May 15 2014

A Cautious Way and Saccharine Certainty

Facebook-Bible Might-4

The text for Sunday (May 18: Fifth Sunday of Easter), John 14:1-14, was the pericope for my first sermon; I was fourteen.  The occasion was a “youth service” celebrating the anniversary of the call of our pastor to the pulpit of our congregation.  I remember the day fairly clearly; perhaps as an act of confessing …

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May 08 2014

Sometimes Seeing is Believing

San Thome Basilica, Chennai, India

In some ways the Gospel of John is like a court case for the Light so that we might see:  “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it” (John 1:5).  The author of this courtroom drama uses a form of the word “see” more than twenty times; to view…to witness…to …

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May 01 2014

A Moonlight Easter Run

Broken Bread - Easter 3

A “sermon sneak peek” for Sunday, May 4: Third Sunday of Easter; the pericope for preaching is Luke 24:13-35. For three weeks now into our Great Fifty-days of Easter, we are still “on that same day”—that’s our first clue that this story is set to a different clock and calendar.  The terms of this tale …

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Apr 17 2014

Easter Custodians

Gandhi-Law offices in South Africa

After a sabbath full of suffering, “as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary [of Magdala] and the other Mary went to see the tomb” (Matthew 28:1).  In some versions of the story, they go to be custodians of the crucifixion—to finish the “clean up” of the hurried work of burial.  But in …

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Apr 11 2014

The Hope of Holy Week

Marion Anderson

Born in Philadelphia on 27 February 1897, Marian Anderson was the oldest of three girls.  When she was eight, her father, a coal and ice dealer, bought her a piano; unfortunately, when she was 12, he died.  From the age of six she sang in the choir of Union Baptist Church and her faith community …

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Mar 28 2014

Beware the Attractive Compromise

2014-Lent 4

Samuel is disillusioned; he believed that Saul, the first king of Israel, would lead the people in the creation of a new community of justice.  Saul was corrupt, Samuel disappointed. The pericope for preaching this Sunday, I Samuel 16:1-13, is sometimes told as a story about David; I’m not sure it has much to do …

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Mar 21 2014

Guilty, sometimes; Ashamed, never.

2014-Sermon Quote-Lent 3

A story from John 4:5-42 A woman:  from Samaria.  Comes in the heat of the day, not the cooler times, to gather water from the communal well—a time she presumed she’d be alone, no accusing eyes or mutterings from the neighbors.  She needs the water, not the judgment. Jesus:  needs a drink, but doesn’t have …

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Mar 13 2014

Under Cover of Darkness, the Light is Revealed

Square-Sermon-2014-March 16

      A “sermon sneak peek” for Sunday, March 16: Second Sunday in Lent. Nicodemus sneaks to Jesus under cover of darkness; why the clandestine night-time visit?  He doesn’t even ask a question at first; apparently he simply seeks a presence, a person.  Jesus prompts the questions when he declares how to enter the …

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