Sermons from 2019

8 Items

Shameless Prayer

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Who changed the Lord’s Prayer? That’s a question that many people ask pastors when they get us alone. At first, it used to confuse me. But I think, nowadays, I have some sense of what they mean. Most of us grew up saying the Lord’s Prayer in one particular form, with all the archaic verbs […]

The Book of Nature

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On a summer night just before the first grade, my mother woke me up and led me downstairs. My younger brothers and my sister must have joined us, but I don’t remember. I do remember that my father had made cream puffs, my favorite dessert, but that on this particular might he insisted that we […]

The Valley of the Uz

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Let the dead bury their dead, says Jesus. And I thought of this a few months ago, when the battle erupted over a graveyard in Transylvania. In the part of Romania where I used to live, there are whole counties that do not think of themselves as “Romanian” at all. Before the First World War, […]

National Day of Prayer – 2019

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Sunrise Service Prayers from All the World and from All Our Voices, United in Love by God Matins, Psalm 95; Matthew 6:25-34; The Day You Gave Us, Lord, Has Ended (ELW 569) Listen to the birds of the air—they don’t plant seeds or harvest grain and save it in barns, but God takes care of […]

Of Eggs and a Whispered Name and Passing on the Story

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The Great Vigil of Easter, Year C; April 20, 2019 Vigil lessons and John 20:1-18 Mary of Magdala is special. She was a wealthy supporter who traveled with Jesus, sharing in the good news that the Kingdom of Heaven was coming near.  She was there, following him to the cross and at his feet when […]

Let’s Kill Jesus!

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Let’s kill Jesus. That’s an ugly sentence. Jesus, who hurt nobody and loved even the most wretched. How could we hurt him? How could anybody, but much less his followers? But: Let’s kill Jesus. It’s what one of his followers – one of his closest, one of the Twelve Apostles — came away muttering, just […]

The Counterinsurgency Paradox

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Ol’ Blue Eyes, Mr. Francis Albert Sinatra, was a good friend of Mr. Jack Daniels. Nor was he unacquainted with the occasional martini. He renewed these friendships on regular occasions in barrooms nationwide — gallivanting with the Rat Pack, drinking until all hours. Sinatra was such a beloved regular, in fact, that he had his […]