Skip to main content


Showing posts from September, 2021

Sermon, "Rough Draft Prayers," Psalm 124

  Sermon 9/21/21   Psalm 124 Rough Draft Prayers Years ago I took a unit of CPE, Clinical Pastoral Education, and I worked in the NICU, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, of a local hospital. It was often heartbreaking work. And I still remember a conversation with one family, whose newborn was fighting for his life. I remember them talking to me about praying to God and that they wanted to just pray for God to save their baby, heal their baby, but...they wouldn’t let themselves pray for that. They didn’t think they could ask God for that, but that they could only pray for God’s will to be done, even if “God’s will” turned out to be that their child would die. I was still learning how to best listen and how to respond when people are inviting you to share in their pain in such profound ways. Their willingness to talk to a 23 year-old chaplain intern about their ailing infant was a sacred gift to me that I didn’t take lightly. I was learning, trying very hard not to tell people what

Sermon for the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, "The Two Ways," Psalm 1

  Sermon 9/14/21   Psalm 1 The Two Ways As a young child, I was a diligent Bible-reader. An obedient child, I heard at church that I should read the Bible every day, and so I did just that. I also heard that people really loved the Psalms - many people I knew listed it as their favorite book of the Bible. So I was eager to read the Psalms - but honestly, I found them a bit boring . I hadn’t quite developed an appreciation for poetry yet I think! I didn’t read them very attentively. Rereading them as an adult, I did find a few favorites, but overall, I’ll admit that I’ve remained mostly less-than-enamored with them. With some notable exceptions, I noticed a theme in the Psalms, in these prayers: God, I’m really faithful to you, and my enemies are really awful. So, please bless me, and please smite them. Destroy them. Defeat them. Thanks! And oh yeah - I praise your name and stuff.    I’ve been thinking a lot about the Psalms and our relationship with our enemies . Who are our enemie