Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A Little Bit of History (10/15/17)

  The Dance of the Golden Calf from the Hortus Deliciarum

Sunday, October 15th was my first Sunday back in the pulpit after my trip to Germany. In this sermon I related some of the things that I saw in Germany to the story of the golden calf. Many thanks to my dear friends, the Revs. Sylvia Carlson and Susan Rothenberg for covering the pulpit while I was gone.

Confirmation Bias (9/24/17)

Hank Greenberg played first base and outfield for the Detroit Tigers in the 1930s and 1940s, before finishing his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1937. He was one of the first Jewish superstars in professional sports. 

I was away on vacation for a couple weeks; this was the last sermon I preached before I left for my vacation to Germany. The sermon includes a story about Hank Greenberg that I heard on the radio on my way home from a presbytery meeting. If you have some time, please listen to that story, too. The link is in the text of my sermon.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Limits of Forgiveness (9/17/17)

Peter von Cornelius, The Recognition of Joseph by His Brothers

On Sunday, September 17th, we considered the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant. In the Lord's Prayer, we ask God to forgive our sins, as we forgive those who have sinned against us. But is forgiveness an absolute commandment? Are there limits to forgiveness?

Hearing (Prophetic) Voices (9/10/17)

Ezekiel 33:7-11; Romans 13:8-14; Matthew 18:15-20
Duccio di Buoninsegna, The Prophet Ezekiel

I did something a little bit different on September 10. There was a lot of scripture, so I thought it would be helpful to present all of these texts because they all speak to the community that is Christ’s Church. These scriptures remind us that God is in charge, God loves us, and we are to approach one another with love, just as God loves us. This is the basis for Christian community. So, I’m going to offer a little bit of commentary before or after each of these texts, and then I’ll bring them all together in my sermon.

Monday, September 4, 2017

The Water Is Wide (9/3/17)

On Sunday we examined Paul's Letter to the Romans and the instructions that he gave them on loving one another, loving their neighbors, and even loving their enemies. Why is this so difficult for us today?

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Danger of a Single Story (8/27/17)

Spirit with Sevenfold Gifts, stained glass, St. Mary's Iffley, Oxford, UK 

On Sunday, August 27th, we considered the spiritual gifts of prophecy, ministry, teaching, exhortation, generosity, leadership, and compassion, and some of the things that keep us from sharing these gifts with others. The title for my sermon is taken from a TED talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; a link to that talk is included in the post. I encourage you to watch it.

Monday, August 21, 2017

You've Got to Be Carefully Taught

You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught (8/20/17)
Isaiah 56:1, 6-8; Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32; Matthew 15:10-28

This stained glass window represents the Theological Declaration of Barmen. This
statement of faith is part of the Book of Confessions of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

I was nervous about preaching this past Sunday. That's not typical. I'm pretty comfortable in the pulpit. But I had to talk about the events in Charlottesville last weekend and I felt that I had to decry the false gospel of white supremacy, and do so from the pulpit. In the process, I had to acknowledge some uncomfortable family history.