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Over Your Shoulder

Click the arrow above to hear the scripture read. Acts 11:1-18 Click here to listen to the sermon. Toddlers often do not understand boundaries. They don’t understand that plastic bags and kabob skewers are not good toys, do not know why climbing into the dishwasher is not a recommended activity. They are not capable of […]

Gone Fishing

John 21:1-17 My maternal grandmother was a wonderful and difficult woman. She could be sweet and kind and loving. And she could be cantankerous, domineering, and demanding. I have several childhood memories of my mother in tears after my grandmother had raked her over the coals for this, that, or the other thing. It was […]

Open My Eyes, Lord

Acts 9:1-20 Immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he could see. I was 27 years old. I had recently come through a disastrous marriage, and was still recovering from the emotional trauma of it all when my ex-husband declared bankruptcy, leaving me on the hook with several of his creditors. I had […]

Light in Broken Places

Luke 24:1-12 Our theme during Lent this year was Broken Blessings. On the first week I asked everyone to write on a slip of colored paper something that had been a broken blessing in their lives—some area of brokenness or woundedness that had ultimately become something beautiful. The answers were heartbreaking and heartwarming: stories of […]

Palms for Peace

Luke 19:28-40 “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.” This verse is not original to the gospels. The people are quoting Psalm 118. “Save us, we beseech you, O Lord! … Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.” The followers who gathered around Jesus as […]

Breaking Open

Mark 14:3-9 We had an interesting lesson on this passage of scripture at our Leisurely Lectionary Bible study group on Thursday. (Well, I thought it was an interesting lesson. The rest of the group may have just humored me!) I found it fascinating because this story is told in all four gospels, though with significant […]

Breaking Free

Luke 13:10-17 The last two weeks I preached on the most familiar parables in the Bible. But this week’s story—though less familiar—is even more vivid in my mind. I can see this woman. I can see the top of her head as she walks along, bent over. I can imagine her view—nothing but dusty robes […]

Breaking Through

Luke 10:25-37 Last week we looked at the parable of the Prodigal Son, and today we look at the parable of the Good Samaritan—probably the two most well-known parables in the Bible. But in spite of its familiarity, scholars still disagree about some important elements of the story. First we have the lawyer. The lawyer, […]

Breaking Down

Luke 15:1-3, 11-32 This story is one of the most famous parables in the Bible. Unfortunately, it has become known by an inaccurate—or at least incomplete—name. The Prodigal Son. The title was written in the margin by some helpful scribe a few hundred years after the gospel was written, and the name stuck. Some scholars […]

Broken Blessings

Deuteronomy 26:1-11 Although I love to preach from the Old Testament (or Hebrew Scriptures), I don’t usually do it during Lent. After all, Lent is about Jesus’ journey toward the cross. But I believe this scripture has some important things to say about our journey. Let me start with a quick background reminder. The book […]

Tearing Down Walls

Jeremiah 1:4-10 This scripture was read at my service of ordination. My path to ordination was not an easy one. I had the misfortune to be part of an association that, at that time, had a resolution banning the ordination of “self-avowed, practicing homosexuals.” After graduating from seminary, I spent a year—at the request of […]

Free at Last

Luke 4:14-21 Jesus was in his hometown—his small hometown—which means that everybody there knew him. They knew Mary and Joseph and all his cousins. Many of them probably were his cousins. The older folks remembered watching him grow up, remembered how clumsy he was when he was ten, how his voice cracked when he was […]

Turning Wine into Water

John 2:1-11 Although our annual Diversity Sunday had to be postponed due to scheduling conflicts for our speaker, this is, of course, the weekend that our country honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. That’s why we began our worship today with some paraphrased lines of his famous “I have a […]

Baptism of Why

Luke 3:15-17, 21-22 [Spoken word poetry is a style of entertainment involving performance-based poetry —which means poetry that is written to be performed rather than to be read on the page. It focuses on word play and story-telling . Here in the United States it has roots in the Harlem Renaissance and civil rights movement of the 1960s and […]

Shelter in Merciful Arms

Before we read our story, I want to remind you that it is unusual in many ways, not the least of which is that it features two women, front and center, who actually get both names and voices. This is not common in scripture. Mary and Martha are the only ones who come to mind […]

Shelter in the Dawn

Luke 1:68-79 Before reading the passage for today I want to put it in context. Zechariah, a priest, and his wife Elizabeth were devout and faithful Jews. But they were unable to have children, and by the time of our story, they were “Both getting on in years.” So Zechariah was of course surprised when […]

  • A Christian Family: Loving, Welcoming, Serving

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