Some losses are irreparable. The time is ruined. The suffering cannot be redeemed. There is no gain from this pain, no view long enough to eventually say, “It was worth it,” nothing that can compensate for what has been taken. And that’s okay. I do not want a salary for my suffering, I want salvation from it. This irreparable loss, this ruined time, this unredeemable … Continue reading Irreparable Loss
Jesus is once again asking us to look at ourselves, to be self-reflective. It’s as if he saying to John, “Don’t you worry about that other guy. You worry about yourself.” He’s asking us to look within. The greatest stumbling blocks are not outside us but within us: anger and revenge, the judgments we make of others, prejudice, our desire to get ahead and be number one, the need to be right, our unwillingness to listen, the assumption that we know more and better than another, living as if our way is the only and right way, pride, fear, being exclusionary, our busyness, lies, gossip, our desire for power and control. These, and a thousand other things like them, are what cause others and us to fall. Continue reading First, Do No Harm – A Sermon On Mark 9:38-50
For most of us, I suspect, Monday greatness is about being number one, a winner, a success. It’s about power, control, wealth, fame, reputation, status, and position. Have you ever seen the losing super bowl team dancing around with two fingers in the air shouting, “We’re number two, we’re number two?” Probably not and you probably never will. Can you imagine a political slogan about making America last or a servant of other countries? Besides, who wants to be the servant of all? That’s for the uneducated, minorities or foreigners, and those we can get away with paying less than a living wage. At least that’s often how it works today. Being last and servant of all is not what we usually strive for. That’s not the greatness to which we aspire. Continue reading I Want To Be Great, Don’t You? – A Sermon On Mark 9:30-37
I’ve recently begun wondering if one of the primary things that unites us as country today might not be disillusionment. It seems to be everywhere, and on all sides. Now we may not agree on what we are disillusioned about but I think it’s a common disease from which we are all suffering. There is disillusionment with our leaders and the political system, with economic opportunities, with endless wars and violence, with prejudice and oppression, with religion and the church. Continue reading Medicine For Our Disillusionment – A Sermon On Mark 8:27-38
We so often hear Jesus say, “I am the bread of life,” and we assume he is the only loaf in the basket. But what if that is not what he is saying? What if he is not claiming to be the exclusive loaf of bread in this world? What if he is teaching us is what the bread of life looks like so we can find it in this world, so we can become that bread, so we can be that bread for another? Continue reading Could We Be The Bread of Life? – A Sermon On John 6:35, 41-51
Proper 15B – John 6:51-58 Shortly before I began the fourth grade my mom, dad, sister, and I took a trip to Kansas City. We spent the night at the airport Holiday Inn. I remember us sitting around the pool and every time a plane flew overhead my mom would cry. The next morning we took my dad to the airport. He would spend the … Continue reading Playing The Game Of Life – A Sermon On John 6:51-58
Here’s the first question. Have you ever made plans for your life? And here’s the second question. Have your plans ever been interrupted?
Chances are you answered yes to both of those questions. We’ve all made plans. Maybe it was for an hour, a day, a weekend, a vacation, our work, our finances, our family. And we’ve all experienced the interruption of those plans by circumstances that changed or the unexpected that happened. Every one of us could probably say about today’s gospel, “Well… Darn. That’s all about me. That describes my life.” Today’s gospel describes the tension in which we live. And it’s the same tension in which Jesus and his disciples lived. Continue reading Life Interrupted: When Our Plans And The Unexpected Meet – A Sermon on Mark 6:30-34, 53-56
We all face giants, Philistines, in our lives. Sometimes it’s personal and unique to our particular situation. Goliath might be an illness, loneliness, the loss of a loved one. Maybe a rift in a relationship is standing tall. Or maybe it feels as if your life is moving out of control and you’re powerless to do anything. Other times Goliath might be more systemic. It’s mass shootings in our country, violence throughout the world, war in the middle east, racism, immigration. Goliath shows up in lots of ways.
Every time Goliath shows up the battle lines are drawn. The battle is not, however, what we often think it is. Continue reading Battling For The Heart Of Humanity – A Sermon on 1 Samuel 17:1, 4-11, 19-23, 32-49
For the refugees, migrants, and displaced persons of this world, Lord, hear our prayer, and let our cry come to you. O God, do not be silent; Do not keep still nor hold your peace, O God. God the Father, Creator of heaven and earth, Have mercy upon them. God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy upon them. God the Holy Spirit, Sanctifier … Continue reading A Litany of Prayer for Refugees, Migrants, and Displaced Persons
Do not shrink and do not ever let us see your face again. That is the work and challenge before you. There is no trick or method to holding the tension and standing in the paradox. It is not something you do. It is a way of being. It is the way of Christ. Now let it become your way. Continue reading Two Challenges – An Ordination Sermon On Acts 20:17-28