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Showing posts from February, 2024

Sermon, "In Denial," Mark 8:31-37

Sermon 2/20/24 Mark 8:31-37 In Denial My sermon title is both a reflection of our gospel text for today, and a reflection of how I felt about preaching today. I’ve come to this moment kind of dragging my feet, for a variety of reasons. And one of them was that I just did not want to preach on this text. Of course, I didn’t have to - we don’t demand lectionary preaching in chapel. But I just felt like I wanted to preach from the lectionary during Lent. The other texts for today are all about Abraham and Paul’s take on Abraham, and let’s just say those passages were not filling me with inspiration. Briefly, I was imagining a sermon on the Transfiguration text - it is an alternate text for today. But then our wise friend Leah Wandera chose that, appropriately, for Transfiguration last week when it is the primary lectionary choice, and preached a powerful message - you should give it a listen if you missed our online service last week. So here I am, and here we are.    Truthfully, I’ve alw

Sermon for Fifth Sunday after Epiphany, Year B, "All Things," 1 Corinthians 9:16-23

  Sermon 2/4/24 1 Corinthians 9:16-23 All Things “You can’t please everyone.” “You can’t make everyone happy.” “You can’t do everything.” “Know your limits.” “Don’t try to do it all.” “You can’t be all things to all people.” Have you heard these words? Said them? Felt them? I know I have. I’ve been having a busy semester this Spring, and my mother frequently says something like this to me. And I’ve certainly doled out these words more than once. “You can’t make everyone happy.” Being a people-pleaser can be exhausting. Now, I’m not saying we can’t try to be kind and loving - I think we absolutely should do that! But trying to make everyone happy all the time usually leads us to exhaustion, which is bad enough, but it also means we end up compromising ourselves, our values, our integrity, because we’re working so hard to make sure everyone else is happy with us, that everyone likes us. There are limits to what we can do, right? We can’t be all things to all people.  And yet, what sp