“Clothe Yourself!”

October 15, 2017 Matthew 22:1-14 Timothy B. Hare   It’s easy to forget that the church existed well before the New Testament came into being.  Before Paul’s letters were gathered, before the gospels were written, before the bible looked like it looks today, people were gathering together and offering their lives and their resources in […]

“Why the 10 Commandments Matter”

Oct. 8, 2017 Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20 Matthew 21:33-46   If you preach weekly for 16 years, and monthly for another three years, and you adjust for vacations and weekends off, and you save all those sermons on your computer, you’re likely to have roughly 750 sermons saved on file, which I do. It’s useful […]

“Facebook and Philippians”

Oct. 1, 2017 Philippians 2:1-11   I think I may have mentioned before that I almost never post anything on Facebook. I’ll promote or celebrate a church event on our church’s FB page, but on my own personal page I hardly ever say anything because I just can’t think of something that I want to […]

“On Grace and Forgiveness.”

Sept. 17, 2017 Matthew 18:21-35 Romans 14:1-12   Humans behave atrociously. That, I think, is the message of the parable that Jesus shares after he instructs Peter to forgive 77 times.  The parable is hyperbole, that is, it exaggerates God’s perspective on humanity in order to make its point.  The point isn’t that our heavenly […]

“An Upside Down God.”

Aug. 27, 2017 Matthew 16:13-20 Romans 12:1-8   I’m thinking that we’re probably inclined to hear in Peter’s response a rare victory for the disciples, a moment of clarity and understanding from Peter who otherwise generally doesn’t quite grasp who Jesus is or what exactly he’s up to. In fact, I’ve heard many thoughtful sermons […]

“Weeds to Wheat”

July 23, 2017 Romans 8:12-25 Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43   I do not like our gospel passage at all. I worry about what you think when you hear it.  I worry that it robs grace and love from your understanding of God.  I worry that it tilts the theological scales of your subconscious minds so that […]

“Confirmation Reflections on Pentecost Sunday.”

June 4, 2017 Acts 2:1-21 Pentecost & Confirmation   Last week we heard Jesus’ “high priestly prayer,” a prayer that Jesus offers as he says farewell to his disciples and asks that the intimacy that he shares with his Father might also now be shared with his disciples. I asked us to imagine John the […]

“Seeing God”

May 28, 2017 Ephesians 1:15-23 John 17:1-11   My bible calls this passage from John, “Jesus’ high priestly prayer.”  I’m not sure what the prayer sounded like to you, or what kind of images a “high priestly prayer” might connote for you, but for me it’s not a great title.  When I think of “high […]

“No One Comes to the Father Except through Me.”

I can’t hear today’s gospel passage without wondering how you hear today’s gospel passage, in particular, verse 6.  “I am the way, and the truth, and the life,” says Jesus. “No one comes to the Father except through me.” Do those words sound like good news to you?  Do they encourage you?  Inspire you?  Or, […]

“Be Beautiful!”

May 7, 2017 Acts 2:42-47   These are words from Dr. Ricard Selzer in a book that he authored called, “Moral Lessons: Notes on the Art of Surgery.” “I stand by the bed where the young woman lies, her face post-operative, her mouth twisted – palsy, clownish. A tiny twig of a facial nerve, the […]