Advent Possibilites – A Sermon On Matthew 24:36-44

The First Sunday in Advent, Year A - Matthew 24:36-44 Starry Night on the Rhone by Vincent van Gogh: Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons “But about that day and hour no one knows,” Jesus says. I hear those words and can’t…

Hospitality Heals Our Estrangement – An Advent Sermon On Luke 1:39-45

Throughout our lives we find ourselves in circumstances or situations that are strange, new, incomprehensible. They’re beyond our previous experience and more often than not they leave us feeling estranged from ourselves, an alien in our own life. You know what that’s like, right?

I wonder if that’s exactly how Mary feels. I wonder if her leaving in haste is the outer expression of her inner estrangement. I wonder if her leaving home reflects that she is not yet at home in herself. 

It’s About Ordinary Life – An Advent Sermon On Luke 3:7-18

I remember asking the what-to-do question in my teen age and early adult years as I thought about and made decisions. I asked it during my separation and after my divorce. I asked it after our son Brandon died. I’ve asked it after I said or did something that hurt another. I’ve asked it when I felt lost, overwhelmed, powerless, scared, or guilty. I’ve asked it when the pain of the world is palpable, when those I love and care about are hurting, when others are dealing with the hardships and the difficulty of life. What then should I do? Who and how do I want to be in this moment?

Does any of that sound familiar in your life? When have you asked the question? And what was going on?

What Has Laid Claim To Your Life? – An Advent Sermon On Luke 3:1-6

What do you see when you look at your past?

What are the feelings and thoughts?Regardless of how we view our past, regardless of what did or not happen back then, to the degree we are enmeshed, entangled, or enslaved to our past, “we can expect the future to look like the past” (Caputo, The Weakness of God, 169). We repeat the same patterns, tell ourselves the same old stories, and listen to same old voices. And not much changes. Life becomes static and we are stuck in the past trying to live a life that is no longer. 

John’s call for repentance is the call for us to face and deal with our past.

The Unforeseeable Future – An Advent Sermon On Luke 21:25-36

In today’s gospel Jesus speaks of the “‘Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory.” I think that’s a metaphor for the future. I’ve recently begun to think of Advent as the coming of our future, and a time when we prepare, as best we can, if we can, for that future. 

What comes up for you when you look toward or think about your future? How do you live with a future that is unforeseeable?

Shh, Be Quiet, It’s Advent.

A new liturgical year begins this coming Sunday, December 2, 2018, with the First Sunday of Advent. The Season of Advent consists of the four Sundays before Christmas. The liturgical color for Advent is purple or sometimes blue. We will…

Creator of the Stars of Night

Creator of the Stars of Night is an Advent chant with words from the 9th century. The music, Conditor lame siderum, is plainsong chant, mode 4. This rendition is by two choir members of St. Philip's Episcopal Church, Uvalde. Creator of the stars…

The One Among Us – A Sermon On John 1:6-8, 19-28 for Advent 3B

Maybe the greatest barrier to seeing the divine presence among us is that we already have an idea or image of who that one is or should be and what that one should look like and do. In other words, we think we know and we stick with what we think we know. We can't see the one because he or she does not meet our expectations or fit our categories of who he or she can be. Sometimes, we don't see the one among us because he or she stands outside the box of our beliefs. And more often than not we see and hear in such a way that it only confirms what we already believe.

Comfort For The Displaced – A Sermon on Mark 1:1-8 for Advent 2B

In what ways are you living as a displaced person? What parts of your life feel uprooted and disconnected? What is your displacement? 

"Comfort, O comfort my people," are God's words to displaced people. Isaiah first spoke those words to people exiled in Babylon, people whose lives had been uprooted. Those same words come to the displaced people of God today. In some way the prophetic word is always directed to displaced people. And we long to hear those words of comfort. We want to find our place. More than anything displaced people want to be a placed people. 

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