‘She Who Laughs Last…’ a sermon on Genesis 18

From 8th grade through the end of high school, I was always in a school where one of my parents was a teacher. That's probably the main reason I never skipped a class in those years. Fast forward to college and, well, that record didn't last. But I didn't skip many or often because I …

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‘Temptation Wilderness’: a sermon on Matthew chapter 4

This is probably a bit odd, but despite the sermon title, I never did make a connection between the temptations Jesus faced in chapter 4 of Matthew's* gospel and any of the recent TV shows that play on that theme. Boy howdy, did I make a slew of other references and winks, though. 'Cause, you …

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‘We’re Related to…Them??’: a sermon on Matthew 1

Brevity. Not a quality for which many pastors are known. At least not when we're in preaching mode. We tend to like to talk. A lot. The truth is (at least in my experience both listening to sermons and giving them), a short sermon that is also a good sermon is much more difficult to …

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‘Now for Something Completely Extra’: a Christmas Eve sermon

I know it's New Year's Eve, but let's get in the WABAC Machine and set it for...one week ago. Way back when it was Christmas Eve. I don't know if you've heard, but Christmas Eve is kind of a big deal in (most) Christian churches. It certainly is in our congregation. Christmas Eve at Woodridge United …

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‘Everybody Move’: a sermon on Luke 2 & ‘Go Tell it on the Mountain’

The fourth and final Sunday of Advent happened the day before Christmas Eve.* So it was already a challenge to separate Sunday's message from one to give the next day. Add on the bonus level challenge of the same scripture reading as Christmas Eve (Luke 2:8-20)...and the result is one confused preacher. Fortunately, I had …

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‘Time to Go!’: a sermon on Mary’s song, Joseph’s census, & ‘Children, Go’

If that title suggests to you that this sermon might be trying to do too much...well, I probably can't argue with you. It's probably not my best. Still, though, I thought the conclusion was actually pretty good. Poignant, even. I'm not sure my congregation agreed. Maybe it was too on the nose? (If so, just …

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Happy Christmas 2018

Merry Christmas! The closest thing I have to a tradition on this blog is this Christmas day offering. Each Christmas I post the Isaiah passage below (which is a reading for Christmas Eve worship every year); John Lennon's "Happy Christmas (War is Over)", which I find the world's best and most challenging Christmas song; and …

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‘Infinite War or Excelsior!?’ a sermon on Isaiah 36

To paraphrase one of our great musician-philosophers, “Infinite war, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing!” But in the whole of human history, what has been more constant than war? Further, many of us were taught history, both of our country and of the world, through a series of wars. War seems to define us. …

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Wise Words?: a sermon on 1Kings 3

Yesterday, a white supremacist, neo-Nazi walked into Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and murdered 11 people as they worshipped. This terrible, tragic, heart-breaking, hateful, and hate-filled act must be renounced -- especially by Christians. Our faith has for too long and too often been used to justify violent anti-Semitism. I hope resistance to such …

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Story, not a sermon

Hey look, I can post something other than sermon audio and accoutrement. Stories are powerful. That's not revelatory in any way. I know this. And yet, for months now, I've really wrestled with how we interact with stories: what stories do for us, what they do to us, how they define us, how they restrict …

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