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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Feb. 10, 2019 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Feb 10, 2019 in Epiphany, Sermons

The Fifth Sunday after Epiphany (Year C) February 10, 2019 Jesus is rather presumptive to commandeer someone else’s boat, and yet it makes sense in the service of allowing more people to “hear the word of God” as our gospel says. I usually don’t pay much attention to this part honestly, and now that I think about it, it seems quite important, because God is like that in our lives too. God doesn’t ask permission to step into our life’s boats, to tell speak the Good News. God simply does it. After teaching, he presumes to tell Simon how to do his job, telling him to put out into deeper water...

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Feb. 3, 2019 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Feb 3, 2019 in Epiphany, Feast Days, Sermons

The Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple: Candlemas February 3, 2019 Celebrated since the 4th century, the church has called this at times the Purification of Saint Mary the Virgin, The Presentation of Christ in the Temple, and Candlemas Day. It seems a familiar rite that parents bring their new baby to the place of worship for special blessing, as we hear in today’s gospel, and it might recall for us infant baptism more than ancient biblical teaching. We need to remember though that it was tied up in a ritual of powerful transformation though, when women who had given birth...

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Jan. 27, 2019 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Jan 27, 2019 in Epiphany, Sermons

By the time we follow the story of God’s people and come to chapter 8 of Nehemiah, the people had returned to Judah, rebuilt the temple and restored the city walls. We learn that they have settled into their cities which sounds joyfully fulfilling for a people who for multiple generations have long been in exile. The yearning to feel a sense of home has come to fruition! You’d think that was the end of the story so to speak, yet they still had much to sort out—how would they now live together? What is their new identity as people of God now that they are no longer diasporic? What is to prevent this devastating ‘divine punishment’ from happening again?

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