May 24, 2020: Looking Up Toward Heaven

Psalm 47 and Acts 1:1-11 The more I’ve read about the history of the early church, the more impressed I am by the fact that the church is here at all. In many ways, it all seems so improbable. Jesus himself was A Marginal Jew, as one scholar’s trilogy about the historical Jesus was called.(1) […]

May 17, 2020: Never Abandoned

Psalm 66:8–20 and John 14:15-21 Many years ago, when I was still a preschooler, I got lost. Our family was  shopping at a big department store—Korvette’s I think it was—and I became separated from the group. When I realized I was alone, I was terrified, certain that my parents had forgotten me and that I […]

May 10, 2020: Peace for the Troubled Heart

John 14:1-14 Our lesson from John’s gospel on this Fifth Sunday of Easter takes us back to Jesus’ final evening with his disciples, at what we know as the Last Supper. At the end of John Chapter 13, Jesus warned his disciples that he would lay down his life for them, and so chapter 14 […]

May 3, 2020: Fear No Evil

John 10:1-10 and Psalm 23 The Book of Psalms was the hymn book of ancient Israel. We find it in the center of the Hebrew Bible, what we Christians know as the Old Testament. Of the 150 psalms, surely the 23rd Psalm which we have read this morning is among the most familiar and beloved. […]

April 19, 2020: Seeing Isn’t Believing

Psalm 16 and John 20:19-31 When I was a boy of nine or ten, I was given my first Bible, a thick story Bible, without too many pictures, which I read all the way through for myself, in between Superman and Batman comics. I was especially taken with the accounts of God’s visiting people here […]

April 11: Looking into the Tomb (Easter Service)

Matthew 28:1-10 As I was leaving a Zoom meeting the other day, someone said to me, “I hope you have a blessed Easter.” It was a natural thing to say. I don’t think it was just pious language; I think he meant it. And so do others who say it in more conventional terms, “Have […]

April 5, 2020: Save Us! (Palm Sunday)

Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 and Matthew 21:1-11 Holy Week begins on a high note. It begins with the crowds shouting “Hosanna” to Jesus as he enters Jerusalem on a donkey. That’s a trange word, “Hosanna.” Not a word that comes up in everyday conversation. If you are like me, the last time you uttered “Hosanna” was, […]

March 29, 2020: Present Tense Salvation

John 11:1-45 Our text this morning plays a central role in John’s gospel, providing a bridge between the story of Jesus’s public ministry in the first ten chapters and the account of what John calls “Jesus’ hour”—that is, his death, resurrection and ascension—in the final ten chapters. Hear, now, John’s narrative of the raising of […]

March 22, 2020: Will God Provide?

John 9:1-41:   Our text this morning is part of a wonderful story, the story of the man born blind from the ninth chapter of John’s gospel. It’s been called “a one-act play in six scenes,” and it’s one of the great narratives of the Bible. It’s full of irony; things are not always what they […]

March 15, 2020: The Image of God

Exodus 17:1-7     This Third Sunday in Lent, our reading from the Old Testament book of Exodus takes us into the wilderness, where the people of God have fled following their escape  from generations of slavery in Egypt. We might expect to find them celebrating their liberation or offering elaborate thanksgiving to God for Pharaoh’s […]