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Palm Sunday Sermon - April 17, 2011

Based on: Matthew 26:14 - 27:66

The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday

May my words be your Word and my heart rest in you as I speak, O Lord. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. AMEN.

The passion gospel you are about to hear is full of small betrayals.

There is the large betrayal of Judas, of course. But what about the small betrayal mentioned in John's gospel when Judas takes money from the common purse? What about Judas' betrayal of questioning Mary anointing Jesus with nard? Judas had lived closely with Jesus and knew his deep generosity, and yet he betrayed that generosity by suggesting Mary's act was far too generous. Judas betrayed Jesus with a lie when he knowing he was the betrayer, he asked Jesus, "Surely not I, Rabbi?" And Jesus responded to that lie with, "You have said so."

Sermon from Sunday, February 13th 2011

Based on: Matthew 5:21-37

If I were smart today, I would preach about the psalm, or invent a biography of the Corinthians. Anything would be better than tackling things like this. "...I say to you, that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment."[1] And then there's, "So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift at the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift."[2] And then worst of all, "I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on grounds of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery."[3] Who wants to listen to stuff like this anyway?

Sermon from Sunday, January 30, 2011 Service

Based on: Micah 6:1-8 and Matthew 5:1-12

"God has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" (Micah 6:8)

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." (Matthew 5:6-9)

These words from the Prophet Micah and from Jesus the Christ have been quoted ceaselessly throughout history. They stand for us as words of challenge and bitterness. They are words that remind us of exactly where we stand before God.

Sermon from Sunday, January 23, 2011 Service

Based on: Matthew 4:12-23

This is an artist's paintbrush, and yes, it really does have something to do with today's Gospel. "Follow me, and I will make you." What do you think when you hear, "I will make you?" Most of the time, I feel resentful or pushed if I think someone is trying to "make" me do something. I suspect we all have a little of that four of five-year-old in us that says, "You can't make me!" Most likely because "make me" makes us uncomfortable, we focus our attention on "Follow m.," We'd like to forgot the rest of the sentence, that little addendum, "I will make you."

Sermon from Sunday, January 16, 2011 Service

Based on: John 1:29-42

I've always pictured this scene in John's gospel where the disciples are following Jesus as rather like a couple of juveniles caught out in something they shouldn't be doing. I like to think of those two guys acting like a couple of shy teen agers: tiptoeing behind Jesus' back, stopping when he stops, picking up speed when he picks up speed. You know; that thing you've seen in some Monty Python movie, "Walk this Way." And finally Jesus, knowing they are behind him, whips around and says, "What are you looking for?"

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