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.

Sermon: Shaped by God

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“Shaped by God”

(September 8, 2013) Jeremiah uses the image of a potter sculpting a vessel as a rich metaphor for how God forms and re-forms us. His metaphor, however, is not a personal one as we usually imagine it; Jeremiah describes God as shaping humanity. In a time when we are poised on the brink of warfare yet again, we pray that we might be re-formed by God’s hands. (Jeremiah 18:1-11; Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18)

Sermon: Out of Your Shell

egg shell 1“Out of Your Shell”

(August 25, 2013) We can be trapped by our fear and pain and the tapes we play in our heads, and so mired in our trapped-ness that even when the obstacles are removed, it is hard for us to break free. I believe that we are set free when we find the courage and faith and conviction that come from living as who we are called to be. Are you a flea… or a bird? (Jeremiah 1:4-10, Luke 13:10-17)

This sermon relies heavily on these two video clips. I played this clip about training fleas to leap only within the confines of their container before I began to preach, and then this clip from the television show “Lost” just before the end of the sermon.

Sermon: On the Other Side

shame hands face covered“On the Other Side”

(July 21, 2013) We are not Trayvon Martin, and we are not the person set upon by robbers on the road to Jericho, but the parable of the Good Samaritan has a powerful message and warning for us. For those with power or privilege– which, racially speaking, is more than 96% of Vermont– have the responsibility to take notice, and not pass by on the other side. (Luke 10:25-37)

In the sermon, I make reference to this tumblr.

Sermon: Break the Chains

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“Break the Chains”

(May 12, 2013) This phenomenal story from the Book of Acts invites us into the heart and experience of those who have been complicit in oppression, and reminds us that the chains of bondage and oppression bind both the jailers and the jailed. The true power of God lies not in the breaking of shackles around our feet, but breaking those around our hearts. Where are you called to be set free? (Acts 16:16-34)

I share in this sermon my compassion for Bishop McLee, which I wrote about here, and my own need to, like Paul and Silas, wait with him in our shared sorrow, so that each of us might find healing.

We then sang this hymn by Mark Miller, which is too good to not share.

Sermon: Powerless Palms

palm leaf tree plant 6“Powerless Palms”

(March 24, 2013 – Palm Sunday, anniversary of the death of Oscar Romero) We have a choice, as individuals and as a society, in how we respond to violence. The expectation for that choice for people who follow Christ has been set by Jesus himself, and those faithful followers who’ve lived out the radical non violence he demonstrated in the events we celebrate on Palm Sunday. Do you choose the soldiers and their spears, or the peasants and their palms? (Luke 19:28b-40)

Sermon: A Caterpillar with Wings

life cycle butterfly“A Caterpillar with Wings”

(February 17, 2013) I’m embarrassed to admit how old I was when I realized that butterflies were not simply caterpillars with wings. I’m also embarrassed to admit that most often in my life, I’d like to just have wings added, rather than open myself up to complete transformation… (John 12:20-33)

Sermon: Be. Loved. Beloved.

peanuts 1“Be. Loved. Beloved.”

(January 13, 2013) Each one of us is unique, marked and known in our imperfections, scuffs, and rough places. And yet we are known and loved intimately by God, claimed and called God’s own. (Isaiah 43:1-7; Luke 3:15-17, 21-22)

The exercise I use in this sermon is a simple one to try on your own with a bag of peanuts (still in their shells), and has the added bonus of coming with a snack as long as you don’t have allergies. I first learned this at a mother-daughter seminar in my teens, when it was used to illustrate a parent’s love for a child. I have never forgotten that lesson. The seminar was hosted by Planned Parenthood, St. Johnsbury VT.

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