Mar. 17, 2019 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Mar 17, 2019 in Lent, Sermons

The Second Sunday in Lent March 17, 2019 O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. That was today’s collect, and I like to read it each week in the context of our Gospel reading for Sunday, and today I want to start there. This collect was originally from the 5th century Gelasian Sacramentary, and also...

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Mar. 10, 2019 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Mar 10, 2019 in Lent, Sermons

For Jesus the temptations were bread for his hunger, power and glory the world over, and security in God enough to rescue him. All this in exchange for worshiping the devil. What’s your greatest temptation? Small or large – everyone has known both. The devil’s temptations are always bespoke, custom-crafted to fit our identities. That’s the nature of it, and so temptation is towards something other than who we are in relationship with God. The identity we each have in that relationship is unique to us and also reliably universal as God’s children.

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Mar. 6, 2019 – sermon

Posted by on Wed, Mar 6, 2019 in Lent, Sermons

I can’t think of any holy days on which the gospel and the ritual appear to be so at odds with each other. We hear Jesus say, “Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them” and urge them “not to disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting” —then we all come forward to have our faces marked with a cross of ashes! That tension invites us to stop to consider what we do and what this teaching is about, and to think it through so that we might truly enter into this Lent, renewing ourselves in repentance and faith, as our prayers this morning invite us to do.

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Mar. 3, 2019 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Mar 3, 2019 in Epiphany, Sermons

Do you ever get hooked on a story when it takes a spellbinding turn? Events have started out unremarkably, but then suddenly some unforeseeable something erupts and demands your attention. Will it be a game changer? You and I learned this narrative reflex at our mother’s knee: remember how the frog turns out to be a prince! Who knew? Now the princess can live happily ever after. We relearn it daily on our screens of all sizes: Don Draper (of Mad Men fame) turns out to be an abused and abandoned veteran named Richard Whitman. No wonder Don keeps struggling to bury a past that long ago buried him.

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Feb. 24, 2019 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Feb 24, 2019 in Epiphany, Sermons

Hearing this gospel is like hearing parents tell children to eat their vegetables when they really don’t want to. Kids don’t much care about how nutritious they are, only how distasteful it’s going to be to eat them, and it doesn’t get any easier as they grow cold. Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you.  It is impossibly hard! Whom do we count as enemies or hated? We don’t have to look far given our political climate especially, and every generation has their MVPs; in this case, ‘most vile people.’ I recently saw a chart showing a spectrum of who inspired the most vitriolic feelings; Donald, Hillary, Mitch, Barack, Nancy, Bernie, Robert, people on food stamps, wealthy people, unions, United Nations, Atheists, Muslims, Russians, Gays and Lesbians, Mexicans, Wall Street bankers, immigrants, Congress—and more…it is such a long list!

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Feb. 17, 2019 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Feb 17, 2019 in Epiphany, Sermons

Luke’s version of Jesus’ beatitudes is always disturbing. We really don’t want to be those things Jesus says are “blessed” – poor, hungry, weeping, reviled. We also notice with just a little squirm, that we spend a fair amount of our lives working towards all those things he says are impending woes. We consider it a good thing to have sufficient income, and not have to worry about security or those we love going without. Furthermore, I like laughter—it is one of the more joyful and God-given noises of this life. So, what is Jesus getting at? He is talking to us and about us when he addresses these words to his disciples and the crowds that day. The first thing I want to draw our attention to this morning is not our usual concentration on the words, “blessed are they” or “woe to you.” This morning lets focus on the word “with”—it’s from the opening lines; Jesus came down with the twelve apostles and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured.

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