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Sermons

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,” …

Epiphany 2B (January 14, 2017)

Samuel is keeping the night’s watch over the Ark. In those days, the Israelites believed that God may show up at any minute, and that it would be at the Ark, which was in the innermost chamber of the Tent of Meeting at Shiloh, in modern day Palestine. Someone had …

Christmas 1B (December 31, 2017)

That phrase, “a sword will pass through your soul” has captivated those who adore Mary. It is often prone to fanciful interpretation. The phrase comes from the Hebrew prophet Ezekiel. During one of God’s more exasperated rants, God tells Ezekiel, “You know, I can tell you people apart. I can …

Christmas Day, 2017

“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,” says the author of Hebrews. Yesterday morning, we sang Mary’s song, in which God pulls every tyrant from his throne. I said Mary breaks the myth of kingship. We use the symbol of king to describe God, but God isn’t literally a …

Christmas Eve, 2017

This was the sermon preached at the Christmas Eve services, held later in the day on Sunday December 24. It’s about getting born. The Christmas Eve First Reading, from Isaiah. It is likely originally about the birth of a future king. It moves along with phrases familiar to us from …