with a conundrum. He’s given a sort of riddle about a woman who marries seven times – and just not seven times, but seven brothers, in succession. Each brother...

June 1, 2013

The Bible stories appointed for today have a considerable resonance. That is actually something quite unusual in these days of the Revised Common Lectionary, as the lessons are no longer chosen to relate to each other. The resonance,...

January 16, 2011

So very often, the gospel passage appointed for a given Sunday contains one major theme, or one simple story. Not today. Today’s gospel is chock full of proclamation, imagery, and narrative. Let’s review the major themes in these...

February 7, 2010

Although there have been many technological developments, fishing hasn’t really changed much in the last two thousand years. In spite of all our diesel-powered boats, radar, detailed and accurate charts of the sea, satellite-assisted...

September 6, 2009

In today’s gospel, we hear that Jesus went about the countryside hoping to escape notice. And here and there he stops in a village or at a house. And as it appears, he stops not so much by deliberate intent, but by happenstance. At...

June 14, 2009

In today’s gospel passage, Jesus speaks in parables. Again. He does that a lot. Jesus frequently uses this particular literary device to get his point across. And in this passage from Mark’s gospel, we hear that Jesus preached only...

February 25, 2009

In the epistle we just heard, St. Paul beseeches us to be reconciled to God. And his way of being reconciled may surprise you. Paul does not suggest a confession, or propose any self-examination, or lay out a lengthy program or exercise...

October 5, 2008

Today’s gospel is like any clear, simple narrative account in many regards. First of all, it is a story, not exactly a factual account: the characters are anonymous, and the setting is spare. It’s another in a long series of stories...

May 18, 2008

Let’s begin with an excerpt from The New Yorker magazine, from an article by Malcolm Gladwell. It’s about, of all things, automobile safety – or the lack of it – and one man’s tragic automobile accident, now more than a decade...

December 25, 2007

On Christmas morning couple of years ago, I was walking down Eleventh Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, to prepare for the eleven-o’clock service at my former church. There, at the curb, was someone’s Christmas tree, laid out...

May 13, 2007

Today is Rogation Sunday, when the church has traditionally offered prayer for God’s blessing on the fruits of the earth and the labors of humankind. The word “rogation” is from the Latin rogare, “to ask.” Historically, the...

April 1, 2007

After hearing a presentation as profound as the Passion Narrative, mere words seem almost like an intrusion. Our reading of the Passion on Palm Sunday turns us from the triumphal entry of Jesus into the holy city Jerusalem, and calls us...

May 26, 2006

In the rural county of Norfolk, England, there is a town known as Little Walsingham. Inside the town’s church, there are a number of altars -- one of them dedicated to the Feast of the Ascension. It’s an unremarkable shrine, just a...

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Contact:
Christopher Sikkema