Advent, Advent 2C, Sermon, Repentance, Luke 3:1-6, Future

What Has Laid Claim To Your Life? – An Advent Sermon On Luke 3:1-6

What do you see when you look at your past?

What are the feelings and thoughts?Regardless of how we view our past, regardless of what did or not happen back then, to the degree we are enmeshed, entangled, or enslaved to our past, “we can expect the future to look like the past” (Caputo, The Weakness of God, 169). We repeat the same patterns, tell ourselves the same old stories, and listen to same old voices. And not much changes. Life becomes static and we are stuck in the past trying to live a life that is no longer. 

John’s call for repentance is the call for us to face and deal with our past. Continue reading What Has Laid Claim To Your Life? – An Advent Sermon On Luke 3:1-6

Sermon, Repentance, San Bernardino Shooting, Luke 3:1-6, Advent, Advent 2C

Repentance, Responsibility, and San Bernardino – An Advent Sermon on Luke 3:1-6

Repent. Prepare the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight. Valleys shall be filled. Mountains and hills shall be made low. The crooked shall be made straight. The rough ways shall be made smooth. By themselves those words have no meaning. They need context. That’s true for any word. We might be able to define a word but it really has no meaning until … Continue reading Repentance, Responsibility, and San Bernardino – An Advent Sermon on Luke 3:1-6

A Welcome Word in the Wilderness

Each one of us could tell a story about the wilderness. I am not talking about the scenic overlook along the highway, the unspoiled beauty of nature, or that quiet, back to nature, weekend getaway from the hassles of life. No. Our stories would be ones of struggles, ups and downs, highs and lows, stories of being lost and overwhelmed, stories of stumbling, falling down, and wondering when, how, or even if we will get up again.

The wilderness of which I am speaking is not the geography around us but the landscape within us. This interior wilderness brings us to the limits of our own self-sufficiency, it leaves us feeling vulnerable and exposed, living on the edge. In the wilderness there are no distractions. There is no place to hide. In the wilderness we face the truth of who we are and what our life is like.

Fresco of St. John the Baptist
Fresco of St. John the Baptist by Meister von Gracanica, 1235 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Sometimes we go to the wilderness, other times it comes to us. Either way it is hard work most of would rather avoid. There is, however, no quick fix. There is no way out of or around the wilderness. The only way is through the wilderness. That’s what John the Baptist knows and proclaims in today’s gospel. Before him it was Isaiah crying out, “Prepare the way of the Lord.”

There’s something about the wilderness. It’s the place where our lives can be transformed, the place we are most open to changing and being changed. Hidden within every wilderness is the beauty of divine presence. That’s why every year at this time the season of Advent takes us not just to the wilderness but to our wilderness. Continue reading “A Welcome Word in the Wilderness”

Sermon For Advent 2C

The collect and readings for yesterday, the Second Sunday of Advent may be found here. The appointed gospel was Luke 3:1-6. In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, 2during the high priesthood … Continue reading Sermon For Advent 2C