Emmitt, though you are only four and a half months old you are never too young to hear the Beatitudes for the first time, and neither are the rest of us too old to hear them again for the first time. Today you are being immersed in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12) as a way of being, a path to be followed, principles by which to guide your life. They describe the divine life, the life of Jesus. And whether that life exists in this world depends on you and the rest of us. We never accomplish the beatitudes as a task completed. Instead we strive, day by day, to live into them. Continue reading Here We Are – A Baptismal Sermon On the Beatitudes, Matthew 5:1-12
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind,” and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
These, Jesus says, are the two commandments on which everything else hangs. They are two sides of the same thing. You can’t truly have one without the other. This is about more than our feelings or affection for God and one another. It’s about our commitment to the life and well-being of the other. It’s a choice we make every day – to love or not to love.
I wonder what that love looks like. I wonder what your life and my life would be like if we held those two commandments as the guiding principles for what we do. I wonder what we might create and achieve if we embodied and lived those commandments. Continue reading Love’s Only Hope In This World – A Sermon On Matthew 22:34-46
If what we hear in today’s gospel (Matthew 22:1-14) is really what the kingdom of heaven is like, then I’m not interested.
Who needs God’s kingdom – at least as Jesus describes it today – when we already have more than enough leaders throughout the world who are abusing their power, when violence is perpetrated on a daily basis, when people’s lives are being destroyed, when cities are burning, when some are excluded and told they don’t belong? We don’t need God’s help to bring that about, we’re pretty good at it by ourselves. Continue reading There’s Got To Be More Than This – A Sermon On Matthew 22:1-14
The following liturgy and pledge were prepared after a conversation the vestry (the parish’s governing body) had about how we want to be toward one another in the time leading up to the 2020 presidential election and afterwards. The liturgy incorporates a theme expressed in my sermon, We Are Nineveh. The vestry and clergy of St. Philip’s are taking the pledge and inviting others to … Continue reading A Prayer And A Pledge For The 2020 Presidential Election
I thought I knew or had some idea of what it meant for Jesus to be the Messiah. The events of the last six months, however, have caused me to rethink what it means. It used to be mostly a Sunday morning kind of question, but now it’s an every day kind of question. It used to be about the future, but now it’s about the present moment. It’s no longer only or even primarily about saving souls, it’s about changing hearts. And if Jesus is not changing your heart and my heart then he is not the Messiah of our lives. And if he is our Messiah then he necessarily changes how we live. Continue reading “Show Me Your Work” – A Sermon On Matthew 16:13-20
The Third Sunday in Advent, Year A – Matthew 11:2-11 John yelled at his disciples, “The Messiah is doing what!?” His voice escaped between the bars of his cell and echoed throughout the prison. Maybe his disciples told him what Jesus was doing. Or maybe he overheard the guards talking about it. Maybe he found out from other visitors. Jesus has been going throughout Galilee … Continue reading Filling The Jesus Gap – A Sermon On Matthew 11:2-11
The Feast of All Saints, Year C – Luke 6:20-31 Blessed are the poor, the hungry, and the ones who are weeping. But woe to the rich, the full, and the ones who are laughing. Poverty over riches, hunger over fullness, and weeping over laughing. Are those the priories you have in your life today? Is that what you want for yourself? Your spouse and … Continue reading The How Of Life – A Sermon On Luke 6:20-31, Feast of All Saints
We are sixteen days from the midterm elections and one day from the start of early voting. Ads are running, rhetoric is raging, and lines are being drawn. And here’s what I wonder. What if Jesus’ name was on the ballot? Would you and I vote for him?
We tend to back the one who will “do for us whatever we ask” of him or her, the one who supports our beliefs, the one who advances our agenda. Isn’t that what James and John want from Jesus? “Teacher we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you … Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” They are privileging themselves over others, and we often do too. Give us. Do for us. That’s politics as usual. “But it is not [to be] so among you,” Jesus says. Continue reading A Vote That Matters – A Sermon On Mark 10:35-45
Proper 22B – Mark 10:2-16 The confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh has been completed. But here’s what I wonder. What have we confirmed? I am not speaking of Judge Kavanaugh’s qualifications or character. This is about more than particular individuals. We have confirmed more than a new Supreme Court justice. We have confirmed our divorce from one another. We have confirmed our reliance on procedure over … Continue reading What Have We Confirmed? – A Sermon On Mark 10:2-16
I want to talk with you today about politics. When I say politics I’m including not only elected officials and the governmental process, I’m also including you and me, the opinions we hold, the decisions we make, and the ways we relate to one another. Let me give you some context and examples of what I am thinking about. I’m thinking about racism, prejudice, and … Continue reading The Politics of Jesus – A Sermon on Luke 4:14-21