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Showing posts from March, 2016

Sermon for Easter Sunday, "Finding Easter, " Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-18

Sermon 3/27/16 Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-18
Finding Easter

            I have always thought preaching on Easter Sunday was one of the hardest days to preach on, one of the hardest sermons to write. See, I'm trying to set you up with low expectations right from the start! I’ve told some of you about the various adventures I’ve had during children’s time, and two of my most memorable come from Easter Sundays, both from the same church, in fact. I can’t remember now which order these really happened in, but I’ll tell you the good one first. I had this little boy – 2 or 3 years old. He was a busy boy during worship. Sunday School was before church, so he was with his mom during worship, and he might say or do anything during children’s time. But on Easter Sunday that year, I asked the kids if they could tell me the story of Jesus, and the kids all kind of looked at me blankly, until finally he stood up, and said in one big breath, “They came to the tomb, and the soldiers were asleep and t…

Sermon for Maundy Thursday, "New Commandment," John 13:1-17, 31b-35

Sermon 3/24/16 John 13:1-17, 31b-35

New Commandment - Maundy Thursday

            On Maundy Thursday, we gather to remember two significant events that Jesus shared with his disciples. Matthew, Mark, and Luke recount Jesus sharing a Passover meal with the disciples and reimagining the symbols of bread and cup for them to be Jesus’ very body, broken for them, Jesus’ very blood, poured out for them. It is a foreshadowing of the breaking and bleeding of his body that will happen less than twenty-four hours from the time they share in the meal. It is a way that Jesus makes them – and us – a part of this breaking and bleeding. We, the body of Christ, are broken and poured out too, as he calls us to be the body of Christ for the world. Jesus says this is a new covenant he makes with us, a sign of forgiveness, and he calls us to remember every time we’re at the table together.             In John, we get a different story, deeply meaningful in its own way. Jesus is sharing Passover with his dis…

Sermon for the Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year C, "Lent: Treasured," John 12:1-8

Sermon 3/13/16 John 12:1-8

Lent: Treasured

            Can you think of the time that you were most full of thanksgiving? A time when your heart was just overflowing with gratitude? When you couldn’t stop giving thanks to God for the miracles that unfolded? Once, when I was little, through a strange series of events, my mom thought, very briefly, that I had been kidnapped. I was actually out riding my bike around the streets of Westernville. But she’d lost track of where I went after delivering the newspaper on my street, and she thought she saw me in a van driving away from the house. I was oblivious to her terror, until my big brother found me and brought me home. I can still remember exactly how alarmed his expression was as he rode on his bike to find me. And I can remember my mother’s thankfulness that I was found, even though, to my mind, I hadn’t really even been lost. Only when I got older could I begin to imagine her fear and understand her overwhelming joy at being wrong. Her g…

Sermon for the Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year C, "Lent: Found," Luke 15:1-2, 11-32

Sermon 3/6/16 Luke 15:1-2, 11-32
Lent: Found
There are a couple things that I think are important for us to remember as we study a parable as familiar as this one, the one we know as “The Parable of the Prodigal Son.” First, we should remind ourselves that the world “Prodigal,” which actually doesn’t appear anywhere in the text itself, doesn’t mean “lost” or “wandering” – although because of this parable we have sometimes come to use the word that way. But actually, “prodigal” means “spending money or resources freely and recklessly; wastefully extravagant” or “having or giving something on a lavish scale.” We call a child genius a “prodigy” because they have intelligence on a lavish scale. Someone is prodigious if they produce a lavish or excessive amount of something. So the Prodigal Son may indeed be lost and wandering, but the focus of the title is on the fact that he’s excessive, reckless, and wasteful. The second thing we have to remember is that the titles of Parables aren’t part …