Yesterday’s Palms, Today’s Ashes – An Ash Wednesday Sermon on Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 Several years ago someone said to me, “One day I finally realized people were not spending nearly the amount of time thinking about me as I was spending thinking about them thinking about me, and wondering what…

I Don’t Want To Do Lent This Year

As I write this reflection it’s the third week in Epiphany and I’ve been thinking about Lent for a couple of weeks now. I am thinking about Shrove Tuesday; the pancake supper, the palms we will burn, and the ashes…

Lent with the Desert Fathers: Fasting From Words

A Word from the Desert Abba Macarius the Great said to the brothers at Scetis, when he dismissed the assembly, 'Flee, my brothers.' One of the old men asked him, ‘Where could we flee to beyond the desert?' He put…

Lent with the Desert Fathers: Detaching From Another’s Scorn or Praise

A Word from the Desert "A brother came to see Abba Macarius the Egyptian, and said to him, ‘Abba, give me a word, that I may be saved.’ So the old man said, ‘Go to the cemetery and abuse [insult]…

Lent with the Desert Fathers: Is it Yours?

A Word From the Desert "The same Abba Agathon was walking with his disciples. One of them, finding a small green pea on the road, said to the old man, ‘Father, may I take it?’ The old man, looking at…

Lent with the Desert Fathers: Detachment and Simplicity

A Word From the Desert Abba Zosimos said, “In time, through neglect, we lose even the little fervor that we suppose we have in our ascetic renunciation. We become attached to useless, insignificant, and entirely worthless matters, substituting these for the…

Lent with the Desert Fathers: A Series on Fasting and Simplicity

Each Friday through Lent I will be posting about a particular aspect of the practices of fasting and simplicity as seen through the lens of the desert tradition. The posts will include a saying from the desert fathers, a reflection…

Welcome to the Human Race – An Ash Wednesday Sermon, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

A couple of years ago I was talking with a women who is and has been for many years my therapist, counselor, mentor, and teacher all rolled into one. I told her that I worked really hard to always get…

Daytime Lives and Nighttime Lives – A Sermon on John 3:1-17

Nicodemus “came to Jesus by night” (John 3:1-17, Lent 2A). I wonder if that’s not true for all of us. I wonder if we don’t all come to Jesus by night. Some have said that Nicodemus was hiding in the…

Taking Ourselves More Seriously than God – An Ash Wednesday Sermon, Mt. 6:1-6, 16-21

“Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them, for then you have no reward from your father in heaven.” (Mt. 6:1-6, 16-21; Ash Wednesday) Don’t sound the trumpet when you give alms. Don’t pray…

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