Category Archives: sermon

An “unsafe peace”

It is strange that peace should be so divisive: that putting love before enmity, generosity before gain, gentleness before vengeance, patience before pride, kindness before triumph, justice before profit should be a less popular way forward than winning at all cost. But that division has been our shadow side since Cain slew Abel out of envy and Jacob cheated Esau out of his inheritance by using his own hunger against him. Continue reading

Posted in current events, lectionary reflection, sermon | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

… There your heart will be also

“What did Jesus treasure?” Or, to paraphrase a once-popular wristband, “What would Jesus accumulate?”
Continue reading

Posted in lectionary reflection, sermon | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where your treasure is

This upcoming Sunday’s Gospel reading includes Jesus’ aphorism: “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Luke 12:34 and parallels). Last week, looking for something I have already forgotten, I found at the back of my bedside drawer the name tag of my grandmother’s dog, which I have apparently and largely unknowingly kept for some forty years; hence this poem. Continue reading

Posted in lectionary reflection, poetry, prayer, sermon preparation, spiritual autobiography | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Bonsai, barns, and building a legacy

I had not realized that such a wide variety of trees could be made into bonsai. Perhaps my favourite was the olive grove, a miniature version of the scene that greets visitors to the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem. Some of the bonsai were relatively young; others were hundreds of years old. I got to thinking about the generations of trainers and nurturers who had tended those trees – how many hands must they have passed through? Continue reading

Posted in lectionary reflection, sermon | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The sin of Sodom

It reads like a folktale, and as such it has taken on a resonance that permeates our culture. When we think of Sodom, we think of sin. But when we think of the sin of Sodom, we often get it quite wrong. Continue reading

Posted in lectionary reflection, sermon, story | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Where we sit

This is the setting against which we do our work. The inequality of labour and economics: Abraham ordering his servant to butcher and prepare a calf in short order, while he stands with his guests; Martha run off her feet and out of her mind. The violence that erupts between those who do not understand nor see one another as a father, as a child, as a person, but code them as an obstacle, an aggressor, or a threat. Continue reading

Posted in sermon, story | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

At the intersection, revisited

Listening to this morning’s Gospel of the parable of the Good Samaritan, envisioning the steep and scary road from Jerusalem down to Jericho, I was moved to revisit also the intersection referenced in yesterday’s prayer poem, to seek hope in the mercy that Jesus related. Where is our mercy? Where is our hope? Continue reading

Posted in lectionary reflection, poetry, prayer, story | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Peace, and if not peace, then protest

If we feel as though defeat is always at hand, may it be a reminder of the cross of Christ, and be turned to our hope. If we feel as though the world is at war with itself, with us; if we think the world we thought we knew is strange and full of wolves, may it be a reminder of our own status as lost sheep, dependent on the love of our shepherd to find us and bring us home. If we feel as though peace has dissolved into protest, may we lift up our feet and find ourselves on the way of the Cross. Continue reading

Posted in current events, lectionary reflection, sermon | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Among the living and the dead

When the demons saw Jesus, they were afraid. They begged for their lives. When Jesus showed mercy even to the demons, they proved their destructive nature by plunging the herd of swine into the sea. Did he not know it must be so? It was their nature to be evil spirits. It was, it is Jesus’ nature to be love. Continue reading

Posted in current events, gun violence, homily, lectionary reflection, sermon, Whom Shall I Fear? | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Not all at once

A sermon for Trinity Sunday “Jesus said to the disciples, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.” (John 16:12) Jesus knew that we cannot handle everything at once. Jesus, in his mercy, … Continue reading

Posted in sermon | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments