All posts tagged: Sermon

Jesus comes to bring a new kind of community, one built on a foundation of love.

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Sermons and audio

Jesus is asked by two of his disciples to “do for them whatever they ask of him.” What they specifically want is to be given higher status than the others in the community. Jesus uses the moment as an opportunity to teach a foundational truth. He summons the whole group of disciples as they climb up the road to Jerusalem, and tells them that their relationships going forward need to turn from a self-centered focus […]

Wealth confers powers we are not morally ready to receive.

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Sermons and audio

In this week’s Gospel reading, Jesus encounters a rich young man who wants to inherit eternal life. (Interesting way of putting it.) Jesus tells him to obey the moral law. The rich man professes that he has always done so. Jesus, lovingly, tells him that to be perfect, he must give away his wealth. And the young man is shocked and leaves, unable to do so. It isn’t the wealth per se that is the […]

Jesus points us again and again to the deeper reality that surrounds us. And by so doing, give meaning and context to our lives.

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Sermons and audio

When Jesus is asked a question about the rules regarding the breaking of marriage vows, we neither fully understand the context of the question nor the intent of the questioners. But Jesus, in his response the question, seems to ignore both and answers in such a way as to get us to the deep meaning of marriage itself. Jesus’ answer to a question about divorce looks to another part of Scripture to make sense of […]

Let’s try something new. Let’s put aside that which divides us and recognize Christ in each other.

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Sermons and audio

Here’s my challenge to the church around the world today. How about if we call a truce? The world is on fire, it is being flooded and the climate is changing. The people are homeless and searching for a place to take them in and as they seek, they’re being persecuted when they ask for help. The hungry and the lonely are struggling. There’s an ongoing world-wide pandemic. There’s so much need. What would it […]

Every human being is made in the image of God, and thus is infinitely valuable.

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Sermons and audio

Jesus is the most complete image of the fullness of God that we as humans can comprehend. Jesus came to serve us, to die for us, and thereby to restore us to the original relationship with had with God in the beginning. If we want to follow Jesus, we will need to put aside any sense of our own entitlement or idea that we are somehow more worthy than any other person. (And the converse […]

An Empire unlike any earthly one

Sermons and audio

God’s Realm, Jesus’ Kingdom, is different than the earthly ones. It isn’t different because it’s unreal, otherworldly or some sort of fairy tale. It’s different because it’s built on a radically different foundation. Liberation and Peace come not through military triumph, but through love, service and self-sacrifice. It’s the essential characteristic of the God we worship. It’s fitting that the cross has become the symbol of our faith. God’s love is self-sacrificial. God’s love is […]

Do not use the Bible to prove the wrong point

Sermons and audio

In this week’s Gospel, we hear Jesus’ critique of the religious leaders of his community. He is speaking within a context different than ours to a people who were facing challenges that we are not. His words to the religious leaders, while sounding harsh to our ears, are not that different than the sorts of sustained critiques that they leveled against one another. In the narrative of Mark’s Gospel, Jesus has just fed the multitude […]

This is a hard. Yet, what else do we have? These are the words of life.

Sermons and audio

The Messiah is telling us things we didn’t anticipate. This isn’t about subduing the enemy. This isn’t about being exalted and having the world serve us. This isn’t about the arrival of a paradise that grants us everything we think we’ve ever needed. This is about dying for others. This is about giving your body so that others can live. And this is about accepting that sort of sacrifice from others on your behalf. Even […]

Was the Manna a miracle?

Sermons and audio

This week’s sermon is a bit of a sidebar. We’ve been hearing St. John’s account of the feeding of the multitude and the explanation that follows by Jesus to the gathered crowd. We’ve talked about how this miracle signifies the return of the manna. And that people were looking for that as proof that the Messiah had come. But we’ve not talked about manna and what it was. There are multiple natural explanations for the […]

We must eat his flesh to live

Sermons and audio

We sing “I am the Bread of Life” and forget the power and shock behind these words. We worship a crucified God, and we “gnaw” on God’s flesh so that we can live. Jesus calls himself the Son of Man, the Mortal One, in other words, the one who will die. His death (and resurrection) isn’t the same as Lazarus’ whom Jesus raises later in the Gospel. Jesus’ resurrection (by the divine force willingly dying […]