August 2022

Sermon for Sunday, 28 August

Readings for the day

The first reading we heard this morning has an interesting, almost tentative place in the Bible. It comes from a book sometimes known as Sirach and other times as Ecclesiasticus. In the Roman tradition it is squarely in the Old Testament and in the Lutheran and Calvinist tradition it’s not there at all. We tend to think it comes from the Hebrew Scriptures. But it is not in the Hebrew Scriptures…  

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They Stand Upright

Yesterday morning, for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, I shared with our congregation this reflection by Debie Thomas, in which she says so much of what I would have wanted to say, and says it so well, as usual. The day before, Volmoed had hosted a memorial service for Elvia Bury and, in the time since her death, I have been thinking about both the Sunday Gospel and Elvia’s life, and how these intersected.

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Sermon for Proper 14 C

Today’s Readings

The purpose of a sermon, I think, is to encourage an encounter with the Gospel – the good news of Jesus. So, I usually focus on the appointed Gospel reading. But encountering the Gospel is not just an encounter with a written record. In fact, it is never that. The Gospel is a living thing; our encounters are lively and intimate. Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John reliably point us in the direction of the good news. But they are guides along the path, not the destination; and they are not the only guides.

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Sermon for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

Scripture Readings

In this morning’s gospel reading, Jesus is talking about possessions again, and about our relationship to them, which is usually reason enough to start feeling nervous, even though the surrounding context has Jesus repeatedly telling his disciples not to be anxious. I think if we listen carefully, we might be surprised by what Jesus is saying, and, perhaps as importantly, by what he is not saying.

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