Category Archive for: ‘sermons’

“Everything I Need”- Acts 9:36-43, John 10: 22-30– April 17, 2016

From the instant of the Big Bang, it seems that things have been flying apart, falling apart, tearing apart, however you want to think about it. The 2016 presidential primary campaign seems to be the epitome of this, as both Democrats and Republicans have spent an inordinate amount of time and money tearing each other up. I can’t help but …

“Resurrected into the Ordinary”- Acts 9:1-6, John 21:1-19– April 10, 2016

My father-in-law used to tell the story of a farm wife in one of his parishes whose husband died during Holy Week. The woman didn’t come to church that Easter Sunday morning, but when Russ went to visit her early in the week and asked how she was doing, she said, “Sunday morning I got up and went out to …

“Daring to Doubt”- John 20:19-31– April 3, 2016

The Gospel of John’s story of Thomas’ demand to see the mark of the nails in Jesus’ hands and put his hand inside the hole in Jesus’ side before he will “believe” is always the gospel reading for the Sunday after Easter. It’s as though there were this one Sunday for doubting–we’re allowed at least this day– when actually, any …

“Whose Story?”– Isaiah 65:17-25, John 20:1-18– Easter– March 27, 2016

All four gospels have Resurrection stories, and none of them are the same. In some, Jesus appears to all of the disciples together, in others to only two of them, in the one from John which we heard a few minutes ago, Jesus first appears to one person, a woman, Mary Magdalene. The only thing all these stories have in …

Early Easter 2016 – March 27, 2016

It’s only a 3-letter word, but it runs through Luke’s whole account of what happened on Easter morning.  That 3-letter word is “but”–a “conjunction,” if you remember that from grammar, a word that joins phrases. Luke’s account in chap. 24  actually begins with “But”–which you’re technically not supposed to do–but it’s a “defiant conjunction,” as one writer puts it [Theo. …

“The Fragrance of Life “– Isaiah 43:16-21, John 12:1-8 — March 13, 2016

Jesus was in the wilderness for forty days, we are told, getting clear about who he was and Whose he was, and these 40 days of Lent are meant to help us do the same thing. We’ve explored different kinds of wildernesses–the geographic ones, like desert, mountains, ocean, forest, not intentionally leaving out the wilderness of the Great Lakes, as …

“Lost”- Psalm 32:1-7, Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32– March 6, 2016

Most of us have heard this story that Ted just read for us many times. We may know it as the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Even if we haven’t heard this story, if we’ve ever heard the word “prodigal” used–and it’s not all that common outside “church-y” contexts–it’s probably attached to the word “son”–”prodigal son.” Actually, the word “prodigal” …

“Thirsty for God”– Psalm 63:1-8, Luke 13:1-9– Feb. 28, 2016

I remember exactly where I was when I got both phone calls. The first one came just as I was getting up one Tuesday morning, and I answered the phone by our bed. It was my mother. “Mary, your dad died this morning.” The second one came when I was visiting my mother at her home in North Carolina. My …

“Whom Shall I Fear?” –Psalm 27, Luke 13:31-35– Feb. 21, 2016

“Get away from here,” some Pharisees told Jesus, “for Herod wants to kill you.” “Death to America!” we see and hear on the news. ISIS posts gruesome videos of beheadings. We proclaim a “war on terror” and find ourselves more terrified than ever. African American brothers and sisters live in fear of the police, mothers nad fathers fearful for their …

“Into the Wilderness”– Luke 4:1-13– Feb. 14, 2016

The story is told of a young woman from what was then the Soviet Union, who came to the United States to study theology. “Upon entering a supermarket for the first time, she promptly fainted. Her senses simply shut down, overwhelmed by the unending aisles and avalanche of products.” Or, of another woman “who was unable to find a particular …

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