Sunday, April 25, 2021

Sermon: "Don't Be the Antichrist", Selections from 1 John (April 25, 2021)


Although 1 John is often lumped in with the epistles, it’s an unusual one, in that it doesn’t follow the conventional patterns of a first-century letter. Actually, it’s composed more like a sermon than a letter. Instead of addressing the specific questions or issues arising within a particular Christian community, 1 John seems to be casting a wider net, offering guidance to the Church at large. Given that it was probably written around 90 CE (making it one of the latest epistles in the biblical canon), this makes sense—as the Church grew, it became more and more imperative to make sure that EVERYONE was on the same page, so that Jesus’ message wasn’t being distorted in the world’s largest game of “Telephone” ever.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Sermon: "A Corporeal Gospel", Luke 24:33-48 (April 18, 2021)


Many of you who are on Facebook have been following along with the adventures of “Office Dog”. Lately, I’ve been bringing my older dog, Murray, into the office with me on Mondays (and sometimes Tuesdays). I like to document all the silly and adorable things my pets do, and at some point, I decided to share Murray’s Monday adventures on Facebook for fun. It’s brought me joy, and if your comments are anything to judge by, you seem to enjoy these pictures, too.

If I’m being honest, though, I don’t bring Murray to the office with me just for amusement’s sake. I bring him as a survival tactic.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Sermon: “Recipe for Repentance: Abundance”, John 20:1-18 (April 4, 2021--Easter Sunday)

(This is the final sermon in our Lenten series, "Recipe for Repentance".
Previous sermons can be found hereherehereherehere, and here
and the Ash Wednesday message can be found here.)


He is risen! He is risen indeed!

Speaking of rising, let’s talk about bread (you can remind me to add “master of segues” to my resume later).

Throughout Lent, we’ve been talking about the specific ingredients that go into a recipe, and I’ve been particularly thinking about the ingredients of bread: yeast, flour, sugar, salt, water. It strikes me that none of these raw ingredients, on their own, are particularly appetizing. I mean, hot water isn’t very refreshing without tea or cocoa in it, and even sugar is pretty boring without any other flavoring, and I don’t know anyone who snacks on handfuls of flour, yeast, or salt. But when you combine them with intentionality, care, and patience, you suddenly find that you have before you a homemade loaf of bread. Fresh, warm, appetizing. Capable of nourishing a body, of satiating hunger, and of bringing gastronomical delight. This transformation, from unpalatable ingredients to delicious delicacy, is, frankly, unexpected, if not downright miraculous.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Sermon: “Recipe for Repentance: Empathy”, John 13:1-17, 33b-35 (April 1, 2021--Maundy Thursday)

(This is the Maundy Thursday sermon for our Lenten series, "Recipe for Repentance".
Previous sermons can be found herehereherehere, and here,
and the Ash Wednesday message can be found here.)


I think I’ve mentioned it in the past, but it bears repeating that the word “Maundy” (which we see almost exclusively in the context of Holy Week) comes from the Latin word for “command”. While this holy day is most often associated with the Last Supper or the foot washing that we just read about, it’s named for the “new commandment” that Jesus gives the disciples: “Love one another as I have loved you.” As an aside, I always imagine Jesus smiling wryly as he calls this a “new” commandment, since it’s the exact same message he’s been trying to get across since day one of his ministry. But on Maundy Thursday, he elevates it from a suggestion or an instruction to a genuine commandment, on par with the Torah: Love one another as I have loved you.