America is in a hard place these days, and we have been for quite a while. Over the last few months of the coronavirus many have said that we’re all in this together. Yes, but we’re not all together in this. We are not “all together in one place” on this day of Pentecost. Our country is divided, fragmented, and wounded. And so is my heart. Maybe yours is too.
It’s not easy to talk about our wounds; whether it’s our individual wounds or our national wounds, whether it’s the wounds we’ve received or the ones we’ve inflicted. To talk about our wounds requires us to look at what we’ve done and left undone. It means we each have to look within ourselves. It means taking responsibility for our lives. It means valuing the life and wounds of another as much as our own. Continue reading Letting Peace Hold Our Wounds – A Pentecost Sermon On John 20:19-23
That we need an Advocate to change God’s mind about us just doesn’t fit a God “who so loved the world.” It’s contrary to Jesus saying that he came not to condemn the world but to save, heal, and transform it (John 3:17). “I came,” he says, “that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:9).
What if the Advocate’s role is not to change God’s mind but to change our minds about ourselves and each other? Continue reading The Advocate – A Sermon On John 14:15-21
“But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’” They sure looked drunk. They sounded drunk. They acted drunk. But Peter denied it. “We’re not drunk,” he said, “it’s only nine o’clock in the morning.” So which is it? Were they sober as Peter said or were they filled with new wine? (Acts 2:1-21) Yes. Yes is really the only answer to that … Continue reading Living Under the Influence – A Sermon on Acts 2:1-21 for the Feast of Pentecost
There are moments in each of our lives when we begin to hear a new language. It’s new yet echoes with familiarity. We know it through our deepest longings and desires. If fills us with hope, life, and peace. It lies hidden deep within us. It’s always been there but then one day we hear it in a new way, as if for the very … Continue reading Pentecost Makes us Capable of God
This Litany to the Holy Spirit was prepared using the traditional form of a litany. The contents of the litany are based on scripture, the Book of Common Prayer, and an Eastern Orthodox prayer to the Holy Spirit. O God the Father, Creator of heaven and earth, Have mercy upon us. O God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy upon us. O God … Continue reading A Litany to the Holy Spirit
Jesus “breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’” (John 20:22). Recall a moment when you held another person so close that you could hear his or her breathing, the sound of life. Maybe it was your husband or wife, a parent, your child or grandchild, a dear friend. Cheek to cheek. You could feel his or her breath brush across your … Continue reading God’s Conspiracy Gives Life
For most of us, I suspect, there are moments when the existential questions of life can no longer be answered, ignored, or denied by focusing on our careers, jobs, marriages, families, acquisitions, or accomplishments. Who am I? What is my purpose? What have I really accomplished? How will I be remembered? Will I even be remembered? Where is all this going and what’s it about?
Some will simply chalk it up to a mid-life crisis or the frustrations and difficulties of life. Others will try to reinvent themselves. In those moments we face our own mortality, the passing of time, and the limitations of this world. That we are finite, biological creatures with a beginning and an end, becomes more clear. These are “spiritual” moments par excellence. At the heart of these moments are our longing and yearning for life, not just life as we know it, more of the same, but a life we can scarcely imagine let alone obtain for ourselves.
Who is the one that will give us that life? What does that life look like? Continue reading “Believing in the Giver of Life”
The collect and readings for the Feast of Pentecost may be found here. Think about a moment when you held another person so close that you could hear his or her breathing, the sound of life. Maybe it was your husband or wife, a parent, your child, or a grandchild. You could feel his or her breath brush across your cheek and he or she … Continue reading Co-conspirators with God – A Sermon for the Feast of Pentecost: Acts 2:1-21; Ezekiel 37:1-14
My hope is the Father. My refuge is the Son. My shelter is the Holy Spirit. O Holy Trinity, glory to you. – St. Ioannikos, 9th century (Prayer Book of the Early Christians) Continue reading Prayer of St. Ioannikos to the Holy Trinity