Today I came across two very good and very different sermons preached this past St. Oswald’s Day (5 Aug 2007) at Durham Cathedral.
The first is from the Rev. Canon Dr. Stephen Cherry’s “Growing the Kingdom with Oswald”. Canon Cherry discusses Oswald as a role model for evangelism and ties his example into Durham’s six diocesan goals. I particularly liked the comparison of Oswald to John Wesley and Billy Graham … no really I did. I not only agree with Canon Cherry’s overall approach to Oswald, I think that it is an important reminder of Oswald’s role as a pious Christian, evangelist and patron of the church. Too often we focus solely on Oswald as a warrior and debate whether he was a martyr or not.
That being said, Oswald is also a role model for today’s warriors, just as he was himself compared to biblical warriors. This is the focus of the sermon from the Rev. Canon Dr. David Brown called “Two Warriors”. Canon Brown’s sermon is particularly good at humanizing Oswald, discussing the complexity of Oswald’s life.
I have to note that both sermons managed to work in that Durham still has the best claim to the real surviving relics of Oswald. Some things never change. 😉