Gardening is Harder than Sowing

Preached on July 16, 2017 Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 My favorite part of gardening is putting seeds in the ground.  Planting is the time of possibility, dreaming of a bountiful harvest.  Winter is gone, warmer days beckon, and little green shoots are everywhere.  I’m the same way about most projects, I love the brainstorming, creative work, … Continue reading Gardening is Harder than Sowing

“From the Many, We Are One”

Preached on May 28, 2017 John 17:1-11 In our Gospel reading, Jesus has been preaching a long time, from chapters 13 to 16, fully 15% of his life story from John’s perspective.   Perhaps the disciples sighed with relief when he starts the pastoral prayer.  Like many pastoral prayers, it is a summary of what went … Continue reading “From the Many, We Are One”

What Makes the Shepherd Good?

A shepherd’s job is to care for the sheep.  Psalm 23 gives us a good idea of the job description.  “He maketh me lie down in green pastures, He leadeth me beside still waters.”  Sheep need food and a place to graze.  Sheep need plenty of good clean water to survive.  So a shepherd pays … Continue reading What Makes the Shepherd Good?

Wiping Away Our Tears

Sometimes hot tears need to flow down our cheeks, as our anger burns against the injustice of death, the killing of innocent people, against cruel and senseless violence. We need a good cry, the kind that soaks a box of tissues as we wipe away all the snot from our noses and we taste the salt on our lips. Whether my heart is broken by cancer claiming another person we love, or the crass celebration of “the mother of all bombs” as something good, sometimes we really should not be holding it together.

Isaiah 49:1-7 “More Light and Truth to Come”

Preaching this weekend in the shadow of Martin Luther King, Jr. always fills me with a mix of hope and of fear.  Dr. King was the complete package; a gifted theologian whose thoughts and writings inspired; a second-generation black preacher formed in the passion and rythyms of the Gospel tradition, a person of immense courage … Continue reading Isaiah 49:1-7 “More Light and Truth to Come”

Babies Born in Strange Places

Tomorrow, on Christmas Day, approximately 353,000 babies will be born worldwide, at the rate of one baby every 4.3 second. In one hour of a Christmas Eve service, 15,300 babies will be born while we sing about good news of great joy. Much like our Christmas story, babies come into the world in some of … Continue reading Babies Born in Strange Places

“A Binding, Loosening Community” Matthew 18:18-20

For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” I love this text. I was excited to see it as the featured Gospel for Gathering Sunday, because today as we gather ourselves for a new beginning of the Fall Church Season; we hear the good news!-Christ is among us today! We missed out on meeting the real Jesus, hearing him preach and shaking hands with him at coffee hour, liking his stuff on Facebook. We were born too late. But don’t despair, because when we meet in his name, his spirit is here and we know him. So we are gathered, Jesus is alive among us-NOW WHAT?