A preacher gravitates between wanting to be the beloved pastor and the one who is in trouble if he doesn’t preach the gospel. Talk about a difficult place to be stuck. How about these apples: In trouble with God if the preacher doesn’t preach the gospel; in trouble with the congregation if the preacher does […]
The church at Corinth looks like a bunch of battling Baptists. One day, while Paul is out of town preaching a revival, he gets a letter from Corinth riddled with complaints. “Pastor, some members think they are more spiritual than others. Some think they are smarter than others. Pastor, what do we do?” Slice and […]
I want to talk about health care and death, not because I am feeling sad or old, but because we almost never talk about it at all as Christians. We have so many euphemisms for death because we don’t want to talk about it: passed away, or resting in peace, or gone to meet the […]
Today we honor The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., America’s prophet. Monday, January 15, is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Americans of various and sundry ideas still debate whether or not to have a holiday in memory of Dr. King. I have no such misgivings, and I am privileged to honor one of the […]
Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-11 In Matthew’s story some folks show up late. We call these late-comers “wise men.” My prayer is always that our house will be filled with wise women and men.
John 15: 1-11; Philippians 4: 1-7 C.S. Lewis wrote his autobiography which he called, “Surprised By Joy.” If you or I ever write the story of our lives I hope we might use the same title. Think of this: Jesus said he came to earth that his joy might be in us and that our […]
Matthew 2: 1-12 For a little town Bethlehem has a large legacy. Actually the word Bethlehem means “House of Bread.” It was not a Holy City, not like Jerusalem, it was just a modest village. In Bethlehem you would find a monument to Rachel. She was the wife of the patriarch Jacob. Ruth lived there […]
Luke 2: 1-20; Hebrews 2: 1-9 There is a song in the Broadway musical Mame which contains the words, “We need a little Christmas right this very minute.” How true those words are. Probably some of you are pessimistic about our world, our church, our own lives. You may be feeling it takes more faith […]
Isaiah 61:1-4 This sermon is not for you unless you are having trouble seeing the world clearly and you feel lost and confused. This sermon is not for you unless parts of your life have incapacitated you and kept you from living freely. This sermon is not for you unless you have deep loneliness in […]
Mark 1:1-8, 2 Peter 3:8-15, Isaiah 40:1-11 In a culture lulled to sleep, ignorance, and darkness, there is room for a people who are awake in all their senses — a people of God determined to show and tell what it means to be awake, alive, and in the light of truth and justice.