Sermons & Blog

Learning to Love

Finally something which they can all agree on! After three days of conflict and disagreement in the Temple, finally something upon which they can all agree. Which commandment in the law is the greatest? “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This was the Shema, Deuteronomy 6.5, the words that a faithful Jew would write on their doorpost and pray twice a day, morning and night. Surely they could all agree that this is the great commandment. The problem is, it’s not enough. Maybe it’s because God is a mystery to us. Maybe it’s because God is invisible, intangible. For whatever reason, we need more to go on. The commandment to lov

Whose Image?

“Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” It is one of the most famous lines in scripture. And we so often treat it as simply good advice. We take it as practical advice about how to organize the affairs of church and state, or how to manage the conflicting demands of our faith and our world. We saw it play out in Washington this past week, in the way that US Senators and Judge Amy Coney Barrett danced around the sacred and the secular in their questions and answers. But when we treat the Bible as simply a source of good advice, we do scripture a disservice, and we get ourselves in trouble. Jesus isn’t giving advice here. He is doing somet

More Than Good Advice (Thanksgiving)

At first glance, today’s gospel looks like good advice: “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” It sounds like good advice, not just for Jesus’ original listeners, but also for us, in our time and place. Because there is a lot of worry in our world, in our communities, in our homes. So much so that one in nine of us will experience an anxiety disorder in a typical year. And this year of the pandemic has been anything but typical. This is the year that we hoarded toilet paper. Right now, in is city, we worry, with good reason, about the resurgence of cases th

What Will He Do?

“When the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do?” Now that’s a good question. Where there is injustice, where there is oppression, where there is suffering, where innocent people are being killed, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do? This violent parable that Jesus tells about the landowner and the tenants cries out for an answer to that question. We want an answer - and we know almost instinctively what the answer should be. We know there should be judgement. We know there should be punishment. We know that injustice shouldn’t be allowed to stand, we don’t want the tenants to get away with it. The answer springs to the lips of Jesus’ listeners without hesitation. “H

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