Posts

i didn't know i was broken

Image
'til i wanted to change

The Holy Gospel according to St. John the 21st chapter!

The third time Jesus asks Peter if he loved him, it cut Peter to the heart…
But not because Jesus asked three times if Peter loves him.
Now, to understand why, you need to go back to when that day began. When he and the other disciples all struggled together to haul the nets in. As the ship swayed back and forth, and the men instinctively rocked their bodies forth and back to counterbalance the momentum that would overturn their ship…

For Peter, it was one of those moments that’s almost surreal. He thinks how easily the boat could capsize. Just a little too far one way or the other, and everything would go overboard. Peter can’t help but think about how this because his old life, precariously balanced as it had been, was now overturned…
We know what that’s like, don’t we? How it takes so much to keep our lives from flipping. How all it takes is something lilting a little too far in one direction, and the life…

he closed the yawning gates of hell

Image
the bars from heaven's high portals fell


The Holy Gospel according to St. John!
He is risen! (He is risen, indeed!) Well, it’s an early Easter this year. Isn’t it? And the chilly weather out there is the perfect testament to that! Nonetheless, here you are! You’ve made it to this Easter morn!
…And, I have to say, you’ve pulled it off nicely. Dressed to the nines, and with winning smiles to match.
But I’ve got to tell you, I just barely made it here this year. Last Easter, was later in the year. The weather was nicer. And I felt more prepared. In fact, last Easter, the sermon just fell into place. I thought of a perfect illustration, “Little Miss Sunshine.” And afterward a fews folks shared how much they love that movie.
But this Easter, well this Easter just wasn’t doing. The sermon wasn’t coming along at all. On top of that, the slowly springing Spring, was getting me down. I was stressed out with everything I needed to do. Plus, earlier in the week, my foot landed funny and I was limping ar…

and whether our tomorrows be filled with good or ill

Image
“Following Jesus isn’t as hard as we make it; and it’s more demanding than we treat it.”


Easter has come and gone. But the truth is, we’re a little too quick to think Easter is over. Because the thing is, whenever Jesus shows up, he brings Easter all over again! And the thing about Jesus is, he loves to show up. Especially when and where we don’t expect! After Easter we’ll be spending our time in the book of Acts and the Epistle to the Philippians. As you read your way through these scriptures, you can’t help but notice the ways Easter keeps happening! None of the characters act on their own initiative, they’re always being led! Led by the very same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. And often enough, that Spirit works moments strikingly reminiscent of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection! Saul is raised to a new life. Ananias is asked to risk his. Paul finds in his weakness the strength of the one who humbled himself to the point of death. The message of Easter is that the story of J…

if you've got something that sheds some light

Image
use it tonight


The Holy Gospel according to St. John the 18th chapter!
It’s like Bob Dylan sung long ago, “And the first one now / Will later be last / For the times they are a-changin’.” In other words, if we’re going to have half a chance of understanding what’s going on all around us, we going to need how to read the times. And I don’t just mean just remembering to change our clocks, but discerning the sign of the times themselves…
Like this moment in American and world history, as the question is being put to us over and over again. “What time is it.” Is it a time of change, or of holding onto old ways? Or another simple example, the High School walk out. No one seemed quite sure what to make of it. I got the impression not even the students were…
Because that’s the thing, isn’t it? It’s hard to know what time it is. It’s never been easy, and it’s not getting any easier over the years.
That’s what’s really at stake as Jesus, the Savior of the World, goes to stand trial before the despot Pi…

following Jesus isn’t as hard as we make it

Image
and it’s more demanding than we treat it.

Before Lent I usually plan a “continuing education.” This is an opportunity for me to step away and reflect. And anyway, pastors are expected to complete so much continuing education each year. This year because of life and weather, the schedule I had set went to the wind. I it was out of my control though, so I tried not to stress about it. And a cool thing happened; at Grand View’s chapel service, a new schedule fell into place! The week wasn’t what I planned, but it was good. And I walked away with this thought: “Following Jesus isn’t as hard as we make it; and it’s more demanding than we treat it.”
Let’s begin with the first part, following Jesus isn’t as hard as we make it. One of the meetings I wanted to make sure I kept, was with the President of Grand View. Under his leadership Grand View has gone through a number of changes, and I wanted to ask him about that. But he wanted to talk about the church. He told me about his disappointment when …

if you don't mind believing that it changes everything

Image
time will never matter


The Holy Gospel according to St. John the 13th chapter!


This sermon isn’t about ournevers,” it’s about Jesus’ always
On the night as the pot started to boil over. The night before everything hit the fan. The night before the final reckoning. The night even the air was tense. Jesus gathered his inner circle around a table.
Only, instead of laying out a plan to take down the enemy, Jesus took off his robe. Instead of putting on a military uniform, he puts on servant’s rags. And instead of taking up arms, he picks up a bowl.
On the night when all the forces of evil will wage war with Jesus, Jesus doesn’t stand up to the wicked ruler, instead he kneels at the side of his disciples! He wages no righteous war, instead he washes their dirty feet. *Even Judas’, who would betray him…
And Peter, along with the rest of us, will have none of it. He tells Jesus “never.” “You will never wash my feet,” Peter protests…
Have you ever been there? Have you ever looked out into the darkness …