Sermon: Empty Tomb; So What?

picture for easter e weekly“Empty Tomb; So What?”

(April 20, 2014, Easter Sunday) Easter brings us to the the greatest miracle and mystery of the Christian faith, but what’s it all about? What happens *after* the empty tomb to change our lives? God’s salvation is still happening, not accomplished all at once. Instead, we are invited into the ongoing work of God. (Matthew 28:1-10, Luke 24:1-12)

Easter Sunday, complete with the interruption object lesson from my son William.

Sermon: “King of Kings”

palm leaf tree plant 6“King of Kings”

(April 13, 2014) Jesus rides into Jerusalem as a king, but not the sort of king anyone was expecting. When we fail to live up to the expectations of others– or when they fail to live up to ours– can we cut one another a little slack? Are we willing to ask ourselves if our expectations are good and healthy ones, or simply what we want to see? (Matthew 21:1-11)

First Sunday back in the sanctuary, and mic troubles and all the distraction and pressure that comes with that!

Sermon: Light of the World

horse blinders 1“Light of the World”

(March 30, 2014) As Jesus restores vision to a person born without sight, he turns the conversation from the literal to the spiritual, and from harm to healing. Where do we need our eyes opened? What systems of oppression– racism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, ageism– and of privilege keep us from seeing God in our midst? How, with our blinders removed, with the light of Christ shining in our lives, can we see the work God calls us to do, in the naming and dismantling of our own privilege, and the steps toward wholeness we seek to take? (John 9:1-41)

I mentioned a number of stories in my sermon, including a video of a newscaster being disrespected by her co-host, the flip-flop of child sponsoring non profit WorldVision, and a talk by a comedian who describes the intersecting experiences of being an Arab American Muslim woman with cerebral palsy who wanted to act.

 

 

Sermon: Living Water

well stone close“Living Water”

(March 23, 2014) At the well, Jesus encounters a powerful theologian in the form of a Samaritan woman, and their conversation looks at the literal and spiritual needs for water. This day after World Water Day, how do we understand the intersections between the literal water crisis and the spiritual need for living water? What will we do about the water crisis? (John 4:5-15, 23-30, 39-42)

Resources about the water crisis:

Press release for World Water Day

World Water Day homepage

Informational Video about Water Crisis (World Water Day 2013)

Water.org (microlending and water credit to expand access to clean water)

UNICEF’s Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (monitoring and resources toward goal of providing access to clean water for all)

UNICEF Tap program (donates money for clean water for every ten minutes you don’t use your phone)

Sermon: The Way

path trees fog“The Way”

(March 16, 2014) Another name we call Jesus is “The Way,” but rather than a term that describes a singular path one can travel, the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus makes clear that “The Way” is a journey, not a destination. Far from inviting us to accept Jesus and “be saved,” this passage teaches us that being born from above is a continual process, filled with more questions than answers and enriched by relationship with Jesus. (John 3:1-17)

Sermon: Bread of Life

Minolta DSC“Bread of Life”

(March 9, 2014) This Lent, we are looking at different names for Jesus. Today’s story invites us to imagine what it means to be fed and nourished by Christ, the Bread of Life. What would it be to trust on this most fundamental level? (Matthew 4:1-11)

The Names of Jesus series is inspired by a series from Logos Productions.

Sermon: Is it Safe?

lion mane 2“Is it Safe?”

(March 3, 2014, Transfiguration Sunday) The encounter with God is not always safe or comfortable; it leaves us changed. Are we ready to be transformed, or are we still asking that God be safe and sanitary because we are not yet ready to change? (Exodus 24:12-18; Matthew 17:1-9)

References abound in this sermon!

C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Robert E. Quinn, Deep Change: Discovering the Leader Within

Blog excerpt, “When Glory“, (c) Jan Richardson, Janrichardson.com

Sermon: Blessed are the Cheese-Makers?

prayer poverty man old“Blessed are the Cheese-Makers?”

(February 2, 2014) When we read the list of blessings in the Gospels (“beatitudes,” as they are often called), we can read them both as reminders of whom God loves, and as soothing balm for the parts of ourselves most in need of blessing. What blessings do you need to hear? (Matthew 5:1-12)

Sermon: Something Fishy

fish 4“Something Fishy”

(Jan 26, 2014) Some things are harder than they might seem at first (like keeping goldfish alive–whyyyy?). Perhaps it sounds easy to “make disciples” or share faith or live the Christian life, but it is hard. The good news is that we are not called to walk solo journeys. (Matthew 4:12-23)

Sermon: Give it a Look-See

look binoculars boy“Give it a Look-See”

(January 19, 2014) When is the last time you looked at something– not just let the images assault your eyeballs, but looked deeply? This deep looking is what God is inviting when Christ says “come and see.” (John 1:29-42)

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