Sunday, June 28, 2020

Sermon: “Make a Joyful Noise: Be Thou My Vision”, Jeremiah 28:1-9 (June 28, 2020)


We all know that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is, right? This is a fact of life, especially today. If you’ve ever bought anything online, you’ve undoubtedly learned that some sellers will say anything to make a sale, regardless of their claim’s veracity. And in this age of so called “fake news” and unfettered social media sharing, we all know to be on our guard for assertions that agree just a little bit too perfectly with our perspective. Anyone living in the modern world knows that you can’t necessarily accept information, especially from a stranger, at face value.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Sermon: "Make a Joyful Noise: His Eye Is on the Sparrow", Matthew 10:24-39 (June 21, 2020)


“His eye is on the sparrow…” Sparrows are common birds, small and unassuming, that today can be found in almost every corner of the world. In Jesus’ day, they were so common that even the poorest person could afford a sparrow—two, in fact, as long as they had a single coin. Most people would have viewed them as essentially worthless, certainly not noteworthy in any way. And yet, Jesus tells us, God knows every single one of them so well, that if even one were to fall to the ground, God would notice. How much more, then, must God take notice of US? We are, after all, “worth more than many sparrows.”

Friday, June 19, 2020

We Need to Talk--er, Listen...

Fellow white people, we need to talk.

Actually, no; we need to listen.

...Oh, but not to me. 

Well, listen to me first; then listen to other people.

Okay, let me explain...

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Sermon: "Make A Joyful Noise: Joyful, Joyful", Psalm 100 (June 14, 2020)


While my heart is full at being able to worship with you in this beautiful space once again, it’s impossible to forget that everything’s different now. When we first went into lockdown at the end of March, we told each other, “Don’t worry; it’ll just be a few weeks before we’re back to normal.” As we approached Easter, we reassured ourselves, “It’s an *authentic* Easter, hearing the Good News while hiding away in our homes. When we get back into the church building, we’ll have a REAL Easter celebration, with singing and bells and hugs and joy!” And yet, here we are, halfway through June, and we’ve been told on no uncertain terms that although we can begin to gather again, we must continue social distancing and refrain from singing together—ESPECIALLY in Church. None of us want to be in the news for becoming a hotspot for the virus’ spread. So, many of us are still staying home, and those of us who are physically gathered still remain physically distant from one another. While it’s wonderful to be back in this sacred space, it feels like a far cry from the Easter Celebration that we’ve been waiting and hoping for. We’re navigating a new worship experience, one that’s quieter, lonelier, and more technologically complicated than we’re used to.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Sermon: "Confessional Excerpts" (June 7 2020)


These last couple of weeks have been emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and even physically taxing. We were already worn out from the isolation and caution demanded by COVID-19, and now there’s a national movement of civil unrest that’s rightly demanding the last remnants of our energy and attention. One thought that’s been haunting me ever since the news of George Floyd’s death broke is that, if I’m this bone-weary after a week of mourning the sins of our nation and doing my best to stand against racism, it must be absolutely debilitating for those who don’t have that choice, whose very existence makes it impossible to ignore or deny the injustices of American society. This thought has convicted me that I can’t afford to look away, even when it’s hard to watch.