Category Archive for: ‘sermons’

“Preparing a Room”- John 14:1-4– May 14, 2017

Between our children’s moves to college and moves to various apartments, Bruce and I have schlepped our share of furniture up and down stairs. We are apparently still in the moving business, as we seek to find places for various furniture items from my Mom’s house. One of the last things I would do before leaving Meredith or Alex in …

“Known in the Breaking”– Luke 24:13-35– April 30, 2017

They’ve never been able to find Emmaus on a map. All those archaeologists and Biblical scholars, sifting through every square inch of the “Holy Land,” have never uncovered anything within that 7-mile radius from Jerusalem that remotely suggests a village called Emmaus. But as Frederick Buechner suggests, we often seek Emmaus, a place to run or escape to, when we’ve …

“Love God. Enjoy this life.” –Matthew 28: 1-10– April 16, 2017–Easter

There is a Peanuts cartoon strip by the late Charles Schultz when Snoopy is feeling particularly great. “In the first frame he says, ‘Sometimes life is so good I feel like dancing.’ In the second frame he says, ‘Sometimes I want to take into my arms the first person that I meet and dance merrily through the streets.’ In the …

“While it was still dark….”- John 20:1-18– Early Easter, April 16, 2017

“Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb….” While it was still dark. It’s hardly the way we’ve come to expect world-changing events–in the quiet dark. We’re used to blinding lights and blaring sirens. Shock and awe. Displays of power that rumble through our bodies and assault the senses. …

“Reject racism”– 1 Corinthians 12:14-20, Luke 14: 7-14– March 19, 2017

In a recent survey of American households, 6% of white people said that racism is still a significant problem in the United States. So that means that 94% thought it wasn’t still a significant problem. In another study around the same time, 12% of the white people thought that Elvis Presley might still be alive. So that means that twice …

“Share Earthly and Spiritual Resources”- Acts 4:32-35, Luke 12:13-21– March 12, 2017

I confess I didn’t anticipate the number of barbs sticking out of that harmless-sounding phrase on our “Be the Church” banner. “Share earthly and spiritual resources.” Of course that’s what we we’re about–don’t we teach “sharing” as a value to our children? “Protect the environment” or “Reject racism” stood out in my mind as much more challenging subjects, even controversial. …

“Fight for the Powerless”– Leviticus 19:33-34, Matthew 4:1-11 — March 5, 2017

I remember walking through the Syracuse airport at 10:30 at night, looking for the passengers I was to pick up. And then I saw them in a dim hallway–2 vigilant adults and what looked to be a pile of blankets, suitcases, and, upon closer inspection, children. And so I met Abdullah and Miryam Hajer and their 4 children, ranging in …

“Glimpses of Glory”- Exodus 24:12-18, Matthew 17:1-9 — Feb. 26, 2017

I had the opportunity this week to read the radiologist’s report of an MRI I had had taken several years ago. Most of it was full of unintelligible (to me) medical terminology, but I did manage to pick up the phrase “grossly unremarkable.” At first, I was a little offended. It sounded like something I would have said about myself …

“Love Epidemic”– Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18, Matthew 5:38-48– Feb. 19, 2017

“Turn the other cheek.” “Walk the second mile.” “Love your enemies.” So many “quotes” here, as my brother-in-law refers to commonly heard sayings. And yet, like last week’s passage about not getting angry, never swearing, not even thinking unchaste thoughts, we keep these teachings at a distance. They stand out in front of us to judge us, because who of …

“Extreme Measures”– Deut.30: 15-20, Matthew 5: 21-37– Feb. 12, 2017

You may have heard the story from a Benedictine monastery whose primary rule was hospitality, to treat each guest as though they were Jesus. One day, a brother came to the abbot and confessed, “Father, some days, when I see yet another stranger walking up the path, I say, ‘Jesus Christ, is that you again?’” I have to say that …

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