Baptism of Jesus, Epiphany, Sermon, Epiphany 1C, Luke 3:15-17, 21-22, John Caputo

With You I Am Well Pleased – A Sermon On Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

The question is never, “Do I get a yes? Am I the son or daughter of God, the Beloved, with whom God is well pleased?” That’s a given, the gift of God. It’s the insistence of God in each of our lives. The only question is whether we can discern that gift in the conditions and circumstances of our lives.

We are always discerning God’s insistence in our lives, to hear God’s call and claim on us. We are always listening for the yes to which we can answer yes. Continue reading With You I Am Well Pleased – A Sermon On Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

Epiphany, Feast of the Epiphany, Matthew 2:1-12, Sermon, Star of Bethlehem

God Insists – An Epiphany Sermon On Matthew 2:1-12

Whatever God’s insisting for you might be, whatever the “it” is in your life, “it” is God desiring, maybe even needing, to be seen, known, experienced by you. Epiphany happens at the intersection of God’s insistence and our response, and it requires both. A star that is not seen and followed is just another luminous ball of gas. A journey that has no guiding star is just another road trip. You and I give existence to God’s insistence through our actions, our words, our lives.  Continue reading God Insists – An Epiphany Sermon On Matthew 2:1-12

Luke 1:39-56, Sermon, Advent 4C, Advent, Hospitality, Impossible, Estrangement, Stranger, Sermon, Mary, Elizabeth, Visitation of Mary

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

Advent, Advent 3C, Sermon, Luke 3:7-18, John the Baptist, Repentance, Spiritual Life

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

Sermon, Funeral, Funeral Sermon, Death, Resurrection, Music, John 14:1-6

The Music Hasn’t Ended, The Key Has Changed – A Funeral Sermon

The music of Gene’s life did not end at his death. Though we might be able to name the day and maybe even the hour of Gene’s death, he never knew that moment. He simply moved from this life to a new life. The music hasn’t ended, the key has changed. And that means we must learn to listen in a new way. We must listen with the ears of our hearts.  Continue reading The Music Hasn’t Ended, The Key Has Changed – A Funeral Sermon

Advent, Advent 2C, Sermon, Repentance, Luke 3:1-6, Future

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

Sermon, Advent, Advent 1C, Future, Impossible, Luke 21:25-36, John Caputo

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

Funeral, Sermon, Death, Nonbeliever, Psalm 23, Lamentations 3:22-23, Isaiah 61:1-3, John 10:11-16, Romans 8:35-39

Opening Gates – A Funeral Sermon For A Nonbeliever

What God creates, God loves; and what God loves, God loves everlastingly. I hope that you will hold on to those words. They are the thread that runs through everything we will do here today. They are the thread that runs through everything I will say to you. They are the thread that ran through Tommy’s life, his dying, and his being raised up to … Continue reading Opening Gates – A Funeral Sermon For A Nonbeliever

Lazarus, Abundance, All Saints, John 11:32-44, Sermon, Feasts of All Saints

Unbinding Abundance – An All Saints’ Sermon On John 11:32-44

All Saints Sunday – John 11:32-44 “Where have you laid him?” Jesus asked them.  “Lord, come and see.”  The thing that strikes me most about Mary and Martha in today’s gospel (John 11:32-44) is their loneliness. They’re lonely. They’re lonely for their brother. They’re lonely for Jesus. They’re lonely for the life they used to have. They are alone in their loss and they feel … Continue reading Unbinding Abundance – An All Saints’ Sermon On John 11:32-44