& come to me

i'm gonna set you free

A sermon on Jesus' baptism:
They say a little time on social media can cheer you up. Getting updates on old acquaintances. Checking in with friends. And if you’re Amanda, getting your daily-dose of dog pics; those are all things that can brighten you day…
Like many things, though, toomuch of a good thing tends to have the opposite effect. At a certain point, instead of cheering you up, spending time on social media will start to bum you out. Until the whole thing goes upside-down; and you log off UNhappier than when you started!
Now surely there’s plenty of reasons for this, but one must be our perennial tendency to measure ourselves against others.
After looking at yet another picture of some friends vacationing, your life starts to look a little shabbier. Scrolling through curated pic after curated pic of others living their best life, tends to cast a shadow over your own…
It used to be that after high school we were freed from that tired, old game of consta…

For I've grown a little leaner

grown a little colder

A sermon on Jesus' genealogy:
One of the movies Amanda and I have to watch every Christmas is, Christmas Vacation. You know the one, Clark Griswold, uncle Eddie, the house with all the Christmas lights. Yes, we have to watch this movie because it’s a Christmas one, and because it’s funny. But I’ve come to realize what’s really so great about this movie is how well it gets, the thing that’s the best part of the holidays is also what’s the worst about them; family. Uncle Eddie’s unexpected visit. The in-laws little remarks. The kids’ constant complaining. And the stress Clark put on himself trying to make everyone happy! The movie captures it all so brilliantly! To be able to laugh about it, has a way of making it more bearable. And that’s why we love to watch Christmas Vacation.
Because it is true, isn’t it? For as wonderful as family can be; it’s also what makes the holidays such a headache. I know I’m not the only one!
Sure, I could air my family’s dirty laundry. A…

all is calm

all is bright

Christmas Eve Sermon on the Christmas Eve Scripture

Merry Christmas! I’mso glad you’re here! I’ve been looking forward to it all week! And probably longer!
I’ve been looking forward to tonight because the truth is, this night is ALWAYS something of a miracle. A miracle…
For an hour or so, everything is just perfect. All of us here, together. Dressed to the nines. Buzzing with Christmas cheer. Sharing seasons greetings with old friends. Then, in about _______ minutes, we’ll cap this night off by singing “Silent Night,” by candlelight.
*When we do, take a moment to look up from you hymnal and into the faces of your loved ones, bathed in the soft candlelight, as they sing, “Jesus, Lord at your birth.” It’s as close any of us can hope to get to see one another the way God sees us…
…I will confess, though, I haven’t always looked forward to this night…
The scripture is so unequivocal This Night. Mary and Joseph, who are by no means, the ideal family; run out of options. They have to lay T…

only what once was mine

only at christmas time

A sermon on Isaiah 42:1-9:
Okay, I’ll admit to an unpopular opinion… I like a propercold & snowywinter.
In fact, remember watching that show “Full House” as a boy. It takes place in San Francisco, and all the characters have these charmed lives. BUT I remember the Christmas episodes, when things were especially charming, but I could only feel bad for them; they never got a proper winter snow!
I didn’t realize it back then, but I’ve come to understandpart of the reason I like a proper winter is, it makes Christmas all that more powerful. Now, I don’t mean the way we all imagine Christmas with white, beautiful snow. I mean, the way the promises of Christmas CLASH with crummy winter weather! Our bishop noted that for us in the Northern hemisphere, Christmas comes at a down time. When the year is winding down. The weather’s getting colder, and the days are getting shorter. Whichisthepoint! God comes when we don’t have it all together! When we’re not at our best! Icky w…

she hath suffered many a day

now her griefs have passed away

A sermon from the 4th chapter of Esther

Well, you’ve got to love how ODD today’s scripture is. Don’t you?
We don’t have time to go through the whole book of Esther. *It is only 10 chapters, though, and you could easily read it in an hour, or so.
But quickly, an official decree has been made that all Jewish people living in the Persian empire should be put to death. …Not for any good reason, mind you. Simply because Mordecai, Esther’s uncle, refused to bow to an official of the court. And this official, unaccustomed to any loyalty higher than worldly power, campaigns to have all people like Mordecai, the Jewish people, killed
What the official doesn’t know, though, is Mordecai has a ringer; Esther. Because Esther has two identities. She is Jewish. BUT, she is also the queen.
Esther was born Jewish. But she became queen through a series of unlikely events: Born an orphan and a refugee, she winds up winning a nation-wide a beauty contest! And then, when the king se…