“Weeds and Wheat, Burning even Your Virtues Away”

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July 19, 2020 Genesis 28:10-19a Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43   I’m not a fan of the second half of this parable.  I don’t know anyone who is entirely wheat or entirely weed.  To see the world as black or white, good or evil, saved or unsaved just doesn’t seem right or accurate.  Life is complex, people […]

“Lament and Life in the Spirit”

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July 12, 2020 Psalm 119:105-112 Romans 8:1-11   I did my first Covid era funeral a couple of weeks ago. The whole service was held at the cemetery with a small, socially distanced, mask-wearing congregation of immediate family and close friends.  Covid19 was actually the second severe pandemic that Beatrice, the deceased, had lived through […]

“Trusting in God.”

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June 28, 2020 Genesis 22:1-14 Matthew 10:40-42   Last week, on Father’s Day nonetheless, Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her […]

“Is Your God Lovable?”

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June 21, 2020 Genesis 1:27-31 Matthew 10:24-39   I’m not sure this gospel passage does a great job of really encouraging a love for God.  As I read it, it sounds like something of a threat, and I don’t see how anyone has ever succeeded in gaining love by offering a punishment if it doesn’t […]

“In Christ”

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June 14, 2020 2 Cor. 5:14-17 Matthew 9:35-10:15     “Faith,” says Rowan Williams, “has a lot to do with the simple fact that there are trustworthy lives to be seen, that we can see in some believing people a world we’d like to live in.” Some of you may remember that in our class […]

“Trinity and Race”

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June 7, 2020 2 Corinthians 13:11-13 Matthew 28:16-20       Before I offer what I have to say I want to share that I’ve really struggled this week in discerning my message for you.  With racism at the forefront of our nation’s mind I do feel that I have to address it, but I’m also […]

“On Being Pentecostal”

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May 31, 2020 Pentecost/Confirmation Acts 2:1-21 John 7:37-39   When I was a seminary intern the pastor of the church asked me to preside over the worship service in his place.  He would be away on vacation and all I had to do was lead worship and guide us from one part of the service […]

“If You Love Me.”

May 17, 2020 John 14:15-21 Acts 17:22-28   “If you love me you will keep my commandments,” says Jesus.  And, he seems to indicate that it’s in keeping these commandments that we’ll perceive the Advocate, or “Friend,” as Eugene Peterson translates it, or Holy Spirit of God, which is Christ’s ongoing presence.  All we have […]

“Life as Death and Resurrection.”

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May 10, 2020 Acts 7:55-60 John 14:1-14   For the last two weeks the lectionary has assigned readings that are generally considered to be staple passages for funeral services.  Of course, last week it was the 23rd Pslam: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.  He makes me to lie down in green […]

“The Lord is My Shepherd.”

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May 3, 2020 Psalm 23 John 10:1-10   Whenever the 23rd Psalm comes around in the lectionary I think of Jack.  Jack was the husband of the senior pastor I worked under during my first pastoral charge after seminary.  He used to call me up and invite me to lunch.  The first time he did […]

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