Sermon for the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
On Sunday September 29, we were pleased to welcome the priest/poet/theologian Malcolm Guite as our guest preacher. At his request we marked the day as the Feast of St Michael and All Angels, or “Michaelmas” as it was traditionally known. The readings for the day were Genesis 28:10-17 and John 1:47-51, both of which use the image of angels “ascending and descending,” though as Malcolm emphasized, that action is quite dramatically reframed in the gospel reading.
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Before preaching his sermon, Malcolm read two sonnets from his collection Sounding the Seasons: the first a sonnet for St Michael the Archangel, the second one for Nathanael. At its conclusion, he sat down with our musicians and played his song, “Angels Unaware.” Though our audio recording of the song is not of the best quality, we did think it a good idea to include at least the first verse at the end of this podcast.
“Angels Unaware” (verse 1)
Some people say that life is just a given thing
but you and I both know by whom its lent
and that its right here in the dirt
where we’ve both been loved and hurt
that Love Himself has come to pitch His tent
sometimes we’re in the fields of holy roses
other times we’re rolling in the tares
breaking bread and sharing wine
did I feel your hand touch mine
or did we both touch angels unawares?
(words and music by Malcolm Guite)