Sermon Blog

26
Jan

Call of the first disciples; a model for discipleship

Scripture: Matthew 4: 12-22; 1 Corinthians 1: 10-17 Is the call of Jesus’ first disciples a good model for discipleship for modern Christians? The Church tells us that we must give up everything to follow Jesus.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him to come and die.”  But most of us […]

19
Jan

Temptation of Jesus: “The Devil made me do it”

Scripture: Genesis 2-3; Matthew 4: 1-11  We usually read the account of the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness on the first Sunday of Lent.  The susceptibility to temptation is present within each of us. It is part of our human make-up. But humanity has eaten the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good […]

12
Jan

Baptism and Dismissal: new beginnings

Scripture: Matthew 3: 1-17 Baptism and Dismissal Baptism and Dismissal embrace the same idea: that the Christian mission is to preach the Gospel.  Our Lord’s baptism initiated his own mission.  Our own baptismal promises call us to the same undertaking.  That is why every church service  the words of a Dismissal, such as this.  “Go […]

05
Jan

The Slaughter of the Holy Innocents

  Scripture: Matthew 2: 13-23 The Slaughter of the Holy Innocents is not just a Biblical story; it is our story today.  The Holy Family became refugees, when King Herod’s fear and anger at the thought of a rival King of the Jews led him to carry out that atrocity. I was quite young when […]

29
Dec

A faith journey: the Magi meet the Christ-child

Scripture: Matthew 2: 1-12 Today’s Bible story is a parable for our own faith journey. The Magi came from far away. It took them a long time. They saw a bright star in the sky. It led them to the right location to find the Messiah. Like the Magi, we may imagine meeting Jesus by […]

24
Dec

Is the Christmas story true? What does that mean?

Scripture: Luke 2: 1-20 Is the Christmas story true? What does it mean to say that the Christmas story is true? To ask this question involves thinking about what we mane by ‘truth’.   The Oglala Lakota Indian Black Elk said, “I don’t know if it really happened that way but the story is true.” In […]

24
Dec

The Christmas Story in verse

“The Christmas Story in verse” presents the Annunciation and the Nativity in rhyming iambic pentameters

22
Dec

Angels announce the Christmas miracle

Scripture: Annunciation; Matthew 1: 18-25 Two different predictions of the Christmas miracle In Luke’s Gospel, an angel announces Jesus’ birth, the Christmas miracle, to Mary; Matthew has an angel announce it to Joseph. Their world was one of myth and miracle, whose truths we can no longer recognize.  But like Jesus, we are all part […]

15
Dec

The coming Day of the Lord

Scripture: Isaiah 40:1-11; Matthew 10: 34-42  The Day of the Lord Today’s Scripture readings offer conflicting ideas about the coming Day of the Lord.  Jesus’ comments that he has brought conflict and not peace contrast with Isaiah’s pastoral images of comfort to an oppressed people.  But we can find resolution in the advice of the […]

08
Dec

Throwing the first stone

Scripture: Isaiah 65: 17-25; John 8: 1-11 Throwing the first stone can lead to terrible consequences.  Jesus avoided a woman’s death when he challenged the Temple officials on throwing the first stone at a woman taken in adultery. But this is more than a Biblical story. This Advent, my thoughts have been on what kind […]