November 8, 2020: Keepers of the Flame

Psalm 78:1-7 and Matthew 25:1-13 All my life, I have had a tendency to procrastinate. No matter how much lead time I have on a project, I invariably seem to put it off until the last minute. That made for a lot of all-nighters in college and more than a few “just-in-time” presentations to business […]

November 1, 2020: Measuring Success

Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37 and Matthew 23:1-12 The late Russell Baker, the satirist and New York Times correspondent, wrote in his autobiography about his mother’s great impact on his life. She had been gone for years, he said, but his mother would still roam free in his head and wake him in the early morning before […]

October 25, 2020: God and Neighbor

Leviticus 19:1-2, 15-18 and Matthew 22:34-46 Some years ago, my denominational publishing house came out with a tongue-in-cheek little volume entitled The Presbyterian Handbook. (1) It’s a blue paperback featuring John Calvin in designer shades on the cover, a humorous compilation of great information about the Christian tradition in general and the Presbyterian tradition in  […]

October18, 2020: Sacred Claims

Psalm 96:1-9 and Matthew 22:15-22 The story of the confrontation between the Jewish religious authorities and Jesus on the question of taxes is a familiar story about the tension that existed between Jesus and his detractors. It reads almost like folklore, a legend establishing the cleverness of Jesus when pitted against the surly wiliness of […]

October 4, 2020: United in Stewardship

Isaiah 5:1-7 and Matthew 21:33-46 The Bible begins and ends in a garden. Eden of old long ago, and the New Jerusalem. I’m speaking in poetry now. Not science. For this is the language of faith, not of geology, biology, or physics. We start, according to the old sages, as dust and mist, an idea […]

September 27, 2020: World – Conquering Humility

Psalm 25:1-9 and Philippians 2:1-11 In criticizing contemporary literature, the great poet T. S. Eliot claimed that characters today no longer have great ideals that either inspire or conflict them. Now, he said, characters only have nervous reactions. We can all relate to that.  In this never-ending pandemic year, it sometimes feels like our world […]

September 20, 2020: Neglected Characters of the Bible – Miriam

Exodus 2:1-10; 15:19-21 and Numbers 12:1-14; 20:1 Today’s sermon is my last in the series this summer on neglected characters of the Bible. We’ve been focusing on some of the “little people” in Scripture, who are rarely the subject of sermons. Today’s “little person” is Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron. If you know […]

September 13, 2020: Neglected Characters of the Bible – Tamar

Psalm 123:1-4 and Genesis 38:1-30 I am continuing this morning with my series of sermons on some of the “little people of the Bible”—people who are mentioned briefly in the sacred texts, who walk upon the stage of Scripture for a word or two, and then recede into the background. I’m drawing on the work […]

September 6, 2020: Neglected Characters of the Bible – Agrippa

Acts 26:1-32 Today’s sermon continues my series on neglected characters of the Bible. It’s based on the work of Methodist Bishop William Willimon while he was Dean of the Chapel at Duke University. We’ve been focusing on some of the “little people” of the Bible, who are rarely the subject of sermons. Today’s “little person” […]