Sermon Reflections

Sermon Reflections

The Good News Is…

Jesus only appears in the first verse of Sunday’s hard Gospel reading (Mark 6:14-29). The story is the execution of John the Baptist – a horrible story of a weak, cowardly leader more concerned with saving face than doing the right thing. Herod supposedly admires John, finds him to be “a righteous and holy man” and “like[s] to listen to him.” Yet if that were the case, why execute him, or even, why imprison him in the first place? Going…

Do Not Be Drawn Into the Fear

Jesus and his disciples are crossing the Sea of Galilee, going to be with those on the other side. Jesus and his disciples are going to heal, pray, teach, be present to, listen to those on the other side. Our first duty as Christians is to love God and neighbor. To do both, we each must cross lines that place us on differing sides – sides of what exactly? Sides of culture, country, politics, church, family…All of us belong to…

Reading the Bible

Amy’s sermon emphasized the responsibility of each of us to read the Bible. Episcopalians read the Bible in community with one another, with the community of saints in the Church who have read, prayed, studied, reflected, disagreed, and agreed for more than two thousand years, and in light of humanity’s God-given reason. Scripture, tradition, and reason – the bedrock of faith (and there is even more information about what the Episcopal Church believes about the Bible). Each of us must…

Sabbath For All

Two of our Scripture readings today focus on the Sabbath. In Deuteronomy 5:12-15, God commands God’s people to “observe the sabbath day and keep it holy.” In Mark 2:23-3:6, Jesus stirs controversy among the religious authorities on two separate occasions because of his actions on the Sabbath. Is Jesus following God’s command to keep the Sabbath when he feeds the hungry and heals the suffering? In what ways? Reading these texts alongside each other helps us to reflect on our…

Divine Integration

In my sermon last Sunday, I spoke about how something about the Holy Trinity’s divine distinct yet fully integrated identities felt almost relatable. Almost, because while I strive to decompartmentalize my life, I’m human, and you heard (or you can hear now!) the stories about how I move about the world differently depending on what I’m doing. In closing, I hypothesized that the more we, as humans, can live into this way in which we could be made in the image of God and…

Breathe on us breath of God

Our scriptures for Sunday – the day of Pentecost – all shed light on who and how the Holy Spirit works. We learned in Kristofer’s sermon about various challenges in translation – from Greek and Hebrew to English – and how these words can us better understand the work of the Spirit in our lives today. How do you know when the Holy Spirit is at work in your life? What does that look like? What does that feel like?…

Your actions can just be – Reflection

On Sunday, we heard again from John’s Gospel. In the text, we are given a window – through Jesus – into the sacred relationship between parent and child, in this case, between the Father and Son. This discourse in many ways resembles a love letter that extends beyond their relationship to the whole world, to all of us, and to all of creation. How do you experience God’s love? How are you sharing that love? One way Kim offered as…

Choosing Jesus – Reflection

In last Sunday’s Gospel reading, Jesus says that his disciples are no longer servants, but friends. What does friendship with Jesus mean to you? The late preacher and teacher of preaching Fred Craddock once remarked that we sing What a friend we have in Jesus And we don’t dare sing What a friend Jesus has in me. What a friend Jesus has in me. Would any of us choose to be Jesus’ friend? What would that friendship look like? For more questions to ponder this…