Tuesday, February 26, 2019

What If?

What if,
As Christians,
Instead of thinking of ourselves as gatekeepers of the truth,
We considered ourselves inviters into joy?
Not called to exclude the "unqualified",
But to extravagantly, recklessly welcome any and all who we encounter?

What if,
Instead of thinking it our job to correct others,
We considered it our sacred privilege to invite others into blessed relationship with God,
So they can discover the truth themselves
Like a flower that blossoms over time
To our infinite delight?

What if,
Instead of thinking we've got all the right answers,
We considered that our job as disciples
Was to find out what others can teach us about holiness?
That God places us where we are
Not to correct,
But to learn?

What if
we were to love
And always?

Monday, February 25, 2019

Sermon: “An Apocalypse of the Non-Zombie Variety”, Luke 6:27-38/1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-50 (February 24, 2019)


Although most, if not all, of us are familiar with the term “apocalypse”, I would venture to guess that fewer of us actually know what it means. Many people assume that “apocalypse” means “end of the world”, and it usually has a pretty violent, catastrophic connotation. While a part of this understanding comes from the apocalyptic literature in our own tradition (like the books of Revelation and Daniel, for example), I’d argue that we have Hollywood to thank for the vast majority of what we think we know about apocalypses. We’ve been particularly informed by the “Zombie Apocalypse” genre of film and television. 

Monday, February 18, 2019

Sermon: "No Such Thing as a Popular Prophet", Jeremiah 17:5-10/Luke 6:17-26 (February 17, 2019)


As human beings, we’re always learning. The “classroom” might be in a formal school setting, at home, or somewhere else, but no matter where we are, we’re constantly taking in new information. Sometimes, the lessons come naturally and are easy and fun, like learning how to play a new game. Other times, they’re boring and uneventful, but still necessary, like figuring out how to file taxes (or how to convince someone else to do them for you). Either way, we usually manage to absorb these lessons without too much existential fuss; learning them doesn’t significantly alter our perspective on life. But what happens when we’re confronted with a lesson that threatens to turn our understanding of the world upside down?

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Sermon: “Finding a Way on the Road of Faith”, Isaiah 6:1-8/Luke 5:1-11 (February 10, 2019)


Picture this: you’re driving from one end of the United States to the other. You’ve been driving for a while, so you’re a long way from where you started and everything around you is unfamiliar. Let’s imagine, too, that for some reason, you aren’t able to drive on the major highways, so you’re slowly making your way along backroads. It’s been hours and hours since you last saw a sign telling you where you are. You’ve stopped to get gas, and you’re wondering if it’s even worth the effort to keep going. It’s late; you’re tired, and you’re not even certain that you’re still on the right road. Maybe you should just give up.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Sermon: "Places, Everybody!", Jeremiah 1:4-10/Psalm 19:7-14 (February 3, 2019)


Today in worship, we have a very full day ahead of us. We’re not only sharing Communion as we do every month, but we’re also ordaining and installing our new Deacons and Elders, which generally only happens once a year. It occurs to me that both of these events are celebrations of God’s call on our lives—Communion is a celebration of God’s call on all of us to draw closer into relationship with Christ, and Ordination is a celebration of God’s particular call on individual lives to specific ministries within the church. It’s pretty appropriate, then that the lectionary gave us this reading from Jeremiah where the prophet recounts his own call story. And every time I think about God’s call, it strikes me that there’s good news and there’s bad news.