I’ve recently begun wondering if one of the primary things that unites us as country today might not be disillusionment. It seems to be everywhere, and on all sides. Now we may not agree on what we are disillusioned about but I think it’s a common disease from which we are all suffering. There is disillusionment with our leaders and the political system, with economic opportunities, with endless wars and violence, with prejudice and oppression, with religion and the church. Continue reading Medicine For Our Disillusionment – A Sermon On Mark 8:27-38
We so often hear Jesus say, “I am the bread of life,” and we assume he is the only loaf in the basket. But what if that is not what he is saying? What if he is not claiming to be the exclusive loaf of bread in this world? What if he is teaching us is what the bread of life looks like so we can find it in this world, so we can become that bread, so we can be that bread for another? Continue reading Could We Be The Bread of Life? – A Sermon On John 6:35, 41-51
Proper 15B – John 6:51-58 Shortly before I began the fourth grade my mom, dad, sister, and I took a trip to Kansas City. We spent the night at the airport Holiday Inn. I remember us sitting around the pool and every time a plane flew overhead my mom would cry. The next morning we took my dad to the airport. He would spend the … Continue reading Playing The Game Of Life – A Sermon On John 6:51-58
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