Sermon, Mark 1:4-11, Acts 19:1-7, Social Justice, Baptism, Baptism of Jesus, Responsibility

All Are Responsible – A Sermon On Mark 1:4-11 And Acts 19:1-7

Last week, some of you may remember, I ended my sermon by asking this question: Will we, in 2021, be different from and better than how we were in 2020?

There’s not much about the first ten days of 2021 that suggests we will. I think it’s still an open question and, I hope, still a possibility. But after the events of last Wednesday and the assault on our nation’s capitol I’m just not so sure we will be.

As I reflect on the events of last Wednesday I keep going back to words from Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, “Few are guilty, but all are responsible.” Continue reading All Are Responsible – A Sermon On Mark 1:4-11 And Acts 19:1-7

The Flight To Egypt In Poetry And Music

This coming Sunday one option for the gospel is the Holy Family’s flight to Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23). Every time read this story I remember the words of poet George Szirtes and the music of Richard Causton. Richard Causton is the composer of the 2015 commissioned Christmas Carol, “The Flight,” performed by King’s College during the Christmas Eve Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. George … Continue reading The Flight To Egypt In Poetry And Music

Love’s Only Hope In This World – A Sermon On Matthew 22:34-46

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind,” and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

These, Jesus says, are the two commandments on which everything else hangs. They are two sides of the same thing. You can’t truly have one without the other. This is about more than our feelings or affection for God and one another. It’s about our commitment to the life and well-being of the other. It’s a choice we make every day – to love or not to love.

I wonder what that love looks like. I wonder what your life and my life would be like if we held those two commandments as the guiding principles for what we do. I wonder what we might create and achieve if we embodied and lived those commandments. Continue reading Love’s Only Hope In This World – A Sermon On Matthew 22:34-46

Between What Is And What Could Be – A Sermon On Isaiah 5:1-7

Isaiah describes how God dug a vineyard, cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines. Then God built a watchtower in the midst of the vineyard and hewed out a wine vat in it. And now God want to know, “What more was there to do for my vineyard that I have not done in it?” God “expected it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes.” (Isaiah 5:1-7)

How can that be? That God wouldn’t or couldn’t get what God expects or wants doesn’t fit with many of the images and concepts we have of who God is and how God is. Continue reading Between What Is And What Could Be – A Sermon On Isaiah 5:1-7

Jonah, Nineveh, Sermon, Jonah 3:10-4:11

We Are Nineveh – A Sermon On Jonah 3:10-4:11

Jonah has finally arrived at Nineveh. It’s a city so large it will take him three days to walk across it. Going a day’s walk into the city he cried out, “Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”

What do you hear in his words? What do you imagine Jonah might be thinking and feeling? Let me tell you some of the things I wonder about as I hear his words. Continue reading We Are Nineveh – A Sermon On Jonah 3:10-4:11

Resurrection, Matthew 16:21-28, Sermon, Proper 17A, Sunrise Over Mountains

Every Day Is The Third Day – A Sermon On Matthew 16:21-28

What would you say if I told you that every day is the third day? What would you think if I told you that resurrection is happening every day everywhere? What if I told you that resurrection is happening even in the current political, economic, and racial struggles of today; even in the midst of the pandemic; and even in our divisions and disagreements about who we are and the values we hold?

Can you see it? Are you experiencing it? Is it real for you? If so, what does it look like? Where are you seeing life and more life? What difference is resurrection making in your life today?

And if you can’t see it and aren’t experiencing it, if it’s not real for you, why not? Are you standing with Peter in the “God forbid it” place? Continue reading Every Day Is The Third Day – A Sermon On Matthew 16:21-28

Matthew 16:13-20, Sermon, Proper 16A, Pen and Math Problems

“Show Me Your Work” – A Sermon On Matthew 16:13-20

I thought I knew or had some idea of what it meant for Jesus to be the Messiah. The events of the last six months, however, have caused me to rethink what it means. It used to be mostly a Sunday morning kind of question, but now it’s an every day kind of question. It used to be about the future, but now it’s about the present moment. It’s no longer only or even primarily about saving souls, it’s about changing hearts. And if Jesus is not changing your heart and my heart then he is not the Messiah of our lives. And if he is our Messiah then he necessarily changes how we live. Continue reading “Show Me Your Work” – A Sermon On Matthew 16:13-20

Wheat, New Life, Parable of the Sower

Sowing Seeds Of New Life – A Sermon On Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

When you look at you life today, when you look at the lives of the people you care about most, when you look at everything that is happening in our country, what are your deepest hopes?

Whatever you just named, that hope carries the seeds of your life. And it’s asking something of you. It’s a call and an insistence waiting to be given existence. Continue reading Sowing Seeds Of New Life – A Sermon On Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

Man walking in desert, tracks in sand

Prophetic Tracks – A Sermon On Matthew 10:40-42

I wonder if we have become so accustomed to the way things are that we can no longer see the needs of others, the injustices done to them, or their pain. I wonder if that’s why in the last several weeks so many of us are in shock over what is happening in our country today. We look on in disbelief and ask, “Why? How could this happen? I don’t understand. I can’t imagine.” Maybe it because complacency has blinded us.

What’s happening is not new. What’s new (I hope) is our beginning to awaken to what is happening. I think we are hearing and recognizing what’s happening as a prophetic moment in our lives and in the life of America. Events can also be prophetic. Continue reading Prophetic Tracks – A Sermon On Matthew 10:40-42

Jesus’ Line In The Sand – A Sermon On Matthew 10:24-39

Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

I don’t remember struggling more with the gospel than I have in the last few weeks. And I don’t mean struggling to interpret the truth of the gospel. I mean struggling with that truth in my life, struggling with what that truth reveals about us and our country, struggling with what that truth is asking of us, and struggling with that truth in what I say to you each Sunday. Continue reading Jesus’ Line In The Sand – A Sermon On Matthew 10:24-39