Sermon: All Mixed Up

nightshade flowers, photo by Len Harris lenharris.blogspot.com

nightshade flowers, photo by Len Harris lenharris.blogspot.com

“All Mixed Up”

(July 20, 2014) Just like the nightshade vine and the black raspberry that both grow in my back yard, sometimes the beauty and the pain of life are woven inextricably together. Where do you try to pull out that which is not life-giving? Where do you let the parts of life grow together and see what fruit they bear? (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 and Psalms 22 and 23- below)

a reader and I alternated lines from Psalms 22 and 23.

Psalm 22:1-21 & Psalm 23

Reader 1: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, from the sounds of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and I can never rest.

Reader 2: The God of Love is my shepherd. There is nothing that I want.

Reader 1: Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. Our ancestors trusted in you, and you delivered them, cried out to you, and they were saved.

Reader 2: God lets me rest in green pastures;

Reader 1: But I am a worm, less than human, scorned and despised by others. All who see me mock at me; they shake their heads and say, ‘Trust in God if you are God’s favorite! Let God protect you!’

Reader 2: God leads me to streams of peaceful waters, and restores my soul.

Reader 1: You are the one who carried me through birth, kept me safe at my mother’s breast. Since the moment I was born, I have been in your care; you have been my God. Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.

Reader 2: God leads me along the right paths, true to the Holy Name.

Reader 1: Enemies are all around me, like a herd of wild bulls, like ravening and roaring lions, their mouths wide open.

Reader 2: Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff— they comfort me.

Reader 1: I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is melted like wax within me; my mouth is dried up like a broken pot, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.

Reader 2: You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil;

Reader 1: Brutal enemies attack me like a pack of dogs; My hands and feet have shrivelled; I can count all my bones.

Reader 2: My cup overflows.

Reader 1: They stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.

Reader 2: Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.

Reader 1: But you, O My God, do not be far away! O my help, come quickly to my aid! Deliver my soul from the sword, my life from the wild dogs! Save me from the mouth of the lion!

Reader 2: And I will live forever in God’s house.

 

Sermon: 1,000 Ways that Won’t Work

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 6.50.47 PM“1,000 Ways that Won’t Work”

(July 13, 2014) The “Sower” accepts a certain rate of failure when it comes to sowing seed and gathering a harvest. Like Thomas Edison in his quest to invent a home-use light bulb, we sometimes have to try lots of ideas and find things that don’t work. In a changing world, the church needs to keep finding new ways to share the love of God. (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23)

Still working out the kinks– I know my intro could use some work, etc. Also, sometimes (but not anywhere close to consistently) firefox says the files are “corrupt”; please try another browser if it’s giving you trouble.

Sermon: Meet Rebekah

16352_10200681626144596_496301929_n“Meet Rebekah”

(July 6, 2014) The biblical matriarch Rebekah is a person to be admired for her compassion and faith and tenderness– and also a complex individual who bends rules and suffers loss. In that way, she’s not unlike most of us. And if God can use complex, multi-faceted people like her, why not people like us? (Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67)

Still working out the kinks– I know my intro could use some work, etc. Also, sometimes (but not anywhere close to consistently) firefox says the files are “corrupt”; please try another browser if it’s giving you trouble.

Sermon: Defying Gravity

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA“Defying Gravity”

(June 22, 2014) Sometimes it seems like churches just shouldn’t work– kind of like it seems that bumblebees shouldn’t be able to fly. Yet despite the struggles and challenges, against all odds, the church carries on, even soars. With God, all things are, and all things will continue to be, possible. (Matthew 19:21-26)

I was soooo sick this day, and almost entirely lost my voice. It’s not *all* from the emotion of my last day at Trinity. I think I edited out my coughing so I won’t hurt your eardrums.

Sermon: You Want me to… What?

finger point paint“You Want me to… What?”

(June 15, 2014) What is God calling us to do– each of us individually and the people of Trinity UMC as a whole? How do we figure out that answer? How do we leave our fear behind and do it? (Matthew 28:16-20, Jeremiah 1:4-10)

Including some stories from the 2014 session of the New England Annual Conference!

Sermon: Together in One Place

mosiac 1“Together in One Place”

(June 8, 2014 – Pentecost Sunday) The story of Pentecost– the church’s “birthday” as the disciples received the Holy Spirit– paints a picture of a diverse group all together in one place. In this gathering, differences are not erased or harmonized, but celebrated! Are we living as those who expect, celebrate, and minister with the diversity of our communities? (1 Corinthians 12:3b-13; Acts 2:1-21)

I was also inspired by this post by my colleague and facebook friend, Rev. Emily Heath.

Under (Re)Construction

caution tape 2The dust is still clearing…

In case you missed it, I did that most Methodist of things this summer, and itinerated (relocated at the discretion of the Bishop and the Cabinet, for the non-Methodist-types), starting in my new appointment, Lebanon United Methodist Church in Lebanon, New Hampshire, on July 1.

And so of course, my blogging and podcasting have fallen away temporarily. But have no fear! I have recordings of all the sermons from June and July, and I will be posting them, and I will be resuming sharing my thoughts and reflections here in this space.

God is always at work in all of us, creating and re-creating, and so I am excited to see what will unfold in this new place for me and my family, and this new season. May you be blessed and re-created too!

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