Peter Pan & Palm Sunday

Mt. 21:1-16 Introduction “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” cried the people as Jesus rode into Jerusalem on that first triumphal entry (Mt. 21:9). “Hosanna to the son of David!” cheered the children as Jesus drove out those who were buying and selling in the temple and healed the blind…

Ash Wednesday 2017

  One of the striking elements of our Ash Wednesday service is the recitation of the curses of the covenant found in Deuteronomy 27. This was included in Thomas Cranmer’s original Ash Wednesday service, and Martin Bucer – John Calvin’s mentor – said it was a “particularly wholesome ceremony” and went so far as to…

An Armory for Modern Christians #8

Between the Mountain and Me Introduction The transfiguration occurs in Matthew, Mark, and Luke and marks a significant transition in the gospels, functioning as a key hinge of the life of Jesus, the end of his ministry of signs and the beginning of his ministry of suffering. The signs point to who Jesus is, but…

The Goodness of God: Luke & Christa

Luke and Christa, Wow. We are finally here. And the fact that we are here is a testament, a glorious monument to the kindness and goodness of God. It’s what the Bible calls grace. Every wedding is a testimony to God’s grace. Even unbelievers, Muslims, Mormons, Hindus, and atheists may receive this grace from God….

An Armory for Modern Christians #1

2 Cor. 10:4-5: Let Earth Receive Her King Introduction All Christians are soldiers in the army of God (Phil. 2:25, 2 Tim. 2:3, Ph. 1:2). He is the Lord of Hosts, and we are His hosts (Rev. 19:11-16, cf. Ex. 12:51). Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but we are at war. We…

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…

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…