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Sermons

Lent 5B (March 18, 2018)

I’ve personally never thought of planting seeds as killing them, or letting them die, as Jesus says. But in my lifetime, I’ve never been dependent upon my plants. If the garden fails (assuming I even planted one this year) I go to the grocery store. Some here are farmers or …

Lent 4B (March 11, 2018)

What is Eternal Life? Eternal Life is an important concept in John, especially in today’s Gospel. Is it life after death? Many Hebrews in Jesus’ day believed the dead would rise from the grave on the Last Day, to face God’s judgment. Their Greek contemporaries were more inclined to believe …

Lent 3B (March 4, 2018)

Our First Readings this Lenten season have moved chronologically through the covenants God made with us. The gospels set the themes—so we started with temptation, moved to solidarity, and today it is Jesus and the Temple—but the First Readings dealt with covenants—so we started with Noah, then Abraham, and today …

Lent 2B (February 25, 2018)

(The gospel for this Sunday is Mark 8:31-38, in which Jesus predicts his torture and crucifixion, tells his listeners that if they wish to follow him they will follow him to crucifixion, and then calls the current generation “adulterous and sinful.” This sermon begins on the heels of that reading.) …

Lent 1B (February 18, 2018)

Chaos, in the biblical world, is a negative thing. It is not the absence of a schedule or responsibilities. Chaos is not carefree. It is not freedom. It is not possibility. Chaos is perilous. It kills life and denies new life. In Genesis 1, life as we know it arises …

Ash Wednesday (February 14, 2018)

The palms were fresh cut and laid on the road that Jesus took into Jerusalem and up to the Temple Mount. It called to mind when Simon Maccabee cleansed the temple following the revolution against Syria 190 years earlier, and the people of Jerusalem paved his route with fresh cut …

The Transfiguration – Year B (February 11, 2018)

Mark really wants us to notice how white Jesus’ clothes are. I’ve said before that Mark is the New Testament’s “fashionista.” He writes with such economy of expression that his comparatively long discussions of clothing must be important. What’s important about Jesus’ clothes being white? Only one other time does …

Epiphany 5B (February 4, 2018)

Did the gospel seriously just say that we should be happy Jesus healed Simon’s mother-in-law because now she can resume serving the men? Like, Simon and Andrew invite Jesus, James, and John over for dinner, but Mom is sick so instead of getting takeout Jesus heals Mom so she can …

Epiphany 4B (January 28, 2018)

Sometimes the language used in the Bible is “mythic.” Calling it myth does not discredit it. Myth does not mean “wrong.” Myth uses concrete finite things to describe or portray abstract and infinite things. In some ways, it is richer than technical vocabulary. The caveat with myth is that we …

Epiphany 3B (January 21, 2018)

“The present form of this world is passing away,” Paul writes to the Church in Corinth. “Form” here is a word that means “arrangement.” It’s real. It is an accurate depiction of something, just not the only way to look at it. Paul says that this “form” is “passing away,” …