A Sermon For Year C, Christmas 1
Copyright © 2010 Nathan L. Bostian
Based on Galatians 3:23-25;4:4-7 and John 1:1-18

I want to begin by congratulating us. In the last few weeks, most of us in this place have made our shopping lists, and checked them twice. We have figured out who was naughty, and who was in fact nice.

We have licked envelopes until our tongues tasted like glue. We have wrapped presents, tied bows, and endured paper cuts innumerable.

We have listened to approximately 237 hours of Christmas music, watched three versions of Dicken's Christmas Carol, and seen "It's a Wonderful life" 2.4 times.


Thoughts on the Presiding Bishop's Visit

On the weekend of December 12-13th both Canterbury House SMU and Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church (hereafter SMAA) were visited by the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori (hereafter +KJS) and the longest-ordained bishop in the Anglican Communion, Bill Frey (hereafter +Frey). At SMAA, +KJS and +Frey talked about "Who is Christ for me?" and "Who is Christ for the world?". In this, +Frey represented a voice of "conservative" Anglicanism, particularly with his long standing association with the charismatic renewal movement, and his teaching experience at Trinity School for Ministry (an Evangelical Episcopal Seminary). +KJS, on the other hand, was a voice of "liberal" or "progressive" Anglicanism, with an emphasis on social and ecological justice, which has been one of the hallmarks of her ministry as Presiding Bishop. It was great to see two bishops who represent two different strands in the Anglican tapestry come together to discuss the Person at the Core of Anglicanism: Our Lord Jesus Christ.


Which Holy Crap Must Go?

A friend sent me an incredible article by Walter Russell Mead called "The Holy Crap Must Go". Well, this article struck quite a chord with me. So, I wound up writing a whole lot...

Initially, when reading his rant about being property-laden and bureaucracy bound, I was cheering along with him. I think acquisition of property and power is the besetting sin of Christendom, and it is at the root of so much of what is wrong with the "Christendom Model" of doing things (where we tend to treat persons as property, while giving our property the status of persons... But I digress).

So, the first several paragraphs were singing my song. And I do not want the rest of my critique to overshadow my MASSIVE agreement with him on the property and bureaucracy issues.


A Camaro with the License Plate "Allah"

[not an actual picture of car, but one just like it]

So, I'm coming out of the coffee shop, and I see behind us: A Candy apple red 1992 camaro with personalized license plate "ALLAH". No kidding. Apparently God rolls In a muscle car…

So, my buddy Bret says "Perhaps Western Capitalism is wearing down even Muslim extremists? After all, it is a very enticing idol."

That got me thinking…



A Sermon For All Saints, Year ABC
Copyright © 2009 Nathan L. Bostian

I bring good news from the fabled land beyond Perkins, beyond midterms, beyond papers, beyond Credos, beyond internship, and even beyond graduation: There is light at the end of the tunnel my brothers and sisters!

If I made it through, you can too! Really… Ask my professors. And I made it through with my sanity intact. Sort of. Well, I did made it through.


What does it mean to be human?

A Sermon For Year B, Proper 22
Copyright © 2008 Nathan L. Bostian
Based on Genesis 2:18-24 and Mark 10:2-9

What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to be a woman or a man who is made in the image of God?

When biology explains the origin and function of our physical bodies; When psychology describes the workings of our minds; When consumerism is used to manipulate our behavior and buying patterns: What is left of being human?

Is there anything special to our existence? Anything that separates us from beasts or birds or rocks or molecules or corporations?


Copyright © 2009 Nathan L. Bostian
A Sermon For Year B, Proper 12 BCP
Based on 2 Kings 2:1-15, Mark 6:45-52

So, were you REALLY listening to the Gospel Story that just got read today? Were you thinking about what was going on? Did you perhaps imagine what it was like to actually BE in that boat with the disciples, as Jesus came waltzing across the water?

I mean, do you even believe that Jesus could do such a thing? Walk on top of stormy seas without falling in?

Trust Jesus to Touch You

A Sermon for Year B, Proper 9. Based on Mark 6:1-13
By Nathan L. Bostian

Now, I do not know about you, but if I walked into a hospital chapel, and heard that reading from Mark, I would be wondering something. I would be asking questions. I might even be scratching my head.

Because a hospital is a house of healing. It is supposed to be an environment where our diseases can be diagnosed, and treated, and hopefully cured.

But then I walk into this chapel- a place where we are pray for the healing of the patients, and wisdom for medical caregivers- I walk in and hear this text read:

"And Jesus could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief."

What am I supposed to do with that text?


Contemporary Worship, Pop Culture, and Traditional Critique

Over the years I have found that I stand in a somewhat odd mediatorial role between those who love Contemporary worship styles, and those who love Traditional worship styles. This is because I actually love both styles, and I do not know of many people who can honestly say that. As a result, I have friends, parishoners and colleagues on both sides of the Contemporary/Traditional divide.

Often I hear rhetoric from both sides about how the other is dying. Advocates of Contemporary worship point to blossoming megachurches, huge concert and album sales by Contemporary artists, and the immense Christian youth culture that buys it all, as signs that traditional worship is all but dead. Advocates of Traditional worship often point backward to the fact that their style of worship has nourished millions over centuries of change, and will continue to do so through the changes in the future (they often miss the fact that at some point their style- even if it is monastic chant- was once the "new" way to worship!). They also point out the growing group of young adults who see the shallowness of much contemporary worship, and desire something deeper, more connected with the Great Tradition.

And, in all honesty, both are right on the money. And I want to explain why.


Nate's Ordination Nov 21 at 10am

Nate and Kim Bostian cordially invite you

November 21st 2009 at 10:00 am
God willing

The Right Reverend
James Monte Stanton
Bishop of Dallas
will ordain

Nathan Louis Bostian
Robert Jemonde Taylor
to the Sacred Order of Priests
In Christ's One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church

On Saturday, the Twenty-First of November
Two Thousand and Nine
Ten o'clock in the Morning
Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church
8011 Douglas Avenue
Dallas, Texas

Your Presence and Prayers are requested.

Clergy: Cassock, Surplice, and White Stoles.

Reception following in Parish Hall
Email | Facebook | Map | Mailed Invitation | Directions | Saintmichael.org



Every now and then it is fun to look at how you have changed, and how you have stayed the same, over time. In fall of 1999 I created a statement of my Core Beliefs to prepare my resume for my first applications to become a full-time youth minister. It is called "The Disciples Creed" (in retrospect that was probably a presumptuous name for it!). This week, fall of 2009, I have completed a statement of "Core Ministry Values" to prepare my curricula vitae (CV) for my final interviews for (hopeful) ordination to the Sacred order of Priests in the Episcopal Church.

In ten years I have gone from being an evangelical, charismatic social worker who is proficient in Biblical Greek, to a college and young adult minister who has made it through a mainline seminary, with experience in "high", "low", and "broad" Episcopal traditions (and limited ability in Hebrew to boot!). When it dawned on me that it has been a decade between each of my "creeds", I thought it would be fun to compare them. The one commonality between the two is that they were both designed to fit on a single page in 12 point font (so they are not exhaustive doctrinal statements of belief). Funny how an 8.5 x 11" page can fit more after a decade…


A Litany to Pray Upon the Reading of Church Blogs

Rubric: This Litany will help after reading Church blogs and news websites who capitalize and sensationalize schism and heresy in the Church for the purpose of increased readership. It is effective after reading blogs and websites of all persuasions, whether left or right, high or low. When you experience signs of nausea, mental exhaustion, blurring eyes, or demon possession after imbibing these types of blogs, simply pray this Litany. It may be helpful also to sing a hymn such as "The Church's One Foundation", "Amazing Grace", or "Lift High the Cross".


Stop the Storm or Ride the Rapids?

A Sermon by Nathan L. Bostian
For Year B, Proper 7, based on Mark 4:35-41

When I read stories like today's Gospel reading- stories where Jesus does something awesome that literally moves heaven and earth- I often find myself asking a question that goes something like this:

"Jesus, why don't you calm MY storms like that?"

Have you ever found yourself wondering the same thing? Have you ever found yourself drowning in trouble, knocked back and forth by waves of anger and sorrow and frustration and fear, wondering "Where is God in this?".



Copyright © 2009 Nathan L. Bostian
A Sermon for Year B, 7th Easter
Based on Acts 1:15-26, John 17:11b-19

Today Jesus prayed that we would be one as he and his Father are one. He prayed for unity: The kind of unity that has always existed within the God who is Love.

He prayed that we would not be separate and splintered and splayed out like a dinner plate we just dropped on the floor…

But that we would be single, united, one.

I want to you to think: What does unity mean to you? Is there a time when you felt united with others? Can you remember an experience where you felt like you were one with someone else: One mind, one will, one heartbeat?


Apparently, I am being podcasted

Hey folks, I did not realize this, but Saint Michael and All Angels is podcasting my sermons when I preach there (well, sort of: It does not have an RSS feed).

Anyway, several of you have asked for mp3 versions of my sermons, so I will post them when I remember to do that.

I have a sermons from January to April online right now, and I will post them below.

March 1 8:45 a.m. — The Reverend Nate Bostian
January 25 9 a.m. — The Reverend Nate Bostian
December 28 11 a.m. — The Reverend Nate Bostian


The Greater Miracle

An Easter Sermon based on Acts 5:29-32, Colossians 3:1-14, Luke 24:13-35

Do you believe in miracles? Do you believe that God CAN reach into time and space and act in ways that we could have never predicted- ways that defy every attempt at "scientific" explanation? Do you believe that God has IN FACT done this through Jesus Christ, to heal and revive and guide us into God's Life?

Well, if you think miracles are possible- If you think they are probable- If you think they have in fact happened: Then let me ask you another question.

What is the biggest miracle in the history of the universe?


A Facebook Passion

See the Passion in a new way...

To download it in PDF, just click this Google Drive Doc.

New Shelves, Spring Cleaning, and Spirituality

For reasons I am still not entirely sure of, I decided yesterday that it was time to clean the garage, re-organize, and build bookshelves that I have been meaning to build for months. My wife suggested that it would be a good day to do it- like she suggests every couple of weeks when we have a few spare hours in the schedule.

But yesterday, it seemed like time. It just felt right.

Maybe it is because I want to start working out on weights again, and I can't until I uncover them from all the stuff on top of them. Maybe it is because I have walked past the mess one too many times, and am tired of being harassed by it. Or maybe it is because I would like to put our new huge recycling tub in a place where we will actually USE it.

Whatever the reason, it seemed right.



A Sermon For Year B, First Lent
Copyright © 2009 Nathan L. Bostian
Based on Gen 9:8-17, 1Pe 3:18-22, Mar 1:9-13, Psa 25:3-9

Well, once again it is Lent. Four days after Ash Wednesday. Six weeks until Easter. We have just begun our yearly journey into the wilderness with Jesus.

Lent is a time when we ask hard questions of ourselves, and our relationship with God. No, I don't mean questions like "What will accessorize with purple?" I don't even mean "How do I get this darn streak of ashes out of my shirt?"

I mean hard questions about our failures and weaknesses. Questions about our motives and desires. Questions about whether all of these things are drawing us into Christ, growing us into Love, and helping become healthier people emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.


Dealing with Doubt: What happens when life and God don't make sense together?

A Talk for GAP on TAP
Copyright 2009 Nathan L. Bostian

Tonight our topic is "Dealing with Doubt: What happens when life and God don't make sense together?" Have you ever had doubts? Doubts about God, Jesus, Scripture, Christianity, or religion in general? What do YOU do when what you experience in life does not seem to mesh with what you know- or thought you knew- about God?

There are some forms of religion- of Christianity in particular- who view doubt as the chief enemy of faith in God. The object of this form of spirituality is to build such an immense foundation of faith, with such high walls of proof and certainty surrounding it, that nothing could ever possibly cause the great Castle of Religion to collapse. The irony of course is that no matter how thick the foundation is, the shifting soils of experience cause cracks all the time.


A Poetic Response to Truth and Deconstruction

OK, so I teach this youth ministry class with two talented colleagues. And this week we talked about youth culture and "postmodernity" (yeah, yeah, overused term… but give me another term to use that is more useful and I will use it).

Anyway, we got into the issues of "discourse as violence" and language and idea-systems as means of power and social control. That led us to talk a bit about deconstruction, and why people feel the need to deconstruct discourse, language, and idea-systems. We also talked about how the youth of today use implicit, simplified, and naive tools of deconstruction when examining Truth claims (perhaps the best is the question "So what?").
This is a bunch of stuff to make us think hard about our incredible love affair with the God of the universe, our astounding infidelities against him, and his incredible grace to heal and restore us through Christ. Everything on this site is copyright © 1996-2015 by Nathan L. Bostian so if you use it, cite me... otherwise you break the 8th commandment, and make God unhappy. You can contact the author by posting a comment.