Jesus

KonMari for Christians 02/10/19 (Epiphany 5C)

KonMari for Christians 02/10/19 (Epiphany 5C)

Furthermore, even if I could figure out how to follow him, am I supposed to drop everything in order to do so? Is that what good disciples do? How can I ever live up to such a standard? How can I drop everything? What would that even mean for me, for you, for all of us who profess to be Christians?

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Mission Statement 01/27/19 (Epiphany 3C)

Mission Statement 01/27/19 (Epiphany 3C)

Jesus’ mission is the church’s mission. It’s your mission and it’s my mission; it’s what we agreed to when we were baptized or confirmed; it’s what we commit to when we pray “thy kingdom come”; and it’s what we’re fueled for by the bread and cup.

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Jesus’ First Papa 12/23/18 (Advent 4C)

Jesus’ First Papa 12/23/18 (Advent 4C)

Around the turn of the first century, a man named Joseph lived and worked in this small but significant working-class village. Now, very little is known about Joseph of Bethlehem. In fact, by the end of the second century, Christians began to develop traditions about him just to fill in some of the uncomfortable blanks. These traditions – that he was a widower, or elderly, or had children by a first, now-deceased wife, and so on – are just that: traditions. It’s unlikely that much in these later traditions is historically accurate. But the traditions point to the human longing for details and stories and the ability to really picture what’s going on in the stories we’re told. If only the author of Matthew’s had been concerned with our insatiable curiosity about the Holy Family!

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Prepare! 12/09/18 (Advent 2C)

Prepare! 12/09/18 (Advent 2C)

We tend to shy away from talk of repentance, and I think that’s primarily because we have loaded the word repentance with shame. In the word “repent” we hear accusation, we hear disdain, we hear harsh judgment with no mercy. We hear not that we did something bad, but that we are something bad. If we hear the command to repent often enough with all of those overtones of shame and unworthiness, then we come to fear that Jonathan Edwards was right: we are sinners in the hands of an angry god.

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THIS is the Good News? 12/02/18 (Advent 1C)

THIS is the Good News? 12/02/18 (Advent 1C)

Christmas: the promise of hope, the birth of joy, the coming of the light of God into the world. Christmas is good news! So why are we hearing about signs, and distress among nations, and the roaring of the sea? Why the descriptions of people fainting from fear and foreboding, the prophecies of the heavens being shaken? Why the command to keep awake, be always ready, stay on guard? If this is supposed to be the season of good news, why all the gloom and doom?

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Quas Primas: In the First 11/25/18 (Proper 29B; Reign of Christ)

Quas Primas: In the First 11/25/18 (Proper 29B; Reign of Christ)

Today, on Christ the King Sunday – or Reign of Christ Sunday – we are invited to ask ourselves: What is in the first in our hearts, and in our lives? To what ruler or rulers do we most frequently bow down?

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The Distant Triumph Song 11/04/18 (All Saints Sunday)

The Distant Triumph Song 11/04/18 (All Saints Sunday)

It isn’t instant. We cannot rush to joy. We can’t just hurry up and move on. Grief must run its course – even grief that is for the enormity of the world’s pain. And it takes as long as it takes. But Jesus will sit with us while we cry and rage and shake.

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The Spotting Discipline 10/28/18 (Proper 25B, Reformation Sunday)

The Spotting Discipline 10/28/18 (Proper 25B, Reformation Sunday)

Spotting involves staring at a fixed point while the body is turning to prevent dizziness and maintain balance. The dancer finds a focal point and stares at it for as long as possible, keeping the head level and facing that point while the body turns. At the last possible second, the dancer whips her head around to catch up with her body, returning her gaze immediately to the focal point. This gives her body’s visual and vestibular systems a way to know where her body is in space. The discipline of spotting is to find that one steady, immovable spot and keep your eyes fixed on it no matter what.

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Sacrifice and Salvation 10/14/18 (Proper 23B)

Sacrifice and Salvation 10/14/18 (Proper 23B)

I need to start out by saying this: today’s passage from the Gospel of Mark is jam-packed with details and ideas and lessons. There’s no way on earth that I can address them all in the span of one sermon. So I’ve picked out a few ideas to talk about, and in three years when this passage comes up again, maybe I’ll pick out some different ones. Or maybe I’ll return to one of these ideas and explore it more fully…

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A Vulnerable Heart 09/23/18 (Proper 20B)

A Vulnerable Heart 09/23/18 (Proper 20B)

The way to welcome God is to welcome the most vulnerable in society – specifically, in this illustration, children. Throughout the Gospel, both before and after this episode, we will hear of the other vulnerable ones we are meant to embrace: the sick, the dying, the poor, the socially unacceptable and ritually impure, the outsider, the foreigner, the refugee.

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