(March 8, 2015) Not only do we tend to resist being told what to do, but we strip faith of its power when we reduce it to a series of do’s and don’t’s. What if, instead, we viewed the Word of God as a promise and a vision of who we are called to be? Might we see it not as something that constrains us, but as something that helps us grow and flourish? (Exodus 20:1-17)
(March 1, 2015- 23rd anniversary of the burning of Lebanon UMC) Church member Jeanette H. remembers the burning of the church more than two decades earlier, and the congregation that worked together to rebuild afterward. As we reflect on loss, we hear again God’s promise of hope– sometimes the hardest promise to hold on to in the face of loss. Can we see the promise of the future in one another? (Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16)
(Feb 15, 2015) The disciples encounter a revelation of who and what Jesus is on the mountaintop, but this is not the only story of God’s revelation in Jesus? Can we expand our understanding of God and of ourselves by hearing and telling multiple stories? (Mark 9:2-9)
This sermon (preached with a substantial cold) is based on the Huffington Post piece “Forsaking the Whiteness of the Transfiguration” by Keith Anderson, and the TED Talk “The Danger of the Single Story” by Chimamanda Adichie.
(January 25, 2015) Sometimes, God calls us to our vocation with a fancy, funny, unavoidable moment; other times, with the long, slow, persistence throughout our lives. I tell the stories of my call from God, and invite us hear a call in all our stories. The real fun begins when we answer. (Jeremiah 1:4-10, Mark 1:14-20)
(January 15, 2015- United Methodist Building, Washington, D.C.) When prophets and disciples are called, some are sent far away to prophesy and preach and teach, but many are called in place, activated for service exactly where they are. Are we too focused on going and creating new churches and new disciples, and missing the call to serve where we are? This is a guest sermon that I preached in the (echoey) chapel of the United Methodist Building in Washington, D.C. (1 Samuel 3:1-10, John 1:43-51)
(Christmas Eve 2014) Jesus is born in a time and place that seem utterly strange to us– not calm and beautiful, not ready for the peace and joy of God’s presence. But isn’t that exactly where God shows up? (Luke 2:1-22)