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
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
Proper 23B – Mark 10:17-31 “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” I wonder what drove the man to Jesus. I wonder what was going on in his life that caused him to run to Jesus, kneel down, and ask his question. What’s the desperation behind his question? What’s his desire? We could speculate about him but chances are there have been … Continue reading A New Day, A New Life – A Sermon On Mark 10:17-31
Some losses are irreparable. The time is ruined. The suffering cannot be redeemed. There is no gain from this pain, no view long enough to eventually say, “It was worth it,” nothing that can compensate for what has been taken. And that’s okay. I do not want a salary for my suffering, I want salvation from it. This irreparable loss, this ruined time, this unredeemable … Continue reading Irreparable Loss
“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
Seeing Jesus isn’t a spectator sport. It is a way to be followed, a truth to be embodied, a life to be lived. It’s being a grain of wheat that falls into the ground and dies so that it might bear much fruit. That’s where we see him. It’s the letting go, the emptying, the leaving behind, and the dying that makes space for new life to arise. Continue reading The Secret To Life – A Sermon On John 12:20-33
We live in a tension between the uncertainty of life and the certainty of death. And we work pretty hard at denying, ignoring, forgetting, outrunning, and overcoming those twin realities. But they are always there. They are always present to us in the same way the ashes with which we will be marked were already a part of and present in the palms we carried last year on Palm Sunday.
What’s that like for you? In what ways have those two realities, the uncertainty of life and the certainty of death, made themselves known in your life? Maybe that’s what you are facing today. Continue reading Mortality And The Fragility Of Life – An Ash Wednesday Sermon On Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
Today we “walk through the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23). Today the familiarity, poetry, and beauty of the 23rd psalm have a different tone. The shadow is dark and the valley is long and deep. I will not mislead you by denying that reality or letting platitudes and sentimentalities echo off the valley’s walls. That doesn’t help anyone. The valley is real and the shadow is here. That does not mean, however, that you and I are without hope. Let me be clear about this. That does not mean we are without hope. Continue reading The Light In The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death – A Funeral Sermon on Psalm 23
Rarely does the gospel tell us what to do or believe. Rarely does it give us a straight answer. And today’s gospel (Luke 24:13-35), the road to Emmaus story, is no different. It doesn’t give us answers. It raises questions and invites reflection. It’s a map by which we orient and find ourselves. It reveals intersections of Jesus’ life and our lives. It begs to be recognized as a story about our lives, and it is a story with which we are familiar. It is a story of shattering and restoration.
If your life has ever been shattered then this is your story. If your life has ever been restored then this is your story. And if you’ve ever been in that in between place, between shattering and restoration, then this is your story.
Continue reading Life Shattered, Life Restored – A Sermon on Luke 24:13-35