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
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
We all come to dividing lines in our lives. It might be a heart attack, the death of a loved one, a divorce, the loss of job, a shattered dream, an aging body. But it might also be a graduation, a marriage, the birth of a child or a grandchild, a retirement, an unexpected opportunity. In some way our lives are a series of dividing lines. Every one of you could look back and see the dividing lines in your life; the questions that were raised, the choices you made, the struggles you faced, and the ways in which your life changed. Continue reading The Dividing Lines In Life – A Sermon On John 17:6-19
Baptism doesn’t happen just in the font at the back of the church. We’ve been taught and come to believe there is only one baptism in the church. And I think that is right, but I want to put the emphasis on “in the church.” In the church there is only one baptism. In life we are baptized over and over and over again. Continue reading The Many Baptisms Of Life – A Sermon On Acts 8:26-40
Does my life matter? Do I make a difference, and if so, how? I suspect we all struggle with these questions or questions like them. I’m pretty sure that at some level they are always with us. And we don’t just want someone else to say yes. We want to be able to say yes for ourselves.
Regardless of when or how those questions come up I think they are grounded in a deep longing and desire for abundance in our life. We want to be an abundant people. We want to live an abundant life. Continue reading The Abundant Life – A Sermon On John 10:11-18
I suspect we all live with our own version of what is and what isn’t possible. And most of the time we live our life based on what we consider to be possible. We consider the range of possibilities and then we make a decision, choose a direction for our life, take our next step, all within the boundaries of what is possible. But what if the impossible can be made real? What if the impossible really does happen? What if the impossible is possible? Continue reading The Impossible Made Real – A Sermon On John 20:19-31
Easter is not just something from the past to be looked at and celebrated. It is the lens through which we are to see everything. It’s a life to be lived. Getting Jesus out of the tomb is not the ultimate goal of Easter. Easter is about our new life. That means that today is not the end of the story. It’s the beginning. The most important part of Easter is not what happens today. What matters most about Easter is what we do tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that. Continue reading The Two Questions Of Easter – An Easter Sermon On Mark 16:1-8
“They laid Jesus there,” in the tomb (John 19:42). At one level that’s a literal-historical statement of what happened next. At another level it’s about you and me. We’ve all come to the tomb. We’ve laid in the tomb our family and friends, loves, hopes, dreams, relationships, parts of our selves and our lives. I wonder, what have you laid in the tomb this Holy Week? This past year? Continue reading What Have You Laid In The Tomb? – A Holy Saturday Sermon On John 19:38-42
Before I talk about Good Friday I want to talk about Bad Friday. That’s the Friday that I struggle with. Don’t you? How are we to make sense of an all powerful, can do anything, kind of God who seemingly chooses to do nothing? That’s the Bad Friday question. Continue reading Struggling With The Cross – A Good Friday Sermon On John 18:1-19:42