Weight of Glory

In Memory of Eileen Lawyer It was pitch dark when it all began, when an old man hobbled out into the blackness. The memory of light had all but nearly faded. And a voice like a storm spoke and said ‘I will make it light again’. And the old man asked, ‘How will you make…

The Greatest Conspiracy

Homily for Christmas Day 2016 Grace is the greatest conspiracy. It works right in front of your eyes constantly, boldly, and yet it usually goes unnoticed. It’s camouflaged in the ordinary, in the every day, in the mundane. It looks natural. It looks normal. Grace creeps in under the shadows, in the dark, when we’re…

Matt & Katy: Love that Goes Too Far

The crucifixion of Jesus is like a bad dream. And as in bad dreams, things keep happening that seem more and more horrific. First Jesus is being flogged. Then he’s being mocked in a purple robe with a crown of thorns forced onto his head. Then there’s the mob calling for his crucifixion. And Pilate…

The Obedience of Faith

Advent IV: Is. 7:10-16, Rom. 1:1-7, Mt. 1:18-25 Introduction What’s the hardest decision you’ve ever made? How do you make decisions in general? Who do you trust to provide the right kind of information? What sorts of things do you fear? Our readings today focus on significant choices, comparing the obedience of faith and the…

Farming in the Wilderness

Advent III: Is. 35:1-10, Js. 5:7-11, Mt. 11:2-11 Introduction What are you waiting for? What do you long for? Advent is an annual reminder that Christians are a waiting people, and this in turn reminds us that there is a profound blessing to be found in learning to wait on the Lord. Two Prophets Isaiah…

A Signal for All Nations: The Politics of Advent

Second Sunday in Advent Is. 11:1-10, Rom. 15:4-13, Mt. 3:1-12 Introduction The gospel of Advent, which is to say the gospel of Jesus, is irreducibly political: it aims at nothing less than the greatest common good and harmony of all men. The question is not whether people will have a Lord, the question is only…

Getting Ready for the King

Advent means “coming” or “arrival,” and it is the beginning of the Christian calendar. Historically, Advent begins by celebrating the fact that Jesus will one day come to judge the living and the dead. This is why we sing O Come O Come Emmanuel. We are not in the first instance reenacting what it was…

Children of the Light

NSA Morning Prayer Jer. 16:14-21, 1 Thess. 5:1-11 One of the most important lessons from Genesis to Revelation is that you can’t hide from God. He sees all things and knows all things: “Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many…

Committed as Christmas

Evolution is a singular commitment to non-commitment. In fact, it is the enshrinement to the highest humanistic place — which is to say science, the creed of non-commitment as inherently virtuous. Of course virtue and goodness tend to be taken in transcendent, moral categories, but in a purely materialistic, evolutionary universe, goodness is just whatever…

How To Not Miss Jesus (At Christmas)

Fourth Sunday in Advent: Mic. 5:2-5a, Heb. 10:5-10, Mt 2:1-12 Introduction How could the chief priests and scribes know that the Christ was to be born in Bethlehem and still reject Jesus? How could Herod so dramatically misunderstand the mission of Jesus? We commonly describe the answer as sin and pride, but what is it…