All posts filed under: Sermons and audio

Palm Sunday: how do we respond to terrifying evil?

Sermons and audio

This Palm Sunday, like many before, is being observed in a time of war. And as in many previous wars, the evil acts committed against the innocent, young and old, strip away any sense we might have had that civilization had somehow transformed human nature. The war in Ukraine remind us that humanity has a profound need of healing, forgiveness and transformation. The story of the Passion of Christ takes on an urgency and a […]

Are we using the Church to meet our needs? For own ends?

Sermons and audio

This week’s Gospel tells the story of the extravagant act of adoration by Mary toward Jesus. She anoints his feet with something like $30,000 worth of perfumed oil. Judas sees it and objects that the money could have been better spent on the meeting the needs of the poor. The author of the Gospel tells us that Judas’ objection wasn’t made out of concern for the poor but because he wanted the money that was […]

The Church is called to extravagant acts of reconciliation

Sermons and audio

This Sunday’s Gospel is one of the most familiar parables in the canon of scripture. It’s the story of the Prodigal Son, an arresting story that Jesus told to the shock and surprise of the people who originally heard it. It’s filled with shocking and scandalous behavior on the part of all three of the main characters: the Father, the Older Son and the Prodigal Son. When it is heard in the culture in which […]

We seek straightforward connection between actions and consequences. Turns out it’s complicated.

Sermons and audio

I’m not able to post a sermon this week. I’m at the House of Bishop’s meeting and I don’t have access to the resources I need to be able to film a sermon and then post something. But I’m delighted that one of my favorite preachers/writers, The Rev. Canon Andrew Gerns, a colleague of mine from when I served in Bethlehem PA, has posted a wonderful sermon on this weekend’s texts. I’ve posted his writings […]

Jesus, our Mother

Sermons and audio

Others often describe Jesus in his day as the Lamb of God. In the Gospel passage read this week in church, he describes himself not as a lamb who will be slain, but as a Mother Hen who wishes to save the ones who reject him. The image is both familiar and foreign to us because while we know about hens and chicks, few of us have enough familiarity with foxes and hens to get […]

The Ruler of this World; the Father of Lies

Sermons and audio

The traditional reading for the first Sunday in Lent is the account of how Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by the Ruler of this World. He can overcome the tests by living out the truth of Scripture and rejecting the lies. Every year, in a different context, we hear this story, and some aspect of it becomes new and startling. This year, as we watch the Invasion of Ukraine by their Russian neighbors, I’m […]

What Jesus was about to accomplish at Jerusalem

Sermons and audio

As we observe the Last Sunday in this year’s Season of Epiphany, we are doing so as the Pandemic transitions to an Endemic, at least in most of the United States, and as Eastern Europe erupts into war. As is so often the case, each time we hear a familiar story from Scripture, the context in which we placed when encountering it serves to unlock new insights into the text and points to deeper meanings […]

God cares for the poor. The rich? Well…

Sermons and audio

This week the Gospel reading is St. Luke’s version of the famous teaching Jesus gives his disciples about how to live in the new Kingdom of God. In Matthew’s Gospel this section of Jesus’ story is called the Sermon on the Mount. In Luke’s Gospel the setting is different, Jesus is teaching on a plain, and the emphasis and word choice is similar but sharper. Luke makes it clear that those who are in poverty […]

God’s call breaks in unexpectedly. What happens when it does?

Sermons and audio

The three lectionary readings this week all are or have reference to call narratives. A call narrative someone’s story of how they came to be called to serve God’s mission in some specific way. Some of us are called to serve in the church in obvious ways, but most of us are called to serve God and God’s mission in the world in large and small ways that are often harder to recognize. Those ways […]