March 8, 2020: Two Types of Faith

Romans 4:1–5, 13–17, 20–25 and John 3:1-17:  Lent is a season for taking stock of our lives, not least of the state of our spiritual health. It is fashionable in some circles these days to profess to being “spiritual but not religious,” but I trust those of us who make our way to church on […]

March 1, 2020: What About Sin?

Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7  and Matthew 4:1-11 Today is the first Sunday of Lent, traditionally the church’s most important season of penitence, fasting and prayer. To some, Lent means “giving something up”— maybe desserts or television or drinking alcohol. More frequently these days, however, progressive Protestants think not of giving something up for Lent but rather […]

February 23, 2020: A Glimpse of Reality

Exodus 24:12-18 and Matthew 17:1-9 Today is Transfiguration Sunday, one of those turning points when we veer in a new direction in the church year. You could argue that everything that has happened in the church year so far has been working up to today: All that waiting in Advent, the celebration of Jesus’ birth […]

February 16, 2020: The Relational God

Psalm 119:1-8 and Matthew 5:21-37 We continue this morning our contemplation of the Sermon on the Mount that Jesus preaches in chapters 5, 6 and 7 of Matthew’s gospel. It is early in his ministry, and Jesus has gone up a mountain in Galilee with his disciples to teach them the central tenets of life […]

February 2, 2020: What Does the Lord Require?

Matthew 5:1-12 and Micah 6:1-8 Today is the day we commission and install the new officers and members of the Mission Review Committee whom you elected at the congregational meeting last Sunday. Yesterday, we met for a retreat at the Rockefeller Archives to discuss our agenda and plans for the year ahead. Ultimately, of course, […]

January 26, 2020: Follow Me

Isaiah 9:1-4 and Matthew 4:12-23 Today is the day we hold our annual congregational meeting. It’s a day for taking stock. There is printed report about our various ministries that I hope you’ll take time to read. We will also be looking to the future as you elect new officers and a Mission Review Team […]

January 19, 2020: Come and See

Isaiah 49:1-7 and John 1:29-42 One day, not long after his baptism by John the Baptist in the River Jordan, at the very beginning of his public ministry, Jesus and John meet again. It’s an odd little story. The Fourth Gospel, the Gospel of John, tells these stories differently from Matthew, Mark, and Luke. John […]

January 12, 2020: Getting Life Right

Isaiah 42:1-9 and Matthew 3:13-17 It is striking how many of our contemporary debates in society are about identity. We talk about identity politics, racial or ethnic or sexual identity, religious identity, or even social-economic identity. Pollsters and demographers subdivide us according to these identity markers. I’m a white, college educated, upper middle class, heterosexual, […]