In some ways the past year has felt like a long never ending season of Lent. It has been a time of fasting, self-denial, and giving up; a time when people and things have been lost or taken from us; a time that is continually pointing to our mortality and the fragility of life.
What are you doing with all that? And what is all that doing with you?
Unless we face our own mortality we can never claim the fullness of life. Unless we recognize the fragility of life we will never discover its true value. Continue reading The Most Important Day Of Your Life – A Sermon On Mark 1:9-15
“All shall be well. All shall be well. Every manner of thing shall be well.”
I hope you will hold on to what those words say. Let them bind you to faith, hope, and love, and connect you to one another. The theme of those words – all shall be well – is the thread that runs through today’s psalm. Continue reading All Shall Be Well – A Sermon On Psalm 23 And COVID-19
It was The Third Sunday in Lent. We had planned to celebrate the Holy Eucharist beginning with the penitential order. It ended up being a different kind of Sunday; not your usual Third Sunday in Lent. We omitted the penitential order and began the liturgy with a prayer concerning COVID-19. There was no water in the baptismal font. Instead, the font was filled with small … Continue reading The First Sunday Of COVID-19 – A Reflection On Exodus 17:1-7
Ash Wednesday – Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” That’s the last line of Mary Oliver’s poem, “The Summer Day.” I had never thought of my life as wild and precious until I read her question. I love the invitation, freedom, and curiosity it expresses. It’s expansive. It opens my heart. It … Continue reading The Perfect Question For Ash Wednesday – An Ash Wednesday Sermon
The promise and risk of life come to us asking for a response. Jesus had decisions to make. And so do we. We make decisions everyday of our life; decisions and choices about what to do, who we want to be, how we want to live. We sometimes call them temptations. We feel torn and pulled between the promise and the risk. Temptations hold before us the illusion of promise without risk. But that’s not the way the wilderness works, and Jesus knows that.
With each decision we’re betting that the future will be better, not because it necessarily is, but because it might be. And that “might,” the possibility of a better future, of more life, is what gives us the strength, the faith, the hope, to risk a decision and remain open to the future, even when we don’t know how it will turn out. Continue reading Life Is Promise And Risk – A Sermon On Luke 4:1-13
Maybe Lent and the gospel of Jesus are not primarily about being good, a program for changing from a bad person to a good person, so we can get a future reward. I’ve got nothing against being a good person (whatever that might mean) but I’ve never read where Jesus said, “I came that you might be good, better, an improved version of yourself.” What I have read is that Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Throughout the gospel he shows himself to be giving life, revealing life, and calling to life. And that’s not about tomorrow, after you die, or some heavenly future. “Now is the day of salvation,” Paul tells us (2 Corinthians 6:2). Now, in this time and in this place. Life is now. Continue reading Life Before Death – An Ash Wednesday Sermon
There comes a time in each of our lives when understanding and knowing give way to the darkness of not knowing and not understanding. The journey of faith, it seems, is a journey through the darkness. Maybe we all come “to Jesus by night.” Continue reading In the Nighttime of Life – A Sermon on Genesis 12:1-4 and John 3:1-17
Lent 1A: Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7 and Matthew 4:1-11 Over the last several years I’ve begun to see and understand Lent and temptations, the struggles in my life, in a different way. It used to be that I thought about those things in terms of self-denial: just say no, don’t do this, don’t do that; and everything will be fine. But then life got complicated. It … Continue reading Two Questions for Lent – A Sermon on Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7 and Matthew 4:1-11
Most of us likely understand or have been told that Lent is a penitential season. We give something up, take on a new discipline, work to change our ways. None of this is wrong. But what if Lent is more than that? Continue reading Longing for God
Where we begin our Lenten journey is not as important as where it takes us. In the same way, what we give up, take on, or do for Lent are not as important as what those things do for us.
Continue reading Giving Away Our Hearts – An Ash Wednesday Sermon on Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21