Monday, March 25, 2019

Sermon: “Rock of Ages: God’s Faithfulness”, Psalm 40:1-12/Lamentations 3:1-9, 19-41 (March 24, 2019)

(This sermon is the second in our Lenten Series, "Rock of Ages", in which we're exploring how rocks can symbolize different characteristics of God and of ourselves.)


In my pre-Lenten planning, I designated this week as the one for preaching about God’s faithfulness. My plan was, of course, to focus on God: how like a rock God is in God’s reliability and steadfastness. It was going to be a comforting, feel-good sermon. But of course, “best laid plans” and all that; as I was doing my preparation and study this week, I found my thoughts going in a different direction than I’d anticipated. You see, scripture contains more examples of God’s faithfulness than anyone could possibly hope for. But what might surprise you is that many of these references aren’t joyful proclamations erupting out of praise or thanksgiving; more often, these references to God’s faithfulness are made in the context of biblical lament.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Sermon: "Rock of Ages: God's Sovereignty", Luke 4:1-13/Job 38:1, 4-7, 33-38; 42:1-6 (March 10, 2019)

(This sermon is the first in our Lenten Series, "Rock of Ages", in which we're exploring how rocks can symbolize different characteristics of God and of ourselves.)

I’m going to describe a scenario, and you let me know if any of it sounds familiar, okay? You wake up to the sound of an alarm because you don’t want the day to get away from you; maybe you panic because you’ve hit snooze too many times and you’re afraid you’ll be late for work. Of course, your coffee’s ready for you, since you planned ahead and set the automatic coffee maker last night. You start making breakfast, and you choose oatmeal because you want to make sure your cholesterol stays under control. Or maybe you choose the sugary-coated kids cereal because, darn it, no doctor’s going to dictate YOUR life! While you eat, you decide to watch something on the TV, but you turn on Netflix instead of cable TV because you want to be able to pause it if you need to. As you get dressed, you make sure to wear your lucky socks to ensure that your day goes smoothly. If you’re headed to work, you decide against the carpool, because you don’t want to risk Francis forgetting his report at home AGAIN and making the whole car turn back to get it. Or if you’re headed to the grocery store, you pick up what you need quickly and make a bee line for the self-checkout stand—you don’t want to deal with the clerk bagging your groceries wrong or get stuck behind the lady paying with a bag of pennies.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Sermon: “The Truth Behind the Veil”, Exodus 34:29-35/Luke 9:28-36 (March 3, 2019)


I’ve got to be honest: it was really difficult for me to focus on this week’s sermon. There’s been a lot going on in the world this week, and it’s had the lamentable effect of draining the hope right out of me. Some of it’s personal, but several of the things weighing on me have been very public and all over the news. Notably, Michael Cohen testified before members of Congress on Wednesday in order to help them discern the right path forward for our nation. I’m sure many of you were just as riveted to the coverage as I was. With everything going on this week, I had serious trouble thinking about anything else. It literally felt like I was tearing my spirit in two trying to keep my mind exclusively on scripture while my heart was elsewhere. So I decided to choose the path of authenticity and attempt to preach about these current events through the lens of our lectionary readings.