Jesus is God’s yes to us and the world. Regardless of who you are, where you are from, what you have done or left undone, or what is happening in your life today, you get a yes. There is no one who does not get a yes. Continue reading Yes – A Christmas Sermon on Luke 2:1-20
“Where, then, did these weeds come from?” (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43, Parable of the Weeds, Proper 11A) Who has not at some point asked that question? You may not have used those same words and you may not have spoken it aloud but I’ll bet everyone has, at some time or another, asked the question. Maybe you’ve read or watched the news and wondered, “How did … Continue reading Weeding out Judgment – A Sermon on Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43; Parable of the Wheat and Weeds
Love triangles. I want to talk with you today about love triangles. You know what I am talking about right? You’ve seen the pictures and headlines on the tabloids in the grocery store check out lines. Love triangles are often the subject of movie plots and sometimes they are the circumstances in which a crime is committed. They are also a part of our lives. … Continue reading Love Triangles – A Sermon on Matthew 10:24-39
Consequently, prayer is a matter of love. Man expresses love through prayer, and if we pray, it is an indication that we love God. If we do not pray this indicates we do not love God, for the measure of our prayer is the measure of our love for God. – Archimandrite Zacharias, The Hidden Man of the Heart, 68 Continue reading “Prayer is a Matter of Love”
“I saw a new heaven and a new earth,” St. John says. “I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.” I heard “the one who was seated on the throne [say], ‘See, I am making all things new.’” In the last two weeks I have seen and heard something very different. A bombing in Boston. An explosion in … Continue reading Loving Our Way to a New Heaven and a New Earth
Over the last week the many statements, opinions, and responses to the bombing in Boston have been broad, varied, and filled with emotion. They expressed, appropriately so, shared pain, sorrow, grief, and anger. They offered gratitude, pride, and support for the courage, compassion, and love shown by the many heroes who responded and cared for the dead, the injured, and those still in danger. Others, … Continue reading Love Could Not Bear That
It’s not hard to imagine that after the supper fiasco in Bethany – Mary anointing Jesus’ feet, Judas’ outburst, and Jesus talking about his death – the disciples might have been looking forward to a quiet evening, just a regular supper, just some food and conversation. That’s how tonight’s supper began but that’s not how it will end.
This night would be different. It would not be like the supper at Bethany. This time it was their feet. This time it is Peter’s outburst. This time it is Jesus talking about and showing love. It was, however, another supper interrupted.
“During supper Jesus got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him.”
Jesus is taking their relationship to the next level. They had been with each other for three years. Now they will become a part of each other. They had shared much over those three years, conversations, meals, experiences, prayer, time, life. Now they will take a share in Jesus and in each other. He in them. Them in him. They in each other. That’s how love is. Continue reading “A New Position and Role as Lover, John 13:1-17, 31-35”
He was the one they had waited for. They had grown up hearing stories of his coming. Then one day he showed up and chose them to be his friends and students, to follow and learn. He took them new places. He taught them new ideas and ways of living. He revealed God and showed them things they had never before seen. Water was turned into wine, a crippled man got up and walked, five thousand were fed with a few pieces of bread and a couple of fish. One day he walked on water. A blind was made to see and a dead man came back to life.
They believed in him. They followed him wherever he went. They spent all their time together. They walked together. They talked together. They ate together. They worshipped and prayed together. They lived together. They were a part of each others’ lives. Jesus wouldn’t have it any other way, then or now.
It was the perfect combination. Friendship, love, and intimacy. They are, I think, what we most long for. They are the ways of God and they show his presence in and among us. They are also the ground in which betrayal takes root. We can never betray one who has not first given and entrusted himself or herself into our hands and life, and Jesus knows that. “Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.” That Jesus can even be betrayed is proof of his love. Jesus has made his own betrayal possible not only with the disciples but in all times and in all places, even here, now, with us. Continue reading ““Lord, who is it?” A Sermon on John 13:21-32″
Three hundred denarii is just too much money to waste. That’s nearly a year’s worth of daily wages, an annual income. Who does that? Why would anyone do that? That’s neither practical nor reasonable. It makes no sense.
Why does all of it have to be poured out? Something that valuable should at least be saved for a special time and place. Surely it could be put to better use than feet. Jesus’ feet may smell sweet now but it won’t last. It won’t be long before he leaves the table and steps back into the street, into the dirt and muck of everyday life. Soon his feet will sweat and stink. They will bleed. The fragrance that fills the house today will linger only as a memory, a story in scripture. What difference could Mary’s perfume possibly make anyway? Continue reading “Limits or Love? A Sermon on John 12:1-11”
To love or to not love. That is the question in today’s gospel. It is always the question. Every minute of every day we answer that question. The answer to that question orients our way of being, guides how we live, determines what we do, and chooses the words we speak. Ultimately, our answer reveals whether our life is aligned with Jesus’ life.
Mary answers the love question one way and Judas another. In silence Mary anoints Jesus’ feet and fragrances the entire house. Judas keeps to himself, questioning, criticizing, and scheming. Mary loves while Judas calculates. Continue reading “To Love or to Not Love, A Sermon on John 12:1-8”