St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, Ardsley, New York
Sunday, October 11th at 10:00 AM
To join via phone:
Dial: 1 929 205 6099
Meeting ID: 960 1152 3996#
For those who plan to attend in person, the church is all clean and sanitized, and equipped with hand sanitizer, gloves, and extra masks if you forget yours. It is all marked for social distancing as well, so please join us if you feel comfortable doing so.
Please click on the PDF below to read the latest edition of The St. Barnabas Beacon, October 2020
The following links may be of interest:
New York Diocese:
Responding to racist violence:
We are currently working on a new website.
Be sure to follow us on Facebook.
(Canceled until further notice) Sundays at 10 AM: Holy Eucharist, followed by fellowship coffee hour
(Canceled until further notice) Sundays at 10 AM: Sunday School
Homily by the
DR. REV. VARGHESE E. MATHEW
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11: 28).”
Let us pray,
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord our rock and our redeemer. Amen.
Dear People of God,
I begin my sermon by sharing with you a confession. I feel tired or weary. I feel frustrated and I feel burdened. My mind looks to liberation; liberation from the COVID-19 crisis, liberation from social oppression, liberation from economic crisis, and liberation from brokenness and unrest in all forms that keeps us in captivity. And the answer to liberation dates back to the gospel of Jesus Christ because that gospel points to Jesus as the liberator. So, the gospel is good news in every sense. This Sunday, following the 4th of July, it is indeed meaningful that we meditate on the topic of freedom. Before that, I would like to pose a disturbing question before you, “Are we really free my friends?” When I say this, I mean the phrase freedom in both a physical and spiritual sense. When we celebrate Independence Day, what are we really celebrating?
As I state this question; if you have even the slightest doubt about my patriotism, I would just clarify with a testimony from my life. When I immigrated into the States in 1996 (almost 25 years back) from India, leaving my friends and families behind; I had no clue of what life would become. In an instance when I was insulted and pained when a person looked at me and told me, “Go back to where you came from,” I thought exactly the same. I seriously thought about going back. Then, time proved to me something. That person who racially insulted me; he does not represent this beautiful land of the free and home of the brave. I was encouraged to be my best and I was loved by many. This power of love led me to become a United States citizen and I’m proud to be called an Indian-American. I very quickly assimilated. My children are proud to be part of this nation. My wife and my parents, they are proud to be a part of this nation. Once when my son Francis told me, “Papa, when I grow up I want to serve the U.S. Army,” I was so happy to hear that. If that is his ambition, he certainly would have my blessing.
When as a nation, we can’t even agree if we should wear face masks in public during this pandemic, we should let our focus be on what God represents. Because we the United States of America we are one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all (that is from our pledge of allegiance). And dear People of God, God represents totally uncontaminated love for the human race in the person of Jesus Christ. And there is only true freedom or liberation in love. Wherever and whenever there is love, there is liberation. When we wear that mask, it represents true freedom because it is an act of love. Freedom is rooted in that truth of God’s love and that truth shall set us free. Jesus Christ welcomes us to him; he welcomes us to come to him with our tiredness, our burdens, and our unrest. Let me conclude my sermon by sharing a short illustration that I read on a Christian online magazine.
One day John Wesley was walking with a man who was very worried and troubled. The man looked at him and said, “I don’t know what I shall do with all this worry and trouble.” At that moment, Wesley saw a cow looking over a stone wall. Wesley asked the man, “Do you know why the cow is looking over the wall?” No said the worried man. Wesley said, “The cow is looking over the wall, because she cannot see through the wall (Ministry 127). My dear friends, we lose vision when we try to see through the wall. Today, with our current circumstances and wall of troubles, anxieties, and unrest, let us focus above that wall. Let us focus on Jesus and what Jesus represents in order to seek liberty. May God bless us all. Amen.