Imprisoned By Our Blinders – A Sermon On Matthew 11:2-11

What happened to John the Baptist? That’s the question that comes up for me when I hear today’s gospel (Matthew 11:2-11). Last week (Matthew 3:1-12) John was a voice crying out in the wilderness. He was preparing the way of…

Peace For Our Wolves And Lambs – A Sermon On Isaiah 11:1-10

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near,” John the Baptist announces in today’s gospel (Matthew 3:1-12). But it’s Isaiah in today’s Old Testament reading (Isaiah 11:1-10) who describes the kingdom. It’s Isaiah who gives us a glimpse of…

There’s Got To Be More Than This – A Sermon On Matthew 22:1-14

If what we hear in today’s gospel (Matthew 22:1-14) is really what the kingdom of heaven is like, then I’m not interested. Who needs God’s kingdom - at least as Jesus describes it today - when we already have more than enough leaders throughout the world who are abusing their power, when violence is perpetrated on a daily basis, when people’s lives are being destroyed, when cities are burning, when some are excluded and told they don’t belong? We don’t need God’s help to bring that about, we’re pretty good at it by ourselves.

“Show Me Your Work” – A Sermon On Matthew 16:13-20

I thought I knew or had some idea of what it meant for Jesus to be the Messiah. The events of the last six months, however, have caused me to rethink what it means. It used to be mostly a Sunday morning kind of question, but now it’s an every day kind of question. It used to be about the future, but now it’s about the present moment. It’s no longer only or even primarily about saving souls, it’s about changing hearts. And if Jesus is not changing your heart and my heart then he is not the Messiah of our lives. And if he is our Messiah then he necessarily changes how we live.

Filling The Jesus Gap – A Sermon On Matthew 11:2-11

The Third Sunday in Advent, Year A - Matthew 11:2-11 John the Baptist in Prison by Giousto de Menabuoi (1320–1391) John yelled at his disciples, “The Messiah is doing what!?” His voice escaped between the bars of his cell and…

A Non-Possessive Life – A Sermon On Luke 12:32-40

Many years ago a close, dear friend gave Cyndy and me a gift. “Open it now,” she said. We unwrapped it and took it out of the box. It was a piece of pottery, about six inches in diameter, beige colored, in the shape of a dome. There was a hole in the top and it was hollow inside. “Oh, it’s beautiful. Thank you so much,” we said. “It’s perfect. We love it.” Have you ever received a gift and had no idea what it was or what you were supposed to do with it? I wonder if that’s what happens to us when we hear Jesus say, “It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

Dealing With The Unknown, Unchosen, or Unwanted – A Sermon on Genesis 29:15-28 and Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

The problem is that life doesn’t always work that way. Nor is that, Jesus says, how the kingdom of heaven works. Sometimes real life, kingdom life, is like a net dragged through the sea. It pulls up both the good and the bad. Other times it is like a field that you see day after day. It’s always there. Not much changes. It’s just an ordinary field like any other field except that it is not. Deep within that ordinary dirt is unseen treasure waiting to be discovered.

Beauty, Hope, and Repentance – A Sermon on Matthew 3:1-12, Advent 2A

Matthew 3:1-12, Advent 2A If last week’s gospel (Matthew 24:36-44) called us to wake up and be watchful of the worlds within us and around us, then this week's gospel (Matthew 3:1-12) calls us to respond. “Repent, for the kingdom of…

An Open Invitation – A Sermon on Matthew 22:1-14

My first year in seminary we had a church history professor who would say the most outrageous things. He was funny. He was sarcastic. He was sometimes offensive and he was always challenging. You just never knew what to expect…

How’s Your Garden Growing? A Sermon on Matthew 21:33-46

Jesus said to them “Listen to another parable” (Matthew 21:33-46, Parable of the Wicked Tenants, Proper 22A). He could have just said, “Get ready for another confrontation between the Pharisees and me.” Regardless of what you think about the Pharisees…

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