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Showing posts from August, 2012

Lectionary Notes for Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B

Readings for Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, 9/2/12:  Song of Solomon 2:8-13; Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9, James 1:17-27; Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 Song of Solomon 2:8-13 Song of Solomon only makes it into the lectionary cycle twice, and it is this passage both times. I guess we're not  comfortable with reading scriptures in church that are full of praise for the physical features of one's lover! Still, this passage is beautiful. In  college , we sang and arrangement of the text called  Rose of Sharon, and it is still one of my favorite pieces.  This passage is a rare example of scripture written from the point of view of a woman, even if the author was not actually a woman. This part of the text is written in the first person, female. With sex portrayed any and every where, texts like this are rare and romantic and loving. Perhaps we should set an example for loving relationships by reading from Song of Solomon more often? Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9: Chris Haslam says  that thi

Lectionary Notes for Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B

Readings for Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, 8/26/12: 1 Kings 8:(1, 6, 10-11) 22-30, 41-43, Psalm 84, Ephesians 6:10-20, John 6:56-69 1 Kings 8:(1, 6, 10-11) 22-30, 41-43 :11 "so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD." - Great imagery. Sometimes I think we feel something similar as pastors - so overwhelmed by God or underwhelmed by ourselves that we find it hard to be pastors. This passage makes me think about public leaders and expressions of faith - in a non church-state society, what kinds of expressions of faith of public leaders are authentic? :27 "But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, much less this house that I have built!" - Solomon, despite his power and position, still seems to have a good sense about God. We so often want to box God in. Solomon builds a dwelling for God with a proper amount of hesitation.

Sermon for Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, "Making the Most of It," Ephesians 5:15-20

Sermon 8/19/12 Ephesians 5:15-20 Making the Most of It             I have a friend who, every day for the past 8 months or so, has posted a number, counting down, at the end of the day as his facebook status. We’re at 124 right now. What happens at the end of the countdown? Well, according to some people, it will be the end of the world, December 21 st , 2012, at least according to some very modern interpretations of a very ancient Mayan calendar. I expect, nearer to December, we’ll see a thousand news stories about the Mayan calendar and people who are preparing for the end of the world, just as we did when Harold Camp was predicting the world’s end last year, or when the Y2K thing was all we could talk about, or any number of other times people have been convinced they knew how it was all going to play out. And I suspect, on December 22 nd , we’ll see some small news article acknowledging that we’re keeping on keeping on as a human race. I’m not sure what you all think


I've been doing a lot of moving lately - a new church, a new home. But this post is about moving my website. For years, I've had my blog,, and my website, But for the last couple years, I really haven't been updating I don't want to ditch the domain name, of course, but the blogspot format just works so much better for my notes and sermons. So, I've decided to auto-forward here, to the blog. Over time, I will slowly repost my old sermons in the archives here, but for now, I will work on keeping up to date with posting new sermons and updated lectionary notes. If you have any trouble finding anything, please let me know!

Lectionary Notes for Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B

Readings for Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, 8/19/12: 1 Kings 2:10-12, 3:3-14, Psalm 111, Ephesians 5:15-20, John 6:51-58 1 Kings 2:10-12, 3:3-14 Given the chance to ask God for anything (with the understanding that God will give what is asked), Solomon asks for the ability to discern between good and evil. Would that all leaders would ask for that gift! What would you ask for, really, if you could ask God for one gift? "it pleased the Lord" - what was the last thing you did that you think specifically "pleased God"? "walk in my ways . . . as your father David walked" - whose ways do you walk in? Whose life is an example for you as David's was for Solomon? Psalm 111: The psalmist is praising God for faithfulness, for being a provider and covenant-keeper, for following through and being with the people. This psalm is all about praising and thanking God for all God has done. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Do yo

Sermon for Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, "Building Up," Ephesians 4:25-5:2

Sermon 8/12/12 Ephesians 4:25-5:2 Ephesians: Building Up             This week I was finishing up my homework for my latest Doctor of Ministry class, which was titled “Preaching and Change,” taught by retired Bishop (and real role model of mine) Judy Craig. Our final assignment was to write about our Five Tenets for Preaching – in other words, our five main themes, main points that we strive to hold to in our sermon preparation. We talked in class about which tenets we might use, and then had to write about them in detail for our final paper. My five ended up being: 1) Be yourself when you preach, rather than trying to preach like anybody else. 2) Let the scripture text speak to you before you try to tell it what it says. 3) Preaching is about relationships, relationships, relationships. Our relationship with God, our relationship as pastor and congregation, our relationships with the community and one another. 4) Tell the truth. Sounds easy, but in practice, is sometimes

Lectionary Notes for Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, Year B

Readings for Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, 8/12/12: 2 Samuel 18:5-9, 31-33, Psalm 130, Ephesians 4:25-5:2, John 6:35, 41-51 2 Samuel 18:5-9, 31-33 Kings often had to deal with power struggles from their own children, especially when multiple sons were competing for power. Can you imagine the heartbreak of your own child out to get you? Even still, David's love for Absalom is evident throughout the text. He wants Absalom to be spared. Torn between what is best for his kingdom, and what is best for him and for his child. Conflict of interest, to say the least. "me instead of you" - that's deep love, when we would put ourselves in harm's way in place of someone else. An ongoing theme in our Christian story, no? In God's story with us? The way Absalom is killed is sad, horrible, and almost comic-book like, I hate to say. Seems like a cartoon death.  Psalm 130: This psalm was just in the lectionary last month. Kind of soon for a repeat, no? A favo