Sermons & Blog

Two Worlds Collide

This week, this Holy Week, two worlds collided. Two ways of life clashed. Not for the first time. Not for the last time. But there was a conflict, a collision with profound implications. There was the world of Pilate. The world of Empire, the world of power, the world of the realists. A way of life based on self-interest and privilege. Us vs them. Doing what it takes. I’ll scratch your back and you scratch mine. We know this world, with its grievances and resentments, its competitiveness and conflict. It’s still around. But then there was this other world. The world of Jesus, the one he called the kingdom of God. A world in which the poor and the hungry and those who mourn are bless

Truth vs Power

Pilate understands power. It’s the air he breathes. He knows its structures, he knows its relationships. The exercise of power is the way Roman society works. The powerful were expected to dominate the weak. Masters dominated their slaves, patriarchs dominated their families, Roman soldiers dominated the people of occupied nations. Yes, Pilate understands power. It’s the first criteria he uses when he’s sizing someone up, it’s his map as he navigates his way through life. And so far, he’s doing pretty well. He is the fifth Governor of the Roman province of Judea under the Emperor Tiberias. He has Roman soldiers under his command and Jewish authorities under his thumb. As Roman Gov

Pointing to the Cross (Lent 5)

If someone came up to you and said “I want to see Jesus”, what would you show them? If they said, “I want to know Jesus,” what would you point to? What story would you tell, what scripture would you read? What experience would you share, what practice might you suggest?” In our first reading today, set in the sixth century BC, Jeremiah prophesies the day when people will come to know God. He calls it a new covenant, the beginning of new relationship between God and humanity. The old covenant had been given by God to the people of Israel through Moses. The law, the ten commandments, had been written on stone tablets for all to see, and by the time of Jeremiah it had broken into pieces.

Perishing

John’s gospel loves to talk about the light and the dark. The gospel reading which we just heard begins in the dark. We are now deep into the season of Lent, the time of year when we slow down and take stock of our lives, the time of year when we seek to tell the truth about ourselves and our human condition. And the truth about ourselves which is found in today’s readings is this: we are perishing. We began our Lenten journey with the imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday, and the words “remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” We are perishing. We are beings who crave eternity, but in truth we are mortal. But perishing is more than just biological death. We are peopl

A Letter from God

Last Sunday while I was away, you did this wonderful activity with Allie, where, as I understand it, you thought about Lent as a movement, as a time of transformation, and you wrote down on these pieces of art the things that you were moving away from, or hoping to move away from, and the things that you were moving towards, or hoping to move towards, during this season of Lent. This is the art you produced, and I love it. I especially love reading some of the things that you’re moving towards during this season of Lent: hope and joy and smiling and singing and inclusion and creativity and so much more. Awesome stuff. I wish you well on your journey. But while I was looking at your artw

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