Resistance and Maladjustment – a sermon on Mark 1:9-15

  In December of 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a speech at Western Michigan University that is considerably less well-known than “I Have a Dream” or some of his other remarkable public addresses. In it he says, “There are certain technical words within every academic discipline that soon become stereotypes and cliches. Modern psychology…

Sparkly Jesus and the Unexpected Visitors – a sermon on Mark 9:2-9

  This passage from the gospel of Mark, called the transfiguration, is a story that has been puzzling pastors and theological scholars for centuries. It’s a bizarre tale. But I’m delighted to tell you that I’ve finally found an explanation, thanks to the Super Bowl. It’s a Tide commercial! Obviously, I jest, and I do…

“Real Gospel in a Time of Fake News” – a sermon on Mark 1:21-28

  On the Netflix series The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the title character emerges from an underground bunker after being held hostage for fifteen years by a man who has convinced her and three other women that the world has been destroyed, and they are the only survivors. When she is rescued, she learns that all…

Getting Out of Our Own Way to Prepare for God

Last Sunday, I told Eliza Buchakjian-Tweedy’s excellent story as a sermon on Isaiah 40. Please enjoy it here, on her blog. Or you can listen to me tell it in a slightly shortened version:

“Who’s In Charge Here?” A Sermon on Matthew 25:31-46

  Let’s just say this from the very start: this is a difficult text. First of all, the language of the whole passage could not possibly be more masculine. Son of Man, Father, kingdom, lord, king, him, him him, etc., like they were trying to use every possible male word available. We have a commitment…

Ready or Not – A Sermon on Matthew 25:1-13

  I’m going to start today by summing up both of our Scripture readings in one sentence: Get ready. In Joshua, the question is whether the people are ready for the covenant. Are you ready for a relationship with this God? Are you ready for a religion that may cost you? Because if you commit…

“All Together Now” – A Sermon on Revelation 7:9-17

  Yesterday I saw “This Random Life” at the Ensemble Theater. It’s a play about people who feel very disconnected from the people who are supposedly closest to them. A brother and sister who annoy, resent, and worry about each other by turns. Their mother who hides the reality of her life from them to…