Mar. 29, 2020 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Mar 29, 2020 in Lent, Sermons

Mar. 29, 2020 – sermon

ur gospel today is about life and hope and promise, even though they must walk through grief and death and disappointment in order to get to it. We are surrounded by death and the fear of death these days, the stories, the rising count, and it becomes a companion to my day as I check the numbers of new cases, deaths and recoveries and as I write down the prayer requests you send in, both of which guide my prayers and lead me to seek  out glimpses of good news. We are in an onerously relevant place to enter this (rather lengthy) Gospel about the raising of Lazarus. If we read the very next handful of lines we would hear the Chief Priests and Pharisees plan to kill Jesus because of what he did in raising Lazarus. Death seems to accompany Jesus in today’s gospel as he walks on toward his own suffering and death. This will be Jesus’ most powerful sign, and a symbolic foreshadowing of his triumph over death itself. This is true irony; the authorities plan to kill Jesus because he gives life! Yet his crucifixion will serve to glorify him, his resurrection the revealing of eternal life.

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Mar. 22, 2020 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Mar 22, 2020 in Lent, Sermons

The Fourth Sunday in Lent March 22, 2020 Notice how instead of seeking help for the man who’s blind, the first lines are about looking for where to put the blame for it? Blaming someone else means it’s not happening to us, and people do it to this day without realizing it. Would knowing one’s sin caused that blindness change their actions or opinion of him? His needs? Notice how they don’t recognize him as a man or neighbor once he is no longer blind? That’s all they saw was his blindness. Notice how discordant things feel between questioners and the one healed afterwards? As if the healing...

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Mar. 15, 2020 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Mar 15, 2020 in Lent, Sermons

When the congregation I served in Seattle was driven out of the church building by an earthquake, we moved to the parish hall and reminded ourselves “The church is not the building.” When I visited Haiti and saw the cathedral whose roof had just collapsed, the people gathered in song and worship outside the rubble and said, “The church is not the building.” And today, as we cannot safely worship together in this lovely space, we too must remember, the church is not the building; it’s the people! You are the body of Christ, a community gathered around Jesus life and ministry, even when we cannot be side by side. As awful as this pandemic is, God is with us in this new way and we can be transformed by love and courage and service in responding. 

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Mar. 8, 2020 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Mar 8, 2020 in Lent, Sermons

Nicodemus comes to Jesus by dark of night—and we all recognize how the gospel of John uses the metaphor of Jesus as the Light which shines in our darkness. Often, we assume this is referring to his not yet being public in his following of Jesus, or his unwillingness to accept the rigors of discipleship. As we put ourselves into this scene, I wonder if perhaps the darkness was more like confusion or uncertainty, fear of trusting something so very bright, so to speak.

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Mar. 1, 2020 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Mar 1, 2020 in Lent, Sermons

Episcopal author Barbara Brown Taylor tells the story of a doting grandfather who brings his two-year-old grandson into the pool for the first time.  Like many toddlers this boy is a handful, thrashing mightily and demanding to be let go to paddle for himself.  As Grandpa resolutely holds on, the boy impulsively scoops up armfuls of water, and swooshes them toward the old man’s face. But he misjudges the distance, and ends up slapping his grandfather’s cheek. Oh no! Silence…then comes the roar of indignation as Grandpa jerks back and holds the beloved boy at arm’s length.

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Feb. 26, 2020 – Ash Wednesday – sermon

Posted by on Wed, Feb 26, 2020 in Lent, Sermons

What can God do with God’s ‘beloved dust? This Ash Wednesday gospel never mentions it. No mention of Lent or our forty-day journey, no mention of taking up or giving up things, nor of repentance or forgiveness. Jesus is speaking of what a life in the presence of God is to be—now and always. Not a Lenten discipline for the coming six weeks, but what we do with God’s beloved dust.

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