Death, Harrowing of Hell, Descent into Hell, Holy Saturday, Matthew 27:57-66, Job 14:1-14, Sermon, Resurrection

Hell Yeah! – A Holy Saturday Sermon on Matthew 27:57-66 and Job 14:1-14

Job 14:1-14 Matthew 27:57-66 “If mortals die, will they live again?” (Job 14:14) That’s Job’s question. It’s a Holy Saturday kind of question. It’s a question all of us ask on the Holy Saturdays of our lives. Jesus was crucified, killed, yesterday. His body was placed in a tomb. A great stone was placed over the entrance. The woman sit opposite the tomb. They do … Continue reading Hell Yeah! – A Holy Saturday Sermon on Matthew 27:57-66 and Job 14:1-14

Sermon, Palm Sunday, Holy Week, Triumphal Entry, Tears, Weeping, Luke 19:28-40, Luke 19:41-46

The Tearful Entry into Holy Week – A Palm Sunday Sermon on Luke 19:28-46

The Palm/Entry Narrative – Luke 18:28-40 (41-46) The Passion Narrative – Luke 22:14-23:56 As we do every year we began this day by taking our place in the triumphal entry, singing our hosannas, and carrying our palms. The triumphal entry, palms, and hosannas have in many ways come to characterize this day and the beginning of Holy Week. That’s not, however, what I want to … Continue reading The Tearful Entry into Holy Week – A Palm Sunday Sermon on Luke 19:28-46

Looking Around and Leaving Nothing Behind – A Palm Sunday Sermon on Mark 11:1-11

Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!’ (From the Palm Sunday gospel, Mark 11:1-11) Every time I read, hear, or say those words I can’t help but think of a saying you probably know. … Continue reading Looking Around and Leaving Nothing Behind – A Palm Sunday Sermon on Mark 11:1-11

Holy Week, Sermon, Holy Saturday, Great Saturday, Icon Harrowing of Hell, Descent into Hell

The Morning After – A Sermon for Holy Saturday

Jesus’ body has been taken down from the cross, received into the hands of his mother and friends. They have wrapped his body in their love and laid him in the tomb. The door of the tomb has been replaced by a great stone. (Matthew 27:57-66) This is not only a story about Jesus. It is a story about the deaths and losses of our lives. … Continue reading The Morning After – A Sermon for Holy Saturday

Good Friday, Sermon, Holy Week, Death, Crucifixion John 18:1-19:42

Hell Awaits – A Sermon for Good Friday, John 18:1-19:42

Last night we began taking our share with Jesus. We ate the last supper. We washed feet. We stripped the altar. We come here today much the same as we left here last night. The table of our last supper has been cleared and is empty. The water that washed our feet has dried and the basin is empty. The altar of our life has … Continue reading Hell Awaits – A Sermon for Good Friday, John 18:1-19:42

Maundy Thursday, Foot Washing, Holy Week, Matthew 13:1-17, 31-35, Sermon

Taking our Share with Jesus – A Sermon for Maundy Thursday on John 13:1-17, 31-35

I’ve now been here at St. Philip’s long enough that you probably know one of the things I emphasize in my teaching, preaching, and our life together is the movement from thinking to experience, the practice of living out of our hearts rather than our heads. My focus on this is as much for me as it is for you. I teach that because I … Continue reading Taking our Share with Jesus – A Sermon for Maundy Thursday on John 13:1-17, 31-35

Sunday of the Passion, Palm Sunday, Matthew 21:1-11, Matthew 27:11-54, Sermon, Holy Week, Triumphal Entry

Life-giving Turmoil – A Sermon for the Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday, Matthew 21:1-11

Today is known as the Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday. (There are two gospel readings: Matthew 21:1-11 (the triumphal entry) and Matthew 27:11-54 (the passion)). I’ve been wondering and thinking though about a different name for this day. What if we renamed today “Turmoil Sunday?” Does that sound like the gospel to you? Did you show up today hoping or expecting Jesus to bring … Continue reading Life-giving Turmoil – A Sermon for the Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday, Matthew 21:1-11

In the Hell of Life, Holy Saturday

14th century manuscript illustrating the harrowing of hell
The Harrowing of Hell, 14th century (source)

“When one door closes another opens,” goes an old and popular saying. But what about that time in between, after one door closes but before another opens? What do we do then? As a friend of mine once said, “It’s hell when you are waiting in the hallway.” That’s where we are today. The door on Good Friday has closed. Jesus is dead. The door on Easter has not yet opened. The tomb is sealed and guarded. This is Holy Saturday, in-between time, tomb time.

Many, perhaps most, will not remember or celebrate this day, but, at some point, we all live this day. We all come to the Holy Saturday of our life, the hell of our life, and it always involves a death of some kind: the death of loved one, the death of a relationship, the death of a dream. Regardless of how it comes about someone or something has died and all the doors remain closed. Continue reading “In the Hell of Life, Holy Saturday”