Tag Archives: Jesus

Preaching Pentecost

More than 100,000 people have died in the US of COVID-19.
Nearly 360,000 people have died from the disease worldwide. Close to 6 million cases have been confirmed overall.
George Floyd died after saying, “I can’t breathe,” as a police officer knelt on his neck in Minneapolis on Memorial Day. Continue reading

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Sermon from the edge of a pandemic

Jesus was not great at social distancing. Wherever he went he attracted crowds that pressed against the lake shore, against one another, against him and the hem of his garments. Once, he filled a house so full that they had to take the roof off to fit one more person in.

Even out in the sticks, he managed to find the one woman next to a well, and asked her for a drink. Continue reading

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Words matter

Jesus does not want us less than whole. He does not want our bodies abused, nor for our relationships to become a prison or a torment. The instructions he gives us, time and again, are to love God and to love one another; anything more is hyperbole; anything less is parody. Continue reading

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Fight the good fight

The good fight, Paul has learned, is the one that he doesn’t mind losing, so long as he may keep his martyr’s crown, so long as he has hold of the hem of Jesus’ robe.

After all, Jesus himself faced the same judgement of the empire, and the same ignominious, criminal execution at its hands. His enemies thought that it was a defeat. They were wrong. Continue reading

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Word and deed

Prophets, true prophets, are truth-tellers. They are not in the prophecy business for popularity. Unlike politicians, their constituency is not power brokers but the poor in spirit, the people of God who seek hope not in empires and armies but in the word of God, God’s promise to their ancestors to walk with them and not to leave them lost and alone. Continue reading

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prayer incarnate

How did you pray, body and breath, those wilderness days beneath stars that made promises, sand through your hands counting moments since creation, each grain an erosion of the whole; how did you pray, body and spirit sticky with honey … Continue reading

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The table

Ironically, while we are deciding where to seat him, Jesus is busy setting the table himself. And his invitation is clear:
Come to me, all you who are weary, and I will give you rest.
Come to me, you who are thirsty, and I will give you living water to drink.
Come, eat of the bread of life, and I will raise you up. Continue reading

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Love will tear us apart

The divisions that Jesus describes are growing pains, signs of the emergence of the kingdom of God. Discipleship stretches our souls to love more deeply, to forgive more recklessly. Discipleship should change us, stretch us, and there will be friction as we rub up against the tolerance of the structures that have formed us. These are the signs of the kingdom, Jesus tells us, so do not be afraid. God is willing and waiting to restore all things in God’s mercy, risking everything alongside you on the Cross, transforming its hard lines into new life through the Resurrection. Continue reading

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Take up your mat

Jesus does not help the man to get to the water. Jesus does not need to buy into the system that has kept this man down for thirty-eight years. Jesus is the living water, and he has power to heal the man, and he does that; but he does more. He tells the man to take up his mat, and walk home. Continue reading

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Why have we come here? Good Friday 2019

We come not to glory in his death, but out of fear of our own; and not only, nor even the death of our bodies, may they never endure such pain as his; but the death of our souls, the diminishing returns of our humanity, the erosion of love and the weary wearing away of compassion. On the cross, we see the destitution of our humanity, what it has come to, that we would sacrifice Christ to keep an unquiet peace, and pile on the death of God to weight the scales of injustice. We see where it could all end up, if we would prefer instruments of death to a way of life that makes us vulnerable to the demands of love and of mercy. Continue reading

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