Category Archive for: ‘sermons’

“Lamentation and Prayer for the Nation”- Jeremiah 8:18-9:1, 1 Tim.2:1-7– Sept. 18, 2016

I remember being struck in the weeks after Sept. 11, 2001 how the assigned readings from the lectionary, particularly from Jeremiah, seemed so eerily current. They were addressed to a nation in distress, a people wounded, wondering where God was, facing devastation. And now, 15 years later–starting the 6th round of these 3-year cycles of readings–we’re back in Jeremiah, and …

“God of Wisdom, Wrath, and Compassion”– Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28, Luke 15:1-10–Sept. 11, 2016

“God is everywhere, within me and around me.” Who is this God who is everywhere, within us and around us? What is the character of this God? Who is this God whose child we’ve affirmed young William is, whose children we all are? “God is everywhere, within me and around me.” It matters who or what we think and say …

“Hard Labor”– Ps. 139:1-6, 13-18, Philemon 1-21– Sept. 4, 2016

From what I hear, and what I long for myself, what most people look for in a sermon is something they can “take home” with them, something they can apply to their everyday life, something, as is sometimes said, not just for Sunday morning but for the rest of the week. I am grateful when someone tells me they’ve found …

“Leaky Cisterns”- Jeremiah 2:4-13, Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16– Aug. 28, 2016

I’m not sure it’s still taught in school, but I remember –vaguely– learning about the various “ages”–the stone age, iron age, bronze age, all those ancient designations of hazy history, lost in the mists of time, challenging me to imagine exactly what or who we were talking about. Were these merely primitive, simple, quasi- human people, barely upright, carrying clubs …

“Great Cloud of Witnesses”- Hebrews 11:29-12:2, Luke 12:49-56– Aug. 14, 2016

The passage from Hebrews which David just read for us describes an alternative universe opening ceremonies of the Olympics–wave after wave of unlikely teams and ragged bands, led by curious flag-bearers and misfits, and out in front, carrying the torch, is Jesus, lighting the world with a flame that the darkness cannot overcome. Unlike our universe Olympic games, there is …

“Hope Muscles”– Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16, Luke 12:32-40– Aug. 7, 2016

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Sometimes a sentence or phrase floats up from the page, shimmering with truth and mystery, calling us to dive in more deeply–and surely this beginning of the 11th chapter of Hebrews is one of those sentences–“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the …

“Better Together”- Gal. 6:7-16, Luke 10:1-11, 16-20– July 3, 2016

Nothing like getting a few vacation packing tips from Jesus–”Carry no purse,” he told the 70 he was sending out, “no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road.” Well, that would certainly simplify the leave-taking but I’m not sure how long into the trip that would be a good idea. I sometimes marvel at people who have …

“Not yet!”– Galatians 5:1, 13-25, Luke 9:51-62– June 26, 2016

I think it was Mark Twain who said, “It’s not the things I don’t understand in the Bible that worry me; it’s the things I understand perfectly clear that worry me.” Which is kind of my reaction to this passage which David read for us. Jesus had no home. Do I need to be homeless to truly follow him? What …

“Time Out”- 1 Kings 19:1-15a, Ps. 42– June 19, 2016

The story of Elijah’s fleeing into the wilderness, which Ernie just read for us, follows one of the many “texts of terror” that we find in the Bible. Elijah has just finished a “pray-off” with the prophets of Baal, the god whom Queen Jezebel worships and which King Ahab has wimped out into worshiping. In the sight of the people …

” Love at the Center”- Ps. 5:1-8, Luke 7:36-8:3–June 12, 2016

It was supposed to be a gathering of men, eating dinner, reclining at table, talking about important things–talking about God, talking about the righteous life, talking about the future of Israel. And then she came in. How did that happen? All of a sudden she was standing there behind Jesus at his feet, weeping, with that alabaster jar hugged to …

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