Sunday, February 27, 2022

Sermon: “Like Moths to a Flame”, Exodus 34:29-35/Matthew 5:1-16 (February 27, 2022 - Transfiguration Sunday)


Transfiguration Sunday is a day of divine transformation. Each of the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) recount the “mountaintop experience” of Peter, James, and John as they witness Jesus’ face “shining like the sun” and his clothes becoming “as white as light”. This year’s lectionary also gives us a fascinating First Testament parallel: this account of Moses descending into the valley of Mount Sinai with his face similarly illuminated after having received the law for a second time. Moses is certainly no Jesus—he’s flawed and sinful, like any of us, and yet his encounter with the divine left him transformed in the exact same way.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Sermon: “Forgiveness Clause”, Matthew 18:15-35 (February 20, 2022)


My dad is a lawyer. As is the case with many young children, I insisted for years that I wanted to have the same job when I grew up—not because I had any concept of what a lawyer actually DOES, but because it was pretty much the only job that I knew about. (My mom eventually earned her graduate degree and entered the work force too, but “School Psychologist” is much harder for a six-year-old to say and spell than “Lawyer”, so it didn’t impact my career plans at the time.) Plus, my dad’s downtown office had a spiral staircase, which I called “pizza stairs” and thought was the coolest thing ever.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Sermon: “Fettered and Blessed”, Jeremiah 17:5-10/John 4:4-15 (February 13, 2022)


I’ve been to the Emergency Department exactly once in my life. It was (I think) about 8 years ago. I woke up with a slight twinge in my side, which slowly grew worse throughout the day, until I figured it wouldn’t be a good idea to ignore it any longer. By the time my dad drove me to the hospital, it had developed into full-blown, excruciating abdominal pain. I had to sit in the waiting room with this pain for far longer than I would have liked, but the hospital staff eventually got me set up in a room and immediately hooked me up to an IV as they began to run tests.

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Sermon: “Undefeated”, Isaiah 6:1-8/Luke 5:1-11 (February 6, 2022)


Human beings are extremely competitive in nature. I suspect this originated as a survival instinct: in our hunter-gatherer days, those who were most skilled at foraging survived, while those who were less so didn’t. The development of agrarian societies meant that our survival no longer depended as heavily on competition, yet our rivalries persisted—instead of struggling over food, shelter, or mates, we competed for land, status, and power. In more modern times, we’ve found newer, more abstract reasons to compete: when resource allotment isn’t in question, we’ve been known to start wars over competing values and principles.