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Mount Calvary Sermons

The Rev. Dr. Duncan H. Johnston, Rector

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Mount Calvary Sermons
Mount Calvary Sermons

Mount Calvary Sermons

The Rev. Dr. Duncan H. Johnston, Rector

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Mount Calvary is a thriving community of Christians who are dedicated to worshiping God and sharing Christ’s love in our community. Our vision is to be an embracing and thriving Christian community that inspires transformation through worship and ministry.Audio sermons from Mount Calvary Episcopal Church Camp Hill Pennsylvania USA. The Rev. Dr. Duncan H. Johnston, RectorAll sermons © Rev. Dr. Duncan Johnston

Latest Episodes

Sermon - 11-27-2016 - Tweet The Good News

FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT 2016 ROMANS 13:11-14 Last year I installed new windows in my house. I felt I had no choice. On windy days the draft would not just move the curtains, but even force the light fittings to cling to the ceiling for dear life, fearing they would be ripped out of their nests. It was only a matter of time before Jim Cantore would be broadcasting from my living room for the Weather Channel. Upstairs an entire window frame had succumbed to mold, shedding large lumps of wood. That window was a lawsuit waiting to happen. I had nightmares of some poor mailman, innocently going about his business, dropping off a parcel on my doorstep, and experiencing a waterfall of shards cascading onto his head. When Oreo, my cat, sat on the outside window ledge and meowed to come in he sounded like he was sitting on the inside ledge, so poor was the transparent barrier at blocking out sound. You could even hear hybrid cars pass. The only thing going for these windows is that they were ...

15 MIN2016 DEC 6
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Sermon - 11-27-2016 - Tweet The Good News

Sermon - 11-13-2016 - New Day, New Song, New Spirit

TWENTY-SIXTH AFTER PENTECOST 2016 PSALM 98 I made a trip to the Susquehanna this week. I was a man on a mission. I parked on the West Shore, and strode purposefully onto Market Street bridge and listened. Because I was all about listening. I stood many feet above the river, leant over the railings and turned my head sideways to the water to try to catch as many decibels I could. But the sound I was hoping to discern was drowned out by the traffic. So, I persevered, and continued my search to City Island, where I could be nearer the water and away from the cars and trucks. I found a spot where I could be really close to the river, and I crouched down and listened hard. Of course, there are different kinds of listening. There’s the listening you do when the cabin crew on the plane are explaining the safety drill, i.e. not very much; the kind you do when you are sitting in class waiting for the teacher to stop droning on so you can go to recess, i.e. not at all. But this was real list...

16 MIN2016 NOV 20
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Sermon - 11-13-2016 - New Day, New Song, New Spirit

Sermon - 11-06-2016 - There will be a Wednesday

ALL SAINTS’ SUNDAY 2016 LUKE 6:20-31 It was with great pleasure and immense relief that I opened an email this week from the Queen. I know that several of you also received it because you have told me. I eagerly opened it to read this majestic message: To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. In light of your failure to nominate competent candidates for your President, and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. I will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories. Our new Prime Minister, Theresa May, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed. To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect: 1. The letter 'U'...

17 MIN2016 NOV 20
Comments
Sermon - 11-06-2016 - There will be a Wednesday

Sermon - 10-30-2016 - Treetop Hideaway

TWENTY-FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 2013 LUKE 19:1-10 Sometimes he wished he were dead. That way he could escape the sneers of the people, that way he could avoid the judgmental looks, that way the pushing and shoving and jostling he endured on the street would come to a merciful end. It’s not easy being the object of derision, he reassured himself. Not everyone had his courage. Your average man could not cope with the hatred that you are called to suffer. Take Jacob down the street – the Jacob who treats you with abject contempt, that Jacob who spits in your direction when you pass, that Jacob who once tripped you up and laughed over you as you lay helpless in the dust – that bully Jacob who does not have what it takes to stand up under the persecution you bravely face each day. He tried to put a positive spin on it, pretend that the insults didn’t hurt, that the barbs didn’t sting. They were only words, after all. But argue though he did, he did not believe himself. Sticks a...

15 MIN2016 NOV 20
Comments
Sermon - 10-30-2016 - Treetop Hideaway

Sermon - 10-23-2016 - Thank you God that I'm not like him

TWENTY-THIRD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 2016 LUKE 18:9-14 Dear God. Thank you that I’m not like him over there. Lord, you have been so good to me. You made me a reasonable, thoughtful person. Thank you that I’m not one of those unthinking Christians –those Fundamentalists with their simplistic faith and their pre-Modern way of reading the Bible. Like him. Look at him, Lord. Such judgmental opinions, such arrogance, such pride in his own goodness. That’s the problem with his type of Christian, so full of themselves, so self-righteous. Like those pastors and priests with their petty rules and hateful dogma, who think that obeying the dead letter of religion is more important than people. Yes, Lord, thank you that I am not like him over there. I welcome outsiders, strangers, people who look and talk nothing like me. I’m not like him, that Christian, who makes alliances with politicians, giving up the purity of his faith in order to gain brief and meaningless power in this world. And t...

16 MIN2016 OCT 30
Comments
Sermon - 10-23-2016 - Thank you God that I'm not like him

Sermon - 10-16-2016 - Stop all the clocks

TWENTY-SECOND SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 2016 JEREMIAH 31:27-34 His name is Frano Salek, and he makes me smile. He is from Croatia, and he has a story to tell. So amazing is his story that you will possibly be shocked, and certainly moved. I predict you may even gasp by the end of it. It was in 1996 that Frano was driving along one of those twisty roads that snake around mountains when he encountered a United Nations truck, coming straight for him. He instinctively jerked the wheel to avoid impact and drove his Skoda through a crash barrier and over a 300ft drop. Somehow he managed to open the door and leap clear at the last second and landed in a tree which was clinging to the side of the mountain, while his car hit the ground, exploding on impact. I don’t know what went through his mind as he sat in that tree watching the flames dancing out of his car. He maybe remembered twelve months earlier when he was knocked down by a bus in Zagreb and walked away with only minor injuries. Possi...

15 MIN2016 OCT 30
Comments
Sermon - 10-16-2016 - Stop all the clocks

Sermon - 10-09-2016 - When atheists understand God's heart

TWENTY-FIRST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 2016 LUKE 17:11-19 That moment he put his foot into the bath of boiling water and watched it blister he knew he was in trouble. He remembered when he was a boy, touching a scolding pot and his mother shouting at him to run and put his hand in cold water. That did the trick forty years ago. This time there was nothing to relieve his dread, no ointment for his alarm, no balm for the horror. But it wasn’t the agony of the burn to his foot that now caused Damien’s distress. It was the lack of it. The deadness of his petrified nerve endings. The absence of pain that pronounced a death sentence. Damien had grown up with a passion for God and a zeal for the suffering. He entered a monastery where he prayed every day that God would send him into the mission field to serve people in need. God looked with pride at the soul of Damien (how could he not?) and granted him the desires of his heart. And so in 1873 he set sail from his native Belgium to the King...

15 MIN2016 OCT 18
Comments
Sermon - 10-09-2016 - When atheists understand God's heart

Sermon - 10-02-2016 - Live with abandon

TWENTIETH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 2016 PSALM 37:1-9 When I finally received the phone call I was devastated, angry, desolate. They were very, very grateful. Exceedingly grateful, and incredibly impressed. I was an amazing candidate. It’s just that I was not the most amazing. The other guy was even more suitable than me. They were convinced that God had a wonderful call for me somewhere, just not there. I’d been waiting a week for that call. Every time the phone rang my heart would jump into my head and bang on the inside of my eyeballs. But they were the nerves of the best actor at the Oscars, who knew deep down he would be going with home a 12-inch golden man symbolizing his brilliance, yet understanding he had to go through the formality of other actors being briefly mentioned. The fake suspense made for good TV. So confident was I, that I started the week mentally measuring for curtains in the parsonage I’d be living in. I had begun to think about a couple of modest goals for m...

16 MIN2016 OCT 10
Comments
Sermon - 10-02-2016 - Live with abandon

Sermon - 09-25-2016 - I can't be bothered with apathy

NINETEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 2016 LUKE 16:19-31 The journey on the London Underground from my apartment to the office where I worked was only 20 minutes, but that morning it seemed like hours. Anxiety will do that to you. It grabs the minutes and expands them until they are unbearably eternal. In the evenings, on my way home, the clickety-clack of the wheels on the rails soothed me, rocked me gently towards, and even into, sleep. This morning, however, each clickety reminded me of the frightening task ahead, each clack taunted me. The train station nestled on the edge of a pocket park on the north bank of the Thames, about 400-yards from my workplace. Three days earlier, as I strode that quarter mile, I noticed a young man sitting on the street, huddled in a blanket, politely asking for money from passersby. I was used to homeless people. It was London. It was 1990. I was so familiar with this sight that I became hardened to it. Blind, even. Apathy had grown scales over my eyes...

15 MIN2016 OCT 10
Comments
Sermon - 09-25-2016 - I can't be bothered with apathy

Sermon - 09-18-2016 - The Good Crook

EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 2016 LUKE 16:1-13 I didn’t know what a Virginian was, but I knew my grandmother had a crush on him. I must have been five or six and she was, well, she was old enough to know better. He was tall, dark and handsome, wore a black cowboy waistcoat, sported a black cowboy hat, rode a white cowboy horse, herded multicolored cowboy cows, loved a cowboy girl, and kept law and order on his cowboy ranch. I didn’t know what all the fuss was about. But my grandmother had to watch him. Every week. It’s only in the last few years that I discovered the big deal with that 1960s Western, and the irony of a man from the East coast becoming a cowboy in the West; and being rather good at it. But like all good stories it was about relationships – a man and his friends, a man and his wife, a man and his son, a man and his workmates, a man and his cows, a man and his adversaries. So, two weeks ago I made my personal pilgrimage to the land of the Virginian. Minus the ...

16 MIN2016 OCT 10
Comments
Sermon - 09-18-2016 - The Good Crook

Latest Episodes

Sermon - 11-27-2016 - Tweet The Good News

FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT 2016 ROMANS 13:11-14 Last year I installed new windows in my house. I felt I had no choice. On windy days the draft would not just move the curtains, but even force the light fittings to cling to the ceiling for dear life, fearing they would be ripped out of their nests. It was only a matter of time before Jim Cantore would be broadcasting from my living room for the Weather Channel. Upstairs an entire window frame had succumbed to mold, shedding large lumps of wood. That window was a lawsuit waiting to happen. I had nightmares of some poor mailman, innocently going about his business, dropping off a parcel on my doorstep, and experiencing a waterfall of shards cascading onto his head. When Oreo, my cat, sat on the outside window ledge and meowed to come in he sounded like he was sitting on the inside ledge, so poor was the transparent barrier at blocking out sound. You could even hear hybrid cars pass. The only thing going for these windows is that they were ...

15 MIN2016 DEC 6
Comments
Sermon - 11-27-2016 - Tweet The Good News

Sermon - 11-13-2016 - New Day, New Song, New Spirit

TWENTY-SIXTH AFTER PENTECOST 2016 PSALM 98 I made a trip to the Susquehanna this week. I was a man on a mission. I parked on the West Shore, and strode purposefully onto Market Street bridge and listened. Because I was all about listening. I stood many feet above the river, leant over the railings and turned my head sideways to the water to try to catch as many decibels I could. But the sound I was hoping to discern was drowned out by the traffic. So, I persevered, and continued my search to City Island, where I could be nearer the water and away from the cars and trucks. I found a spot where I could be really close to the river, and I crouched down and listened hard. Of course, there are different kinds of listening. There’s the listening you do when the cabin crew on the plane are explaining the safety drill, i.e. not very much; the kind you do when you are sitting in class waiting for the teacher to stop droning on so you can go to recess, i.e. not at all. But this was real list...

16 MIN2016 NOV 20
Comments
Sermon - 11-13-2016 - New Day, New Song, New Spirit

Sermon - 11-06-2016 - There will be a Wednesday

ALL SAINTS’ SUNDAY 2016 LUKE 6:20-31 It was with great pleasure and immense relief that I opened an email this week from the Queen. I know that several of you also received it because you have told me. I eagerly opened it to read this majestic message: To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. In light of your failure to nominate competent candidates for your President, and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. I will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories. Our new Prime Minister, Theresa May, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed. To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect: 1. The letter 'U'...

17 MIN2016 NOV 20
Comments
Sermon - 11-06-2016 - There will be a Wednesday

Sermon - 10-30-2016 - Treetop Hideaway

TWENTY-FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 2013 LUKE 19:1-10 Sometimes he wished he were dead. That way he could escape the sneers of the people, that way he could avoid the judgmental looks, that way the pushing and shoving and jostling he endured on the street would come to a merciful end. It’s not easy being the object of derision, he reassured himself. Not everyone had his courage. Your average man could not cope with the hatred that you are called to suffer. Take Jacob down the street – the Jacob who treats you with abject contempt, that Jacob who spits in your direction when you pass, that Jacob who once tripped you up and laughed over you as you lay helpless in the dust – that bully Jacob who does not have what it takes to stand up under the persecution you bravely face each day. He tried to put a positive spin on it, pretend that the insults didn’t hurt, that the barbs didn’t sting. They were only words, after all. But argue though he did, he did not believe himself. Sticks a...

15 MIN2016 NOV 20
Comments
Sermon - 10-30-2016 - Treetop Hideaway

Sermon - 10-23-2016 - Thank you God that I'm not like him

TWENTY-THIRD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 2016 LUKE 18:9-14 Dear God. Thank you that I’m not like him over there. Lord, you have been so good to me. You made me a reasonable, thoughtful person. Thank you that I’m not one of those unthinking Christians –those Fundamentalists with their simplistic faith and their pre-Modern way of reading the Bible. Like him. Look at him, Lord. Such judgmental opinions, such arrogance, such pride in his own goodness. That’s the problem with his type of Christian, so full of themselves, so self-righteous. Like those pastors and priests with their petty rules and hateful dogma, who think that obeying the dead letter of religion is more important than people. Yes, Lord, thank you that I am not like him over there. I welcome outsiders, strangers, people who look and talk nothing like me. I’m not like him, that Christian, who makes alliances with politicians, giving up the purity of his faith in order to gain brief and meaningless power in this world. And t...

16 MIN2016 OCT 30
Comments
Sermon - 10-23-2016 - Thank you God that I'm not like him

Sermon - 10-16-2016 - Stop all the clocks

TWENTY-SECOND SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 2016 JEREMIAH 31:27-34 His name is Frano Salek, and he makes me smile. He is from Croatia, and he has a story to tell. So amazing is his story that you will possibly be shocked, and certainly moved. I predict you may even gasp by the end of it. It was in 1996 that Frano was driving along one of those twisty roads that snake around mountains when he encountered a United Nations truck, coming straight for him. He instinctively jerked the wheel to avoid impact and drove his Skoda through a crash barrier and over a 300ft drop. Somehow he managed to open the door and leap clear at the last second and landed in a tree which was clinging to the side of the mountain, while his car hit the ground, exploding on impact. I don’t know what went through his mind as he sat in that tree watching the flames dancing out of his car. He maybe remembered twelve months earlier when he was knocked down by a bus in Zagreb and walked away with only minor injuries. Possi...

15 MIN2016 OCT 30
Comments
Sermon - 10-16-2016 - Stop all the clocks

Sermon - 10-09-2016 - When atheists understand God's heart

TWENTY-FIRST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 2016 LUKE 17:11-19 That moment he put his foot into the bath of boiling water and watched it blister he knew he was in trouble. He remembered when he was a boy, touching a scolding pot and his mother shouting at him to run and put his hand in cold water. That did the trick forty years ago. This time there was nothing to relieve his dread, no ointment for his alarm, no balm for the horror. But it wasn’t the agony of the burn to his foot that now caused Damien’s distress. It was the lack of it. The deadness of his petrified nerve endings. The absence of pain that pronounced a death sentence. Damien had grown up with a passion for God and a zeal for the suffering. He entered a monastery where he prayed every day that God would send him into the mission field to serve people in need. God looked with pride at the soul of Damien (how could he not?) and granted him the desires of his heart. And so in 1873 he set sail from his native Belgium to the King...

15 MIN2016 OCT 18
Comments
Sermon - 10-09-2016 - When atheists understand God's heart

Sermon - 10-02-2016 - Live with abandon

TWENTIETH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 2016 PSALM 37:1-9 When I finally received the phone call I was devastated, angry, desolate. They were very, very grateful. Exceedingly grateful, and incredibly impressed. I was an amazing candidate. It’s just that I was not the most amazing. The other guy was even more suitable than me. They were convinced that God had a wonderful call for me somewhere, just not there. I’d been waiting a week for that call. Every time the phone rang my heart would jump into my head and bang on the inside of my eyeballs. But they were the nerves of the best actor at the Oscars, who knew deep down he would be going with home a 12-inch golden man symbolizing his brilliance, yet understanding he had to go through the formality of other actors being briefly mentioned. The fake suspense made for good TV. So confident was I, that I started the week mentally measuring for curtains in the parsonage I’d be living in. I had begun to think about a couple of modest goals for m...

16 MIN2016 OCT 10
Comments
Sermon - 10-02-2016 - Live with abandon

Sermon - 09-25-2016 - I can't be bothered with apathy

NINETEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 2016 LUKE 16:19-31 The journey on the London Underground from my apartment to the office where I worked was only 20 minutes, but that morning it seemed like hours. Anxiety will do that to you. It grabs the minutes and expands them until they are unbearably eternal. In the evenings, on my way home, the clickety-clack of the wheels on the rails soothed me, rocked me gently towards, and even into, sleep. This morning, however, each clickety reminded me of the frightening task ahead, each clack taunted me. The train station nestled on the edge of a pocket park on the north bank of the Thames, about 400-yards from my workplace. Three days earlier, as I strode that quarter mile, I noticed a young man sitting on the street, huddled in a blanket, politely asking for money from passersby. I was used to homeless people. It was London. It was 1990. I was so familiar with this sight that I became hardened to it. Blind, even. Apathy had grown scales over my eyes...

15 MIN2016 OCT 10
Comments
Sermon - 09-25-2016 - I can't be bothered with apathy

Sermon - 09-18-2016 - The Good Crook

EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 2016 LUKE 16:1-13 I didn’t know what a Virginian was, but I knew my grandmother had a crush on him. I must have been five or six and she was, well, she was old enough to know better. He was tall, dark and handsome, wore a black cowboy waistcoat, sported a black cowboy hat, rode a white cowboy horse, herded multicolored cowboy cows, loved a cowboy girl, and kept law and order on his cowboy ranch. I didn’t know what all the fuss was about. But my grandmother had to watch him. Every week. It’s only in the last few years that I discovered the big deal with that 1960s Western, and the irony of a man from the East coast becoming a cowboy in the West; and being rather good at it. But like all good stories it was about relationships – a man and his friends, a man and his wife, a man and his son, a man and his workmates, a man and his cows, a man and his adversaries. So, two weeks ago I made my personal pilgrimage to the land of the Virginian. Minus the ...

16 MIN2016 OCT 10
Comments
Sermon - 09-18-2016 - The Good Crook