Sunday, October 25, 2020

Sermon: "Holiness", Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-10, 13-15, 17-18 (October 25, 2020)


You may be wondering what the deal is with our scripture reading for today. I’ve done a bit of a “cut-and-paste” job on it, but there’s a reason for that. The Lectionary itself only gives us the first two and last four verses of this section, and I didn’t like how much that excluded. But I didn’t want to tackle 18 whole verses in one week; I had to cut SOMETHING out. So, since this passage is essentially a list of rules, I decided to cut out the ones that we’re already very familiar with (those covered in the Ten Commandments) and the ones that really aren’t relevant to today’s society (laws regarding animal sacrifice, which stopped in 70 CE). That left me with what we have before us this morning.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Sermon: "Obedience", Matthew 22:15-22 (October 18, 2020)


Someone ought to tell Jesus that politics don’t belong in the Church.

But seriously, in a book that says a lot of uncomfortable things, this passage has got to be one of the top five most awkward moments. It hits ALL THREE of the topics you’re NEVER supposed to talk about in polite conversation: politics, religion, and finances. To be entirely fair to Jesus, this confusing mess of taboo subjects isn’t his fault. While he’s not afraid to dive into the matter (Jesus never was one to back down from a challenge) he doesn’t initiate the conversation. It’s a set-up.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Sermon: "Integrity", Exodus 32:1-14 (October 11, 2020)


“Describe ‘integrity’ in your own words, please.” This was the message that I sent out into the world of Facebook earlier this week, and Facebook—or at least my corner of it—delivered. I heard from all sorts of people: acquaintances from high school, colleagues from internships, church folks from my past, fellow clergy, and many others. Every response varied slightly, but most of them said essentially the same thing: integrity is the consistent application of one’s core values, beliefs, and choices—even when no one is looking. Having integrity means that you’re not willing to compromise your ideals under any circumstances whatsoever.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Sermon: “Why We Rest", Exodus 20:8-11/Deuteronomy 5:12-15 (October 4, 2020)


If I were the betting type, I’d bet that every single one of you already knew that the Ten Commandments come from the Bible. I even suspect that many of you already knew that you can find them in the book of Exodus (or if you didn’t know, you could figure it out based on context clues). But how many of you knew that these laws could be found in TWO different places in the Bible? Raise your hand if you knew. I’m not talking one full list and one quick recap; I mean that the Ten Commandments are recounted, in full, both in Exodus AND again in Deuteronomy. In Exodus, they’re given directly from God to Moses on Mount Sinai; in Deuteronomy, Moses is passing them along to the people.