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
Maybe Lent and the gospel of Jesus are not primarily about being good, a program for changing from a bad person to a good person, so we can get a future reward. I’ve got nothing against being a good person (whatever that might mean) but I’ve never read where Jesus said, “I came that you might be good, better, an improved version of yourself.” What I have read is that Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Throughout the gospel he shows himself to be giving life, revealing life, and calling to life. And that’s not about tomorrow, after you die, or some heavenly future. “Now is the day of salvation,” Paul tells us (2 Corinthians 6:2). Now, in this time and in this place. Life is now. Continue reading Life Before Death – An Ash Wednesday Sermon
Easter 4A – John 10:1-10 “Jesus used this figure of speech with them but they did not understand what he was saying to them” (John 10:6) Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever listened to the gospel reading and then said to yourself, “What is he talking about?” Have you ever read a piece of scripture and wondered, “What does this mean? And … Continue reading Try Them Apples On For Size – A Sermon on John 10:1-10
Rarely does the gospel tell us what to do or believe. Rarely does it give us a straight answer. And today’s gospel (Luke 24:13-35), the road to Emmaus story, is no different. It doesn’t give us answers. It raises questions and invites reflection. It’s a map by which we orient and find ourselves. It reveals intersections of Jesus’ life and our lives. It begs to be recognized as a story about our lives, and it is a story with which we are familiar. It is a story of shattering and restoration.
If your life has ever been shattered then this is your story. If your life has ever been restored then this is your story. And if you’ve ever been in that in between place, between shattering and restoration, then this is your story.
Continue reading Life Shattered, Life Restored – A Sermon on Luke 24:13-35
Have you ever thought of Jesus’ Palm Sunday procession as a protest march? What if that’s what it really is? What if it is a resistance movement? What if it is highlighting the struggle that takes place in every human heart – the will to power or the will to life? I’ve come to believe that that’s exactly what is happening today. Palm Sunday, Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, sets up a confrontation and it has the whole city in turmoil. Continue reading Will to Power or Will to Life? – A Palm Sunday Sermon on Matthew 21:1-11
Have you ever gotten exactly what you chose only to realize it was not what you really wanted? Have you ever made a choice that you knew was the right choice, a good choice, but it left you feeling empty, as if something was missing? Despite getting what you wanted, what you chose, your life was not enriched, made full and vibrant they way you thought it would be. Instead it felt diminished and impoverished. Continue reading The Choice is Yours – A Sermon on Sirach 15:15-20 and Matthew 5:21-37
“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 standing on the street corner attracting attention to yourself. Don’t show off by your fasting. This is about much more than how we give our … Continue reading Taking Ourselves More Seriously than God – An Ash Wednesday Sermon, Mt. 6:1-6, 16-21
You have heard it said, “The Old Testament is a book of law and judgment.” You have heard it said, “The New Testament is a book of grace and love.” But I say to you, “Welcome to today’s gospel!” (Matthew 5:21-37, Epiphany 6A) Today’s gospel won’t let us make those simple and inaccurate distinctions. Jesus’ words show continuity and consistency between the Old and the … Continue reading Keeping the Rules or Keeping the Relationship? A Sermon on Matthew 5:21-37
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 reading for the Fifth Sunday of Lent may be found here. The following sermon is based on John 12:20-33. They say there are three things that cannot be talked about. You know them, right? Religion, sex, and politics. I think they are wrong. We do talk about those things. We just do it really badly. There is, however, something we do not … Continue reading Dying to Live – A Sermon on John 12:20-33; Lent 5B