Sermon: Hope and Longing

candle hand blue“Hope and Longing”

(November 30, 2014 – First Sunday of Advent) In the wake of more racial injustice, and in the face of pandemic illnesses, what does it mean to hold out hope? Can we hear the sacred longing in our own cries of “how long?”, and cling to the Advent promise that Christ is and will be present with us? (Isaiah 64:1-9, Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19)

Sermon: Dreams of Reconciliation

I'm preaching in a Reconciling Church on a Reconciling Sunday-- a first for me, and I was a little excited.

I’m preaching in a Reconciling Church on a Reconciling Sunday– a first for me, and I was a little excited.

“Dreams of Reconciliation”

(September 28, 2014) Joseph and his siblings play out a drama of harm and forgiveness, teaching us much about what it means to be reconciled: that reconciliation is initiated by those who have done the harm and need to come with humbleness and changed hearts; that all siblings are locked together in the story, even if they themselves did not cause the harm; that reconciliation requires of the one harmed tremendous vulnerability and courage (and, understandably, not all people will choose to be vulnerable like that again), and that being able to embrace and talk is just the beginning. As Lebanon UMC celebrates seven years as a Reconciling Congregation– one that welcomes and embraces all people regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity– we recognize that our journey of reconciliation is just the beginning. (Genesis 45:1-15)

Sermon: Out of Joint

Forte, Jacob Wrestling the Angel

Forte, Jacob Wrestling the Angel

“Out of Joint”

(September 14, 2014) Older, wiser, and perhaps more cynical, Jacob’s dreams of glory have not gone according to plan. He wrestles with God and with his understanding of God, and the encounter leaves him changed. How often to we wrestle with our faith or our circumstances in our lives? Do we receive a blessing? Do we leave changed? (Genesis 28:10-19 and Genesis 32:22-31)

The sermon ends with a poem, the text of which can be found here.

Unfortunately the mic cut out temporarily. The missing section is half a sentence, but you can hear a change in the sound as I start speaking at a new microphone.

If you are using firefox as a browser, it sometimes doesn’t like to play the audio file and will tell you it is “corrupt.” I assure you the preacher is not! Please try another browser. I don’t know why it does this.

Sermon: Searching for Scraps

rubble1“Searching for Scraps”

(August 17, 2014) In the face of the death of Michael Brown and the ongoing tension and violence in Ferguson, MO, we hear the story of the Canaanite woman, shouting after Jesus for justice and grace, asking for even the scraps that others might overlook. Where are the scraps of justice and grace? (Matthew 15:21-28)

If you are using firefox as a browser, it sometimes doesn’t like to play the audio file and will tell you it is “corrupt.” I assure you the preacher is not! Please try another browser. I don’t know why it does this.

Sermon: On the Road

feet road bw“On the Road”

(May 4, 2014) Finally, the risen Jesus makes his first appearance in the Gospel of Luke, and it’s not at a tomb, in a safe upper room, or on the beach where the disciples first saw him; it’s on the road. Is the author telling us something about where we can find Christ– not in the mystical moments, but on the journey of our lives, as we talk, discuss, debate, question, and ponder? (Luke 24:13-35)

sermon recording also contains a prayer that I wrote.

Sermon: Redeeming Thomas

blindfold trust walk“Redeeming Thomas”

(April 27, 2014) We call the disciple Thomas “Doubting Thomas,” but maybe we’ve given him an unfair hearing. Elsewhere in the Gospel, Thomas exhibits great faith, and we might rightly be skeptical about casting him as a sudden detractor. Then again, perhaps faith and trust and belief are, like Thomas, more than we give them credit for. (Mark 9:14-29, John 20:19-31)

 

Sermon: Christmas Miracles and Mystery Grumps

Screen Shot 2013-12-22 at 9.30.29 PM“Christmas Miracles and Mystery Grumps”

(December 22, 2013) One last sermon in a series about how love breaks into our lives. This time, it’s my story. God surprised me with love; Christmas came early this year for me, and opened my heart, bringing me joy. May you be surprised by love as well. (Matthew 1:18-25, Isaiah 7:10-16)

The Advent series this year is a look at how God breaks into our lives when we least expect it and whether we’re ready or not. We’ll look at seasonal grumps who find transformation breaking into their lives: The Grinch, who experiences love; Ebenezer Scrooge, who moves toward justice; George Bailey, who rediscovers hope, and a Mystery Grump, in need of some Christmas joy.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 970 other followers