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Showing posts from January, 2011

Sermon for Third Sunday after the Epiphany, "Report of the Pastor"

Report of the Pastor – January 23rd, 2011 “Where Do You Belong?” – 1 Corinthians 1:10-18, Matthew 4:12-23

As you know, I spent last week in Ohio in my second semester of classes for my Doctor of Ministry degree. One of the two classes I took was about the Global Emerging Church. Christianity has been and continues to shift in center – no longer primarily a European and American religion, Christianity is bigger and growing in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. We studied the theologies of the third-world, particularly liberation theologies – theologies that focus on freedom from oppression and God’s preferential option for the poor. And a recurring theme in all that we read and learned was this: theology can’t be just about studying God, reflecting on God and the scriptures. Theology must be praxis. And praxis is the combination of reflection and action. Reflection that doesn’t require any action is useless theology. And in fact, inaction is a choice too – an action whose laziness or apath…

Sermon for Baptism of the Lord, Year A, "Well Pleased"

Sermon 1/9/11 Matthew 3:13-17 Well Pleased
            The verses in the scriptures about Jesus’ baptism are very few in number – each gospel has an account of Jesus’ baptism, but all of them combined amount to just a couple paragraphs. And yet, I think it is such an important passage, and this day is one of my favorites in the liturgical calendar. I think it’s important, Jesus’ baptism, because of the questions we have to answer about it, and the main question is why? Why does Jesus get baptized?             Why? That’s a question John also seems to have for Jesus. He seems surprised that Jesus comes for baptism, and would prevent it if he could, at least at first. “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” After all, John has been baptizing as a symbol of repentance – a symbol of turning back to God from our wanderings, and being forgiven and reconciled to God and one another. Why would Jesus need this? He hasn’t wandered off God’s path. He’s God’s child. He’s God made fles…

Sermon for Epiphany Sunday, "Rise and Shine"

Sermon 1/2/11 Isaiah 60:1-6, Matthew 2:1-12
Rise and Shine

            When I was on staff at Camp Aldersgate when I was a teenager, the program director used to sing a little song to wake people up in the morning: “Wakey, wakey, rise and shine, breakfast is at eight and not at nine!” Of course, he was from England, and sang with a lovely British accent, but I can’t pull that off. And of course, we really didn’t feel much like rising and shining most of those early mornings. But I can’t hear the phrase “rise and shine” without thinking of those days. Another camp memory – a little song about Noah’s ark, and the chorus – which repeated through many verses, “So rise and shine, and give God your glory, glory, rise and shine, and give God your glory, glory. Rise and shine and give God your glory, glory, children of the Lord.” Ok, the song was of the variety that after a few years, you sort of never wanted to hear that chorus again. But I guess after enough years go by, you can get sort of no…