Sermons that I have preached at my local parish. Some might have been written and never delivered. If delivered to a congregation, there will either be a link to the audio, or a note saying when I preached (if no audio available).

09Jun/24

A House Divided

And then, here comes a carpenter from Nazareth. He is performing miracles and casting out demons, and healing people, and sharing the Good News of God to all who will listen. And these leaders look at each other and say, “Well, this can’t be right. We’re the ones who are allowed to speak and act for God, not this guy.”

So what do they do?

They redefine miracles. And realign their beliefs that what they are seeing is not the full story, but that there is something shady going on behind the scenes. They reframe reality with a new theory that allows them to keep believing their own lie about their own importance.

05May/24

That Your Joy May Be Complete

So, what God is saying is that our Joy will attain the purpose that God has intended for us, if – and when – we love one another. It’s a very simple commandment, but it is not always easy to implement.

In the sermon on the mount, Jesus had even told his disciples to “Love their enemies,” and to “Pray for those that persecute you.” Very simple commandments, but once again, not at all easy to implement. Love God, Love your neighbor, Love one another, Love even your enemies. Jesus would not have told us – his disciples – to love our enemies unless he knew that the command to love those who didn’t love us would bring us joy.

14Apr/24

Children of God

Our New Testament reading today begins with the words, “See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are.” Through our baptism, we have been made a part of a heavenly family: we have been adopted into the family of God. And, as Children of God, we have now inherited all the benefits that are due to those who look to God as a parent, and Christ as a brother. We are no longer just Americans, or Chinese, Brazilian or Latvian, German or Canadian. We are first, and foremost, citizens of the New Jerusalem, citizens of heaven, the Holy City of God. We are children of a family that transcends time and space, race and ethnicity, boundaries and borders.

31Mar/24

What Are You Looking For?

Imagine the amount of fear and dread that the disciples would be facing when they realized that Jesus’ body was missing.

Imagine the questions that must have come through their minds at first with the most obvious one being: Did we come to the right tomb? 

First they question themselves, and then, in anger, they question others.

28Mar/24

While We Were Still Sinners

It’s easy for us to look past our own sinfulness and blame those who were there at the time calling for his death, and to see ourselves as innocent.

It’s easy for us to look past our own sinfulness and focus on the resurrection and see only the benefits that Jesus’ death on the cross brings to us.

It’s easy to look past our own sinfulness and see this week of Jesus’ passion as merely an intellectual exercise in theology and the cycles of the church year.

14Mar/24

For God So Loved

You may see the Rose colored stole this morning. Rather than wearing the typical Lenten purple, this Sunday, called “Laetare” Sunday, we wear a Rose colored stole. This Sunday is supposed to give us a moment when we can step back a bit from our Lenten disciplines and live in the joy of our salvation. The Latin word “Laetare” means “Rejoice!” 

The Gospel this morning gives us the reason for our rejoicing. Today we read the much quoted line in scripture that says, “God so loved the world that he sent his only son that people might not perish, but have everlasting life.”

25Feb/24

Get Behind Me

Several years ago, the editor in chief of Christianity Today recounted several conversations that he had had with pastors in his denomination. The pastors told him that when they preached from the Sermon on the Mount – you know, things like “Blessed are the meek,” “Blessed are the peacemakers,” “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” or especially, “Turn the other cheek.” When they preached from the Sermon on the Mount, people would come up to them afterwards and say, “Where did you get those liberal talking points?” But when the pastors would say, “I was literally just quoting the words of Jesus,” the people would not say, “Oh, sorry, I didn’t realize that.” Instead, they would say something to the effect of, “Okay, but that won’t work anymore. That’s weak.”

This is essentially what Peter did with Jesus in today’s Gospel. Peter, and most other people of his time hated the Roman oppressors in their land, and they were expecting a messiah that would come in with a mighty fist and power unseen before, and wipe out the enemies of Israel.

14Feb/24

What’s my motivation?

And as long as they don’t get caught, then, as the Gospel says, “they have received their reward.” If it is the accolades and praise of people they want, then as long as they are able to keep up the front, they will have received what they were looking for. If what they are trying to do is to “look good,” and if they have managed it, then by all means, let them rejoice in “looking good.”