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The Bandwagon of Uncertainty?

John 20:1-18 Taylor Mali is a wonderful poet in the genre of spoken word poetry, sometimes called slam poetry. This means that his work is intended to be performed, not read. So although I cannot do it as well as he does, I want to share with you his poem about speaking. In case you […]

The Coat

Mark 11:1-11 (This sermon is from the point of view of a fictional character. She is not in the Bible, but I think she has some things to say to us today.) My father was a wealthy merchant. Of course, the Roman government took a large portion of his profits in taxes, not to mention […]

Selfies with Jesus

John 12:20-33 Young people today have been called the “selfie generation.” Selfies are, of course, photos that people take of themselves, typically with their phones, and then post online. The word “selfie” was Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year in 2013. There are trends within the selfie genre, if you will. For example, certain faces […]

Spring Cleaning

John 2:13-22 What does Jesus look like in the image in your mind? In spite of the fact that Jesus was Jewish, and therefore of Semitic race, many of us have images of Jesus as fairly light-skinned, with blue eyes. In spite of the fact that Jesus lived during a time when bathing was not […]

Take up your cross?

Mark 8:31-38 I don’t know if this story is true, but I remember hearing about an old woman who hated the verse in the Bible about women submitting to their husbands. Whenever anyone would mention it, she would shake her head and say, “That’s not in the Bible.” Her pastor got frustrated with her stubborn […]

Optical Illusions

2 Kings 2:1-14 When I was a kid, I loved optical illusions, especially those with two different images in the same picture. The one I remember the most was a silhouette either of a young woman or an old crone. Our text for today is similar. It is the mental and spiritual version of an […]

Have you not known?

Isaiah 40:21-31 Before I read our scripture for today, I want to give you some background. This passage was written during the time of the Babylonian exile. Jerusalem had been defeated, the temple had been destroyed, and everybody with any status had been deported to Babylon. They saw this defeat either as a sign of […]

I Don’t Like to Preach About Demons

Mark 1:21-28 One of my favorite websites to read when I’m working on sermon preparation is called Working Preacher. This is how my favorite columnist on that site began his post on this text: “Dear Working Preacher, Tell me the truth: don’t you just dread exorcism stories? I mean, if there’s one kind of biblical […]

Speak, Lord

1 Samuel 3:1-10 Our Old Testament story for today actually begins two chapters before our reading. It begins with the story of Elkanah, and his two wives: Peninnah and Hannah. Hannah was the favored wife, the beloved wife; but Peninnah was the fruitful wife. Hannah was not able to have children—a fact that her rival […]

God in the Torn Places

Mark 1:4-11 I read a sermon early this week that captured my imagination. The preacher, Rev. Maxwell Grant, says that he wishes it were harder to join the church. He says “It’s harder to get a membership at Costco than it is to become a Christian.” [1] We might think we’re doing a good thing to […]

Wisdom & Wise Guys

Matthew 2:1-12 When I was in junior high school, my church always had a live nativity. The church was on a busy road in Miami Florida, and each year on the nights leading up to Christmas, all the youth would gather on the front lawn in our costumes and would reenact the Christmas story as […]

Zechariah’s Story: And You, Child

Luke 1:67-79 Have you ever wanted something for a long time? Worked for it, waited for it, dreamed of it, only to finally get it and then find out that it wasn’t what you thought it would be? I am a priest. This is not a chosen vocation. It is my lineage. I am of […]

Elizabeth’s Story: It’s Never Too Late

Luke 1:5-25    

One in Ten

Luke 17:11-19 In 2007 a journalist named A.J. Jacobs published a book called The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible. The author grew up in what he describes as a secular home, not a religious one—a Jew by birth but an agnostic by belief. He […]

Choose Again

Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25 We are surrounded by choices. We can go into the supermarket and buy cans of crushed pineapple—or tidbits, chunks, or slices, in heavy syrup or its own juices, and in at least two different brands. Plus we can go to the produce department and buy a whole pineapple or a fresh pineapple […]

Wings of Grace

Matthew 23:1-12 The scholars who created the lectionary—the three year cycle of readings we use to guide worship—were concerned about telling the major portions of our story in worship. They were concerned with choosing scriptures for ordinary time as well as for each holy season. They were not at all concerned with choosing scriptures to […]

  • A Christian Family: Loving, Welcoming, Serving

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