"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, oh Lord."

Sermons

Seymour’s Fat Lady

Easter 3A Rummaging through my desk recently I found a brochure I received in the mail a while back inviting me to a seminar on “The Fascinating World of the Apocalypse!” On the brochure’s cover is a color picture of Jesus appearing in the heavens on a horse, followed...

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This Fragile Earth

Easter 2A Years ago, Christine Bird gave me a cartoon that pictures a man in a lab coat standing in front of a door labeled, “Scriptural Biology Lab.” In smaller letters the sign continues, “Please close mind behind you.” The truth behind that cartoon makes me both...

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Life Conquering Death

Easter Sunday Death with life contended: Combat strangely ended! Life’s own Champion, slain, yet lives to reign. This 11th century verse sums up the reason we are here today. Death with life contended. We ended church on Friday with Jesus’ limp and lifeless body taken...

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A Night of Passages

Easter Vigil Dear friends in Christ: On this most holy night, in which our Lord Jesus passed over from death to life, the Church invites her members, dispersed throughout the world, to gather in vigil and prayer. For this is the Passover of the Lord, in which, by...

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A Christlike Betrayal

Good Friday “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows…He was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.” The hour is drawing near, and Father Sebastian...

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We Were There

Maundy Thursday One day when I was serving a church outside of Chattanooga, I received a letter from a woman I did not know who lived in a state far from Tennessee. Her father, she said, was in a nursing home near my church. He had once been an active and robust man,...

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Which Side Are You On?

Palm Sunday A Palm Sunday is often seen as a service of opposites – a liturgy that begins with triumph and ends with death, one that begins with hosannas and ends with grief, one that begins with Jesus surrounded by adoring throngs and ends with him hanging alone on...

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Dry Bones, New Life

Lent 5A I cannot hear the story of Ezekiel and the dry bones without thinking of a young Cambodian man I once knew named Rin Vuth. His story is one worth telling and hearing again in these days when refugees are too often treated with callous suspicion. Rin Vuth was...

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Blinded by Certainty

Lent 4A Jesus has just healed a man who has been blind from birth, and instead of rejoicing and marveling at this mighty act, the religious leaders of the day are appalled. For them, the miracle of sight is overshadowed by the fact that the healing occurred on the...

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Living Water

Lent 3A On June 27, 1880, a baby girl was born  to a prominent family in Tuscumbia, Alabama. For the first 18 months of her life she was healthy and happy, developing in all the ways that babies do in those early months of life. But in her 19th month, she became...

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Just a Little Bit

Lent 1A Baptisms are usually causes for big celebrations. Family and friends gather from far-flung places to rejoice and take part in the service, the welcoming of a new person into the family of God. Almost always there is some kind of post-service celebration – a...

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Listening to Jesus

Epiphany Last A Today we come to the end of the season of Epiphany, one of those seasons that varies in length according to when Easter falls. Easter is late this year, so we’ve had a long Epiphany. But no matter how long the season of light is, it always begins and...

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Not Business as Usual

Epiphany 7A Today, for the fourth week in a row, our Gospel reading comes from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. The fact that our Sunday lectionary spends so much time on these teachings is a clue to how important they are. This sermon is Jesus’ first recorded public...

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Choosing Life

Epiphany 6A It’s the end of the road for Moses. He has been leading the Israelites through the wilderness for 40 long years. Now they are perched on the edge of the Jordan River, on the verge of crossing over into that land which was first promised to the childless...

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