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Sermon for the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany, Year C, "True Love," 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

  Sermon 1/25/22 1 Corinthians 13 True Love “Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” Even people who aren’t very familiar with the Bible often know this passage of scripture – 1 Corinthians 13 – the “love” chapter – even if they can’t identify exactly where in the Bible it’s from. You’ve probably heard this passage of scripture read at many, many weddings. I would guess, that out of all of the weddings I’ve officiated in my years of pastoral ministry, probably close to fifty percent of the ceremonies included this passage as the couples’ scripture of choice, and I will admit, sometimes, on realizing I would have to give another reflection on 1 Corinthians 13 at a wedding, I felt a little less than 100% enthusias

Sermon for Baptism of the Lord Sunday (Year A/Year W), "Much Obliged," Matthew 3:1-6, 11-17

Sermon 1/9/22 Matthew 3:1-6, 11-17 Much Obliged “Much obliged.” Do you use that phrase? “Much obliged.” It isn’t a common response for me personally, but it is a way we might say thank you, although it might sound a little old-fashioned or formal to our ears. It used to be a more common way of saying thank you. What does it mean exactly? “Much obliged” is a kind of shortening of a fuller sentiment: “I’m much obliged to you for what you did for me.” And to spell it out even more clearly, to be obliged is to be in someone’s debt - to be obligated to another person. To be obligated (according to Google) is to be bound to someone, legally or morally. If we’re obligated to someone, it can be with thanks and gratitude and appreciation because of what someone’s done for us, or it can be a weight, a burden, something that makes us feel trapped, what we owe to someone. If we think about our obligations, there are probably some that make us feel thankful and stir our sense of commitment, and