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
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
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
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
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
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
The Second Sunday in Lent – Luke 13:31-35 When was the last time you went to bed thankful and amazed by what the day had given you, something you had not planned or foreseen? Maybe it was a conversation, a chance meeting with someone else, a moment of hope or beauty, a truth or insight that changed you, an experience when you felt really alive. … Continue reading Opening To Life – A Sermon On Luke 13:31-35
The promise and risk of life come to us asking for a response. Jesus had decisions to make. And so do we. We make decisions everyday of our life; decisions and choices about what to do, who we want to be, how we want to live. We sometimes call them temptations. We feel torn and pulled between the promise and the risk. Temptations hold before us the illusion of promise without risk. But that’s not the way the wilderness works, and Jesus knows that.
With each decision we’re betting that the future will be better, not because it necessarily is, but because it might be. And that “might,” the possibility of a better future, of more life, is what gives us the strength, the faith, the hope, to risk a decision and remain open to the future, even when we don’t know how it will turn out. Continue reading Life Is Promise And Risk – A Sermon On Luke 4:1-13
I don’t know if Jesus literally and physically turned water into wine. But then I don’t think that’s the point of today’s gospel. I don’t think this gospel is ultimately about turning water into wine. It’s about calling forth life where there is none. It’s about transformation. It’s about living a new life. Continue reading Water Does Not Turn Into Wine – A Sermon On John 2:1-11
What do you see when you look at your past?
What are the feelings and thoughts?Regardless of how we view our past, regardless of what did or not happen back then, to the degree we are enmeshed, entangled, or enslaved to our past, “we can expect the future to look like the past” (Caputo, The Weakness of God, 169). We repeat the same patterns, tell ourselves the same old stories, and listen to same old voices. And not much changes. Life becomes static and we are stuck in the past trying to live a life that is no longer.
John’s call for repentance is the call for us to face and deal with our past. Continue reading What Has Laid Claim To Your Life? – An Advent Sermon On Luke 3:1-6