Curses or Promises?

Here in the Chicago area where I live, we had a glorious spring season -- for about three days. Sunshine, temps approaching (even surpassing) 70 degrees, all kinds of people outside working and walking, grilling and chilling. We have to get it in when we can. Then there’s all the garden talk: What are you …

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Striving for Wisdom

How can a small local congregation respond to a war on the other side of the globe? I don't know for sure, but that is, in part, what I tried to explore in this sermon. The good people of Woodridge United Methodist Church have previously taken bold action in opposition to the USA invasion war …

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How we got here: Advent sermons

I'm just skating right past my failure at producing posts on the regular this month and just going with a flurry of activity. Hope you'll bear with me as I think there are at least a couple decent nuggets of goodness to be found. I got to preach the first and last Sundays of Advent, …

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Palms, Passion, and Power

How many times have you read or seen or heard the story of Jesus’ last week? Dozens? 50? Hundreds of times?Whatever your answer to that, it is a well-known story. Many of us can likely quote all the lines (as it were) from beginning to end — this year from the gospel of Mark. So …

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Why did it have to be Snakes?!

What happens when we start with a (near) universally beloved scripture verse — quite possibly the most famous verse of all time — and add a story that can only be described as bizarre, disturbing, and kinda icky??What happens? Exactly what you think would happen: people stop being polite and start getting real. As in, …

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Finding Comfort On the Mountaintop and In the Valley

I had to repeatedly reminded myself that this is not Jorie's memorial service. I wrote recently about my turn to preach coming up the same time as a fair number of significant events. But this week was different because our colleague, our teammate, our friend, our sister in Christ, Jorie died suddenly. In those previous …

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One Creed to Unite Us All

This has been, to say the least, a very difficult week. COVID continues to run rampant in our country with daily cases, hospitalizations, and deaths as high or higher than they’ve ever been. We’re averaging 3500 deaths, the equivalent of a 9/11 attack or more per day now. Then Wednesday we witnessed armed insurrectionists attempt …

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Incarnation v. Empire

Happy New Year! I must admit that Sunday feels like a lot longer ago than 5 days. (Or is it 6 days ago? Depends on how you count it I suppose.) And Christmas Day really feels like a lot more than a week ago, even though we are still in the midst of the (in)famous …

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The Joy of The Child

Merry Christmas Eve! Most years this one of my biggest work days with multiple worship services to co-preside and a sermon to offer. This year, due to the pandemic, we recorded our indoor Christmas Eve service a couple days ago and we are only gathering outside for a brief time of reading scripture and praying …

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