Upcoming and Past Worship Services (Page 2)

Upcoming and Past Worship Services (Page 2)

Let’s Kill Jesus!

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 after the events of today’s Gospel reading. They were at Bethany, a few miles from Jerusalem. Mary, not his mother but the sister of Martha…

The Counterinsurgency Paradox

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 own tables and barstools reserved for him, whenever he might show up, in nightclubs all across America. Which is not to say that he did…

Love Comes to Life

I was in talking to an atheist the other day. (Pastors meet more atheists than you might imagine.) This fellow had a question – “What should I expect, as an unbeliever, if I go to a church for the first time?” Without saying it directly, he was a little apprehensive. He was afraid, I think, of being judged, or mocked, or simply told “You aren’t welcome.” I told him not to worry. “Remember,” I said, “that you are going to…

I Am a Lutheran

Testimony for Reformation Sunday, October 27-28, 2018 Jeremiah 31:31-34; Psalm 46; Romans 3:19-28; John 8:31-36 I am a Lutheran, but I wasn’t always a Lutheran. I started off as a devout Southern Baptist, raised to love God, trusting that I was a part of God’s family, the church, because I had decided to follow Jesus. I loved the children’s ministries and the fun games we played and those summer mission camps. I loved the youth choirs and handbells and all…

An Execration of Pews

Wouldn’t it be great if, when you came to church, you could always sit in your favorite spot? I mean, most of us do have a favorite spot. The one we prefer, the one we sit in if nobody gets there first. Wouldn’t it be great if that seat were always reserved for you, ready and waiting? If you could leave your stuff in it from week to week – your Bible, your reading glasses, your package of Tic-Tacs, and…

A Scary Place – Easter Sunday, 2018

My life, I sometimes think, really began when I was twenty-three years old. I was working a desk job in the city, living a life of quiet desperation. One day I quit, stuffed some clothes into a backpack and flew to the Caribbean. Not one of the nice islands, either. I went to Haiti, the poorest and most violent nation in the hemisphere, the land of voodoo and secret police. I had no friends; I didn’t speak the language; I…

Upside Down – Palm Sunday, 2018

There was a game that people used to play, back in the Middle Ages. On certain days, they would reverse their roles. Kings might dress up like peasants, and vice-versa. One version of this game was called “The Boy Bishop.” On the Feast of the Holy Innocents, in some places, a choirboy would be chosen as bishop for the day; he would be given a peaked hat and a shepherd’s staff, he would enter the cathedral and even lead some…

How Will You Die This Week?

I saw a pizza truck at the grocery store. On the side, it said, “It’s not delivery – it’s DiGiorno.” But it was delivering the pizzas. So was it really DiGiorno? I met a man once who always told lies, who never told the truth. How did I know this? Why, he told me so himself. These are paradoxes, logical games beloved of philosophers and grade-school students all through the ages. (Will Achilles ever catch that tortoise?) A paradox, say…

This Creature – Transfiguration, 2018

“Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.” That piece of bad poetry comes from an otherwise wonderful movie called The Wolf-Man, released in 1941, starring Lon Chaney Jr. It’s about a man name Lawrence Talbot, who moves home to his family’s estate in Wales, but carries with him a dark, dark secret. You can guess the secret. It’s in the title.…

Quilts, a Cup of Cold Water, and a Community of Love

Sermon for the 18th Sunday after Pentecost/Lectionary 26/Proper 21, Year B; September 26-27, 2015 “Blessing of the Quilts” Weekend Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29; Psalm 19:7-14; James 5:13-20; Mark 9:38-50   Wow! It is an amazing treat to come to worship on this particular weekend each year! I mean, when else do we see the place adorned so beautifully, feel the comfort of padding behind our backs, and sense—truly feel—the presence of God working through so many different hands during the…
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