Ok – this started out as an idea that didn’t quite gel.  Then I got a real start at my clergy writing group.  And it evolved into this sermon:


So, here are these Greeks, these Hellenists, these outsiders to the Jewish faith.  They’ve been hearing about Jesus.  There’s just something about Jesus … (more…)

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I think we have a problem when we talk about Jesus as our king — analogous, perhaps, to the problem we have when we talk about gospel love.  We simply don’t use the words “king” and “love” the way Jesus used them.

For us, in every day American English, the word “love” is about what we feel.  For Jesus, the word “love” was an action verb about what we do.  We want to pair the words “love” and “hate” as opposites.  I suspect pairing the words “love” and “kill” would come closer to being opposites, as Jesus used the word “love.” (more…)

“… Do not go gentle into that good night
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

“Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for, thou art not so …
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
and death shall be no more …”

I thought of these words, from Dylan Thomas and John Donne respectively, when my friend and colleague, Marcia, died just before this All Saints’ Day.  I think they capture some of the tension I feel between my sense of loss and anger when someone dies and my belief in the promise of fullness of life with God in the communion of saints. (more…)

This is the sermon I didn’t give this morning in Fort Bragg:

This morning, we hear the story of Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well.  Like many stories of Jesus’ life, this is a story about expanding the boundaries of who counts with God. (more…)

I know I’ve been quiet for a while; busy with church, prayer life, music and reading.  And that may continue for a while.  But I did finally get back to my clergy writing group.  And here is what I did for our free write today:

“What I’m thinking about is preaching and jazz.  (more…)

I preached a homily at the celebration remembering the life of Bruce Buel, the  brother of one of our active parishioners, this afternoon.  This is it: 

I never met Bruce. Cathy talked about him, and how much his presence meant in her life. And how she misses him, now that he’s gone. And the fact that he was afraid to die. And how much that troubled her. But I never met Bruce. I did not have that privilege. (more…)

Well, I had to fight the balloons.  But for the moment you can hear my Pentecost sermon (about how God litlerally had to set the apostles on fire to get them out of the room and into the world) in our audio files here (for May 23, 2010).