Here’s my question: What troubles your soul today? What is the hour from which you want to be saved?
Now before you answer, let me explain what I am asking about. I’m asking about more than just something that upset you or didn’t go your way. I am asking about more than an inconvenience, interruption, or a disappointment. I am asking about those things, events, experiences that shake you to the core. I am asking about those hours that terrify you.
I am talking about those memories, thoughts, feelings, or fears that never go away. No matter how hard you try you can’t wish, deny, or ignore them away. They are the things that give you no rest and won’t let you go. They keep stirring up your insides. They hound you through the day and haunt you through the night. They are there when you fall asleep at night and when you wake in the morning. They just keep coming back, coming back, coming back. Continue reading What Troubles Your Soul? – A Sermon On John 12:20-36
We live in a tension between the uncertainty of life and the certainty of death. And we work pretty hard at denying, ignoring, forgetting, outrunning, and overcoming those twin realities. But they are always there. They are always present to us in the same way the ashes with which we will be marked were already a part of and present in the palms we carried last year on Palm Sunday.
What’s that like for you? In what ways have those two realities, the uncertainty of life and the certainty of death, made themselves known in your life? Maybe that’s what you are facing today. Continue reading Mortality And The Fragility Of Life – 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 they saw when they looked at me, what they said about me, and what they thought about me.” The man who told me this story … Continue reading Yesterday’s Palms, Today’s Ashes – An Ash Wednesday Sermon on 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 it right, to have the answer, to always know what to do, to speak the right words, to be strong and in control, to do … Continue reading Welcome to the Human Race – An Ash Wednesday Sermon, Matthew 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 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
At some level we all look for and try to create our place in life – a place where we belong, are accepted, liked, recognized, approved of, wanted, loved. To not find this place is in some way to face the reality of death, to be isolated and alone. And while we know death is real we try not to focus on death. We do … Continue reading Ash Wednesday – Finding our Place in Death