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…

An Armory for Modern Christians #12

The Inescapability of Slavery Introduction We are coming up on one of America’s feast days: Tax Day. Some of you don’t celebrate it at all, as Uncle Sam requires you to give your “fair share,” but for many Americans they begin planning vacations, acquiring new cars or boats, and the like as they see the…

Hypocrisy, Ash Wednesday, and the Gospel

So I need to follow up on what I said in my recent Ash Wednesday homily. I received a few questions from friends, and I’m just assuming that there are likely more folks out there who didn’t understand me or had lingering questions. And let me just say at the outset that I really am…

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…

How To Not Be Passive Aggressive on Palm Sunday

Mt. 20:25-28 & Lk. 19:28-48 Introduction This Holy Week, we will be meditating on the theme of Christian leadership. Jesus contrasts His example with the rulers of the Gentiles when He says that the great must be servants, the first must be slaves: “even as the Son of Man came not to be served but…

The Power of God’s Pleasure

Is. 49:1-7, 1 Cor. 1:18-31 Isaiah says that the Lord chose a servant from the womb to be a glorious weapon, His sword, His arrow. This servant would be Israel in whom He would be glorified. Israel had wandered away from God. Judah had been scattered. But the plan was for a new Israel to…

Forgiven Kingdom

Luke XXIX: Lk. 7:36-50 Introduction Last time we were in Luke, we saw how Jesus challenged people’s expectations. John questioned Jesus, the Pharisees and lawyers rejected Him, while the tax collectors and sinners justified Him. These same themes continue in the following episode as Jesus continues eating and drinking with sinners. A Dinner After Jesus…

Every Knee

As we enter this season of Lent, I want to say a word of encouragement that speaks directly into our political situation. Some of you may already feel that you are suffering enough with the talking heads and political commentators, but the simple point that I want to make is that we serve the High…

Baptism Means War

“The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the…