Parish Life, Future, Truth, Jeremiah 29:1-14, COVID-19, Reflection

Remembering The Future – A Reflection On 2020

Twenty-twenty. When I say those two words I’m not sure if I intend them as a statement or a question. A lot of things could be said about 2020.

It feels like we have been exiled from our homeland, from the way things used to be, from what was familiar and comfortable, and maybe even taken for granted. It feels like we are living in a foreign land, waiting and wanting to go home.

I don’t know when we’ll get to go home. I hope and pray that with the vaccines and continued use of masks and social distancing we can return sooner than later. But I don’t know. So what do we do in the meantime? Continue reading Remembering The Future – A Reflection On 2020

Flight to Egypt, Sermon, henry Oshawa Tanner, Matthew 2:13-15 19-23, New Year, Future, Joseph, Herod

Will We Be Dreamers Or Searchers In 2021? – A Sermon On Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23

We’re three days into the new year, a time of change and transition often marked by the calendar more than the circumstances of our lives or world. Regardless, the 2020 year end reviews are well underway with commentaries, assessments, and judgments. For some, maybe most, “Good-bye 2020,” could just as well be “Good riddance, 2020.” And “Hello, 2021,” could just as well be “You could’t get here soon enough, 2021.” We’ve quickly greeted the new year with predictions, wishes, and prayers.

I read this in the news, op eds, and on social media. I hear it in the conversations I have with others and in the silence of my own heart. Will 2021 be different from and better than 2020? I suspect all of us, at some level, are asking and living with that question. Continue reading Will We Be Dreamers Or Searchers In 2021? – A Sermon On Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23

Sermon, Advent 1B, Mark 13:24-37, Apocalypse, Darkness,

New Life Emerges From The Dark – A Sermon On Mark 13:24-37

Today’s gospel, like all apocalyptic literature, takes us to those threshold moments that leave us wondering whether things are falling apart or falling into place. By now most of you know me well enough to know that my answer to that is, “Yes. Yes, they are.”

I’m betting every one of you could tell a story about a threshold time in your life. I wonder what that threshold is for you today. Continue reading New Life Emerges From The Dark – A Sermon On Mark 13:24-37

Selah: Instructions For A Marriage – A Wedding Sermon

Genesis 1:26-28; Psalm 67; 1 John 4:7-16; John 15:9-12 Sophie, Tyler, I am going to give you a word for your marriage and life together. It’s a Hebrew word. It’s used seventy-one times in the Book of Psalms. Selah. Do you know that word? Selah. It’s used twice in the psalm you chose for this evening (Psalm 67). Scholars aren’t sure of its exact meaning … Continue reading Selah: Instructions For A Marriage – A Wedding Sermon

Life Can Be Different – An Advent Sermon On Matthew 3:1-12

The Second Sunday in Advent, Year A – Matthew 3:1-12 What if I preached like John the Baptist? What if I was as blunt and direct as he is? What if one Sunday I began my sermon like this?  “So what brought you slithering in here today? You sons of … snakes. Why are you here? To get out of the cold? To see your … Continue reading Life Can Be Different – An Advent Sermon On Matthew 3:1-12

The Double Yes of Marriage – A Wedding Sermon On Song of Solomon 2:10-13; 8:6-7

Song of Solomon 2:10-13; 8:6-7 and John 15:9-12 I am going to start by asking you some simple questions – yes or no kind of questions. I don’t mean to put pressure on you but if you get the answers wrong you’ll ruin my sermon and probably your wedding too. Don’t worry, it’ll be easy. Yes or no. Nano, do you love Sarah? Do you … Continue reading The Double Yes of Marriage – A Wedding Sermon On Song of Solomon 2:10-13; 8:6-7

Let Us Dare To Pray (And Not Just For What We Want) – A Sermon On Luke 11:1-13

Proper 12 C – Luke 11:1-13 “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.” It would sure be a lot easier to hear and preach today’s gospel (Luke 11:1-13) if it weren’t for all the unanswered prayers in our lives. I’m not suggesting that our prayers never get answered the way we … Continue reading Let Us Dare To Pray (And Not Just For What We Want) – A Sermon On Luke 11:1-13

Sermon, Easter, Death, Life, Resurrection, Hope, Future, Impossible, Easter, Easter Sunday, Luke 24:1-12

A Promise, A Hope, And A Call – A Sermon On Luke 24:1-12 For Easter Sunday

This is your resurrection. This is your Easter. This is your feast day. And that is true for every one of us here. Regardless of who you are, what you’ve done or not done, what has or has not happened in your life, what you believe or don’t believe, the promise remains, hope abides, and the call persists. Continue reading A Promise, A Hope, And A Call – A Sermon On Luke 24:1-12 For Easter Sunday

Sermon, Holy Saturday, Matthew 27:57-66, Death, Future, Impossible

Sitting In Opposition – A Sermon On Matthew 27:57-66 For Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday – Matthew 27:57-66 I am always struck by the contrast between this day, Holy Saturday, and the rest of Holy Week. The crowds, shouting, and turmoil of Good Friday have given way to silence and stillness. There is no meal or intimacy like on Maundy Thursday. The excitement and hope of Palm Sunday’s triumphal entry have ended with two women and a sealed … Continue reading Sitting In Opposition – A Sermon On Matthew 27:57-66 For Holy Saturday

Lent 3C, Sermon, Burning Bush, Exodus 3:1-15, Luke 13:1-9, Moses, John Caputo, Future

The Burning Bush: What If? – A Sermon On Exodus 3:1-15

The burning bush story is one of call and response. Something is being called for in the name of God. And I can’t help but believe that call and response is also the story of our lives. Something is being asked of us in the name of God. 

The burning bush experience does not happen apart from or in spite of every day life but in the midst of life, in the keeping of our flocks. That’s what Moses was doing when this happened. He was keeping the flock of his father in law. He was doing the ordinary routine things of his life, the same things he did the day before, the week before, and the month before. Burning bushes show up as we keep our flocks of routine and every day life; marriage, parenting, work, friendships, errands, church, reading the news, household tasks.  Continue reading The Burning Bush: What If? – A Sermon On Exodus 3:1-15