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Sermon from Sunday, February 13th 2011

Based on: Matthew 5:21-37

If I were smart today, I would preach about the psalm, or invent a biography of the Corinthians. Anything would be better than tackling things like this. "...I say to you, that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment."[1] And then there's, "So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift at the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift."[2] And then worst of all, "I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on grounds of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery."[3] Who wants to listen to stuff like this anyway?

Sermon from Sunday, January 30, 2011 Service

Based on: Micah 6:1-8 and Matthew 5:1-12

"God has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" (Micah 6:8)

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." (Matthew 5:6-9)

These words from the Prophet Micah and from Jesus the Christ have been quoted ceaselessly throughout history. They stand for us as words of challenge and bitterness. They are words that remind us of exactly where we stand before God.

Sermon from Sunday, January 23, 2011 Service

Based on: Matthew 4:12-23

This is an artist's paintbrush, and yes, it really does have something to do with today's Gospel. "Follow me, and I will make you." What do you think when you hear, "I will make you?" Most of the time, I feel resentful or pushed if I think someone is trying to "make" me do something. I suspect we all have a little of that four of five-year-old in us that says, "You can't make me!" Most likely because "make me" makes us uncomfortable, we focus our attention on "Follow m.," We'd like to forgot the rest of the sentence, that little addendum, "I will make you."

Sermon from Sunday, January 16, 2011 Service

Based on: John 1:29-42

I've always pictured this scene in John's gospel where the disciples are following Jesus as rather like a couple of juveniles caught out in something they shouldn't be doing. I like to think of those two guys acting like a couple of shy teen agers: tiptoeing behind Jesus' back, stopping when he stops, picking up speed when he picks up speed. You know; that thing you've seen in some Monty Python movie, "Walk this Way." And finally Jesus, knowing they are behind him, whips around and says, "What are you looking for?"

Sermon from Sunday, January 9, 2011 Service

Based on: Matthew 3:13-17

"This is my Son (or daughter), the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased."[1] Whether we admit it or not, most of us spend our lifetimes waiting to hear these words. Even for those of us whose parents are dead, we still live with the internal voices. Not long ago, I apologized for telephoning someone after nine o'clock in the evening. I could hear my mother's voice saying, "Never call anyone before nine or after nine."

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