Sermon Archives

December 30, 2018

Augustus vs. Jesus

As followers of Jesus, there is one great sociological fact that we must deal with. It’s this: we live in the world’s richest, most powerful country. It doesn’t matter whether we like it or not. It doesn’t matter whether we’re glad about it or sad about it. It’s a fact of life. The United States […]

April 13, 2014

The Arrest

Most of us have kissed—or been kissed—at one time or another. When our sons were small, I probably I kissed each of them at least a thousand times, plus however many times Jenny kissed them. We don’t kiss our sons anymore—a fact for which they are profoundly grateful—although Jenny and I still kiss each other […]

April 6, 2014


Sometimes words seem so cheap. Have you noticed this? Once I attended a conference where we were treated to a guest preacher who had been flown in from several states away. He was fairly well-known with wide name recognition. Early in the worship service we in the audience sat expectantly, waiting until the moment when […]

March 9, 2014

Jesus’ Temptations—and Ours

For many of us this story is extremely familiar. We hear it nearly every year in our Lenten worship services because Matthew, Mark, and Luke each tell a version of this story. We call it “the temptations of Jesus,” though I’m not sure how tempting Jesus actually found Satan’s three offers. I don’t know about […]

January 5, 2014

Bethlehem, not Jerusalem

Jesus was born in Bethlehem, not Jerusalem. Have you ever thought about the significance of that fact? Bethlehem was a small village of just a few hundred souls. The folks who lived out in Bethlehem were mostly farmers and small‐time trades people. Life in Bethlehem was pretty simple and uncomplicated, where everyone knew everyone else […]

December 29, 2013

Outfoxing the King

With this story we have left behind what most people think of as Christmas. Gone are the cuddly sheep, the placid cows, the joyful angels, and the humble shepherds. In this story, joy and delight have given way to brutality and terror. For most North Americans, Christmas is over now except for a few lingering […]

December 22, 2013

Dreaming and Trusting with Joseph

Picture the conversation between Mary and Joseph. Mary says, “Joseph, we need to talk.” And Joseph might then be thinking, “Now what have I done?!” When she says, “I’m pregnant,” he knows that in fact, he hasn’t done anything, and in this case, that is the problem. Because if he isn’t the father, then who […]

December 15, 2013

Waiting at the door with Elizabeth and Mary

All of this happens in the doorway. Mary arrives at Elizabeth’s house ‐ the cousins exchange greetings. We could ask the same question of Mary that Mary asked of the angel some months ago. When the angel came to Mary she wondered what kind of greeting this might be. Now we get a strange greeting […]

December 8, 2013

Of Kings and Justice

The kings of Israel and Judah were such disappointments. Take Solomon, for example. He started out well enough early in his reign. Remember the time when as a newly crowned king he prayed to Yahweh for “an understanding mind to govern your people,” a mind “able to discern between good and evil” (1 Kings 3:3-14)? […]

November 24, 2013

The Visible Face of God

For a lot of people today, God seems invisible. You may know that the number of so‐called “nones” is on the rise in North America. “Nones” include atheists, agnostics, and others who mark the option “none” when asked what their religion is. One recent poll by the Pew Forum discovered that nones now make up […]

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