Sermons

Fourth Sunday after Epiphany Mark 1:21-28 Jan. 31, 2021

We are all possessed.

We all have demons.

We just don’t call them demons anymore. Where the authors of the gospels, in first-century Palestine, would apply the description of “demons” to someone with an illness they didn’t understand, we might say that someone has epilepsy, or multiple sclerosis.Continue Reading

Third Sunday after Epiphany Mark 1:14-20 1/24/2021

 

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve not always been an American. I grew up in western Canada and came to the USA when I went to seminary at Moravian Seminary in 1995. So I lived the first 22 years of my life in Canada and have lived the second 22 years of my life in the USA. I only became an American citizen about 4 years ago.     Continue Reading

Second Sunday after Epiphany John 1:43-51 1/17/2021

Last week, our Bible reading was about Jesus coming to John the Baptizer to be baptized. This was the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. After his baptism, Jesus went into the wilderness where he fasted, prayed, and was tempted by the devil. Now today’s verses from the Holy Scripture are from the Gospel of Saint John. They speak about what it was like when John and his disciples met up with Jesus along the road.Continue Reading

Second Sunday of Christmas John 1:1-18 1/03/2021

Words matter. In our culture, where words are cheap, or not to be weighed carefully, or that are seized upon as evidence of ideological wrongness, words matter. We know because God created everything, us included, by simply speaking. In Genesis 1 and clearly in the background/foreground of John 1, God creates the universe(s) by simply speaking. “Let it be.” And it comes to be.Continue Reading

Christmas Eve 2020 Luke 2:1-20

Mary’s time had come. After the long journey, the road to Bethlehem, and the days of worry before that – what would Joseph say when he found out she was pregnant? How did this happen anyway? But Joseph had stood by her, and now the time had finally come, in a strange city, with no family there to help, and the barn would have to do. There was no room in the inn, but how could they have afforded that anyway? Money was hard to come by. The baby at last was coming, and Mary was terrified.Continue Reading

Fourth Sunday of Advent Luke 1:26-38 12/20/2020

Here I Am

Mary was not expecting visitors, and she certainly was not expecting a visit from the Angel Gabriel. But there he was, with the afterglow of divine light fresh on his robes standing before her. “Greetings, favored one. The Lord is with you!” Not your typical greeting. Who says stuff like that? Is he trying to impress someone? Mary is a nobody, in a village filled with nobodies, no need to waste grand angelic pronouncements on her. Gabriel’s presence is more than enough to impress.Continue Reading

Second Sunday in Advent Mark 1:1-8 12/06/2020

The perennial challenge during Advent and Christmastime is to hear anew the familiar story we all know. We all know the story. We’ve all seen the Christmas pageants. We’ve set up the Nativity crèche with the holy family, cow, donkey, and shepherds. It’s become almost too familiar. In part, that’s why we have the season of Advent. These four weeks serve to prepare the way to Christmas via a bit of liturgical wilderness. The penitential season provides a time of reflection and contemplation so that we can hear the good news of Jesus’ incarnation afresh and let the gospel sink more deeply into our lives.Continue Reading

First Sunday in Advent Mark 13:24-37 11/29/2020

While We Wait

Waiting is the hardest thing to do because it feels like you’re not doing anything. And it seems twice as hard when you’re young. When we’re children, Christmas always seems eons away and we think the end of school or our birthday will never arrive.Continue Reading

Christ the King Sunday Matthew 25:31-46 11/22/2020

John the king of England had issues. He had always been deeply jealous of his older brother, known as King Richard the Lion-hearted. When Richard was killed during one of the Crusades, John was already in trouble for being unfaithful to his wife. John’s wife could have no children, and John was not only having an affair, he was having one with a woman from France, England’s sworn enemy. Continue Reading