Welcome to Preaching

Here you will find Margaret's homilies and sermons, interspersed with Margaret's favorite sermons by guests to the Courtyard. To find sermons that fall within a particular church season, choose the season you want from the All Seasons dropdown in the menu above.

Margaret is a licensed lay preacher in the Olympia Diocese of the Episcopal Church. She preaches occasionally at her home parish of St. Paul's in Port Townsend, and has served as a guest preacher at churches of other denominations as well.

How Many Pairs of Black Pants Do I Really Need?

When Salvation Comes

or

Just exactly how many pairs of black pants do I really need?

a homily by Margaret D. McGee

In this morning’s reading from Isaiah, the LORD, the Holy One, speaks to the people of Zion, in words that convey some frustration. Words, in fact, that give the sense of a God who is fed up to the teeth with these people, and with their acts of worship.

[Read more…]

Step By Step

Easter IconStep by Step

Homily for a Sunday after Easter

by
Margaret D. McGee

What does it mean for God, the Creator of our world, to enter into our daily lives and set us on a new course, a new path of life? What happens when that happens? And how do we live, day to day, so that it can happen, so that we are open and ready for God to bring new life into our world?

[Read more…]

Ashes, Ashes, All Fall Down…

Elizabeth A. Bloch

A Homily for Ash Wednesday

by
Elizabeth A. Bloch

Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras – a time to remember and celebrate the reality that we are so much more complicated than we like to think we are.

Ash Wednesday – a time to remember and celebrate the reality that we are so much simpler than we like to think we are. [Read more…]

For Where Your Treasure Is, There Your Heart Will Be Also

Ash Wednesday CrossFor Where Your Treasure Is,
There Your Heart Will Be Also

A Homily for Ash Wednesday

by
Margaret D. McGee

The Ash Wednesday Gospel reading comes about midway through the great set of teachings commonly known as the Sermon on the Mount, when Jesus, seeing the crowds following him, goes up to the mountainside and sits down to share with them his vision of what makes a good life. [Read more…]

Mortality

A Homily for Ash Wednesday

by
Margaret D. McGee

Ash WednesdayClick here to listen to Margaret deliver this sermon at St. Paul’s.

Click here to listen to the readings for Ash Wednesday.

Greetings, fellow mortals.

We are creatures, you and I. Created beings, living through time.

[Read more…]

The Voice We Need to Hear

A Homily for Advent

by
Margaret D. McGee

Advent IIClick here to listen to Margaret deliver this sermon at St. Paul’s.

We need someone to bring us the good Word. Someone with a new perspective, who can shine a light on the path ahead, and clear the way for new life.

We need someone to bring us the good Word because, again and again, we find ourselves entangled in a deadly existence. Picking our way through trivialities and energy-sucking tasks. Falling back into patterns we’d hoped to escape. And in frustration, losing the path to kindness. Seeing moments in which we might have been kind slip away. All the while longing for just one more chance at love, one more chance to give love, be loved in return.

If God really is love, and sin is whatever separates us from that Love, then a good part of ordinary life is thorny with sin.

It’s hard find the way out of the briar patch by ourselves, because it’s so dense and dark in there, and because we don’t clearly remember how we got entangled in the first place. We end up lost, anxiety-ridden, disappointed, and often confused. Speaking for myself, it isn’t simply that I can’t see the forest for the trees. (Of course I can’t – I’m in the middle of it.) It’s that, a lot of the time, I barely see the tree before I run into it and fall over.

[Read more…]

Sharing God’s Soul: A Homily for the Day of Judgement

I have always identified with the goats more than with the sheep.

Sharing God’s Soul

Homily for the Day of Judgement

by

Margaret D. McGee

It was with no joy that I saw I had been assigned to preach on the last Sunday before Advent. I actively disliked the assigned gospel lesson, a depiction of the Day of Judgement in which the good sheep are separated from the bad goats.

And if I didn’t want to preach about heaven and hell, my main alternative would be to wrestle with the day’s theme of “Christ the King,” another religious metaphor that doesn’t do much for me.

So I ended up sticking with the sheep and the goats. [Read more…]

Awake to Life

Advent Garden GoddessAwake to Life

A Homily for the First Sunday of Advent

by
Margaret D. McGee

So we make full circle and return again to the beginning, to Advent, the opening of a new year in the life of faith. The season when, around the world, hearts break open for the coming of the Christ child. A season when even our own rather damp, gray world may be revealed as the best and only place to hold the birth of love, life, and light. [Read more…]

You Shall Be Holy

Lois HollyYou Shall Be Holy

A Guest Homily by

Lois Holly

Several times in the course of my life, I have made pacts with myself to read the Bible straight through in a year. I’ve forgotten the exact formula. I think maybe it was three chapters in the morning and two at night and you could complete the entire Bible in 365 days.

Well, Genesis was great—with wonderful stories and larger than life characters. And Exodus was good—with Moses and Pharaoh and burning bushes and the parting of the Red Sea. Real Cecil B. DeMille stuff!!

AND THEN I’D GET TO LEVITICUS !! [Read more…]

Out of the Boomerang Trap

GodHaveMercyFramedOut of the Boomerang Trap

A Homily for the Green Season

by

Margaret D. McGee

 

Jesus told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, `God, I thank you that I am not like other people: [Read more…]

Welcome

Green Season IconWelcome

Homily in the Green Season

by

Margaret D. McGee

 

Good morning. Welcome. It’s good to be alive and together on this beautiful Sunday.

God says to Abraham, “Abraham,” and Abraham says, “Here I am.” God says, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love … and offer him … as a burnt offering on [a mountain] that I shall show you.”

[Read more…]

A Picture of Abundant Life

Easter IconA Picture of Abundant Life

Homily for a Sunday after Easter

by
Margaret D. McGee

 

Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” [Read more…]

A Love That Saves

Image for Holy Week courtesy of Gary Gocek  A Love That Saves

Homily for Wednesday in Holy Week

by

Margaret D. McGee

The Psalm sets the tone and lets us know right up front what kind of mess we’re in. “Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire … the flood sweeps over me … shame has covered my face … I am the subject of gossip for those who sit in the gate, and the drunkards make songs about me.”

Shame, and fear of shame. This is a hard place to go, and I don’t want to go there. [Read more…]

A Love Story

Left Baby FootA Love Story

Homily for Maundy Thursday

by
Margaret D. McGee

Tonight, we hear a love story. At the story’s end, our God and Creator is visible, real and present, at a supper table, among a circle of friends. [Read more…]

Feet and Pee – Stories of Attention and Change

QUUF LogoFeet and Pee — Stories of Attention and Change

A Sermon for a U.U. Fellowship

by

Margaret D. McGee

Today I’m going to talk about feet and pee, in stories of attention and change. [Read more…]