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.
In the Nighttime of Life – A Sermon on Genesis 12:1-4 and John 3:1-17
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.”
Two Questions for Lent – A Sermon on Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7 and Matthew 4:1-11
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…
Read More Two Questions for Lent – A Sermon on Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7 and Matthew 4:1-11
Longing for God
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?
Giving Away Our Hearts – An Ash Wednesday Sermon on Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
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.
Treasuring Hunting for Lent – An Ash Wednesday Meditation
What should I do for Lent this year? What should I read or study or give up or take on? These are good questions, but they are not Jesus’ question. Jesus wants to know what we treasure. Jesus is getting to the heart of the matter—our hearts.
Rethinking Temptation: It’s More Than Just Saying No – A Sermon on Luke 4:1-13
Luke 4:1-13 Jesus overcame the temptations in the wilderness. He made it possible for us to overcome our temptations. Be like Jesus and just say no. Does that sound familiar? I wonder if that’s how we often hear today’s gospel…
Read More Rethinking Temptation: It’s More Than Just Saying No – A Sermon on Luke 4:1-13
Yesterday’s Palms, Today’s Ashes – An Ash Wednesday Sermon on Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 Several years ago someone said to me, “One day I finally realized people were not spending nearly the amount of time thinking about me as I was spending thinking about them thinking about me, and wondering what…
Read More Yesterday’s Palms, Today’s Ashes – An Ash Wednesday Sermon on Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
I Don’t Want To Do Lent This Year
As I write this reflection it’s the third week in Epiphany and I’ve been thinking about Lent for a couple of weeks now. I am thinking about Shrove Tuesday; the pancake supper, the palms we will burn, and the ashes…