Currently browsing category

Sermons

Lectionary 15A (July 16, 2017)

The term “kingdom of heaven” permeates Matthew’s Gospel. John the Baptist declares it at hand, Jesus repeats John’s claims to his first disciples, preaches about the kingdom in the Sermon on the Mount, and teaches about it wherever he goes. If Jesus were a character in a 1970s sitcom, “kingdom …

Lectionary 14 (July 9, 2017)

The Gospel this morning frustrates us, filled as it is with cryptic quotations and apparent non-sequiturs. While it ends with one of the most beloved passages in the New Testament, that, too, seems at best an odd conclusion. For the Gospel to be good news, we have to let Jesus …

Lectionary 13 (July 2, 2017)

The prophet Jeremiah has been walking around in a yoke, as though he were a horse or an ox. You can imagine how eager people were to see him. He’s told the new King of Judah, the priests, and anyone else who will listen that God says anyone who submits …

Lectionary 12 (June 25, 2017)

It’s fair to ask why on earth we would follow Jesus if his sales pitch is, essentially, “If you won’t come get murdered as a terrorist, you aren’t worthy of me.” That’s basically what “take up your cross” means. Our search for a better reason to follow eventually runs back …

Lectionary 11 (June 18, 2017)

One year in Emily’s first call I led the Bible lessons for VBS. They followed Moses. We started with the Burning Bush, and part of the story, as you may know, is that Moses must remove his sandals. Now, I don’t know what I did while removing my sandals that …

The Holy Trinity (June 11, 2017)

We pivot, now. The first half of the Church Year was dominated by feasts connected to the life of Jesus. Now, the second half of the Church Year will move forward from that. The Gospel today enacts that. It is the end of the Gospel of Matthew, and refers to …

Easter 7A (May 28, 2017)

If someone asks you, “Do you believe Jesus ascended into heaven?”, what do you say? Do we really believe Jesus goes up to live in the sky? It is one of the first beliefs we discard when we learn about outer space as small children. Yet the idea fits our …

Easter 6A (May 21, 2017)

The story of Noah’s Ark is dearly beloved, and the inspiration for much artwork, music, storytelling, etc. At least since the writing of 1 Peter, the Church has interpreted the story as being about baptism. The flood is the water, the ark is the church, the eight people symbolize the …

Easter 5A (May 14, 2017)

I don’t think I can ignore the martyrdom of St. Stephen. We’re commissioning Terry Paarlberg as a Stephen Leader this morning. That rite does not include a stoning, don’t get nervous. But the Acts reading does. I can’t leave a murder unmentioned. Stephen is a Deacon, one of seven appointed …

Easter 4A (May 7, 2017)

Metaphors abound today. Sheep. Flock. Shepherd. Gate. Pathways of Justice. If we want to say something coherent, it helps to know our context. In our Lectionary, the Second Reading provides a sense of context. The First Reading gives us a story or poem or prophecy, the Psalm offers an allegorical …