Sunday, November 28, 2021

Sermon: "Let Us Build a House: Homesick", Genesis 12:1-9/Luke 21:25-36 (November 28, 2021--Advent I)

(This is the first sermon in our Advent and Christmas series, "Let Us Build a House", based on the Advent theme from A Sanctified Art.)


Think about the last time you moved. The searching, the haggling, the financing, the packing, the scheduling, the physical and emotional energy expended, and after all that, the unpacking and updating documents and settling in. All that work is multiplied tenfold if you’re building a house from the ground up. And if you’re moving across the country? Forget about it. No matter the circumstances, I think we can all agree that moving house is a monumental task.

And yet, we still do it. People move from one place to another all the time. These days, it’s rare for anyone to live their entire lives in the same house that they grew up in; in fact, the average USAmerican moves more than 11 times over the course of their life.[1] People move in good times and in hard times—many even moved during the worst parts of the pandemic last year. Even though finding a new place to live can literally be a full-time job, even though fitting everything you own into boxes can feel impossible, even though leaving an old home behind can be painful, moving is still a near-universal human experience.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Sermon: “(God the) Father Knows Best”, 1 Samuel 8:4-14, 19-21/John 18.33-37 (November 21, 2021)


When I was a kid, my favorite time of the day was when I got home from school, and that was for one reason and one reason only—snack time. (I suspect that food has always given me an abnormally large dopamine rush, because I’ve *always* looked forward to meals as the highlight of my day.) Of course, I had my snacking preferences: candy was ideal, but cookies were also acceptable, as were chocolate-covered granola bars or potato chips (in a pinch). I would always try to steer my mom towards these items whenever I accompanied her to the grocery store.

Unfortunately, my mother and I fundamentally disagreed about what constituted a good snack. I would lobby for a new stash of my favorites, envisioning frosted animal crackers or Oreo cookies, but more often than not would wind up with string cheese, apples, or even (*shudder*) NON-chocolate-covered granola bars. Like, not even the kind with chocolate chips in them. JUST granola.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Sermon: "Holy Provocation", Numbers 20:1-5, 9-13/Hebrews 10:19-25 (November 14, 2021)


Families fight. This is a universal truth. It doesn’t matter if yours is connected by genetics or by choice; it makes no difference how healthy the dynamics between its members are. All families fight.

The Church likes to pretend that it’s exempt from this natural law—that because we have Jesus as our head, we meet conflict with a level of grace and humility that puts everyone else to shame. But come on; we all know that isn’t true. ALL. FAMILIES. FIGHT. And God’s family is no exception. From arguments about what color to paint the walls to full-blown denominational schisms, the Christian family has been fighting with each other since time immemorial. Our fights may not resemble the backset arguments of our childhood over who’s touching whom or the tension of a holiday dinner in an election year, but they’re just as inevitable.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Sermon: “Momentary Saints”, 1 Samuel 3:1-10/Revelation 21:1-6 (November 7, 2021)


In Christian circles, we talk about “God’s kindom” or “the kindom of heaven” all the time, but we tend to have a limited understanding of what it is, precisely, that we’re talking about. We know it’s really, really good, that it’s “already and not yet” here (whatever that means), and that it will mark Christ’s return. Other than that, we’re pretty clueless.

That’s where apocalyptic literature like Revelation comes in handy. Hopefully, you remember that, theologically speaking, an apocalypse isn’t actually defined as a catastrophic event. Our English word is derived from a Greek verb meaning “to uncover or reveal”. And in the context of scripture, apocalyptic literature refers to writings that uncover or reveal God’s kindom to us.