Showing posts from April, 2011

Easter Sermon - 4/23/11 - John 20:1-18 - "Just One More Surprise"

Read the Gospel text here: St. John 20:1-18 Just One More Surprise - Easter Sermon 2011 Christ is Risen!   He is Risen indeed!   It had been a terrifying week for the followers of Jesus.   He had entered Jerusalem in triumph and they all expected that the time had finally come – Jesus was finally going to reveal himself as the victorious Messiah.   All Jesus’ followers were primed and ready to begin the revolution.   But Jesus had withdrawn and had not followed through.   What a disappointment! As time passed, the disciples and the crowds began to get frustrated and angry. What kind of Messiah is this, they wondered? By the middle of the week almost everyone had turned against him. Even Jesus’ closest disciples were grumbling and one, Judas, had begun to make plans to turn Jesus over to the authorities.   Betrayal was in the air.   And it was all because Jesus just didn’t seem to understand what was expected of him. Jesus just didn’t seem to understand what it mea

Sermon on The Gospel Readings for Palm Sunday - "Expectations!"

Read the Processional Gospel here: Matthew 21:1-11 Read the Passion of St. Matthew here: Matthew 26:14-27:66 What excitement!  The day has finally come – Jesus is finally going to do it.  Jesus is finally going to take the lead in restoring Israel!  After the years of unusual teachings – turn the other cheek, love your neighbor and so forth; after all of the healings and the miracles; after all of those odd and confusing statements about picking up your cross and following and the predictions about going to Jerusalem to be crucified and raised; after all of that – Jesus is finally going to reveal himself as the Messiah!  Jesus is finally going to reveal himself as the one who is the glorious King of Israel and he will destroy the invaders and the infidels (the Romans) once and for all!  Finally!!! It must have been a heady and exciting time for those crowds that followed Jesus around throughout his ministry, and also for the disciples.  Jesus had attracted a number of followers

Reflections on the Gospel – John 11 – The Raising of Lazarus

Read the text here: John 11:1-45 We have come to the end of our Lenten journey, which also means that we have come to the end of our series of Gospel stories from John.   In succession we have heard the story of Jesus' visit with the Pharisee Nicodemus, who visited Jesus at night; then Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan Woman at the well in the bright light of mid-day.   What a contrast John gives us with these two stories – the insider Nicodemus who is really an outsider because he does not believe and who comes at night which represents to us that he is in the darkness; and the outsider Samaritan Woman who is really an insider because of her belief and whose encounter occurs in the bright light of the day to represent that she is of the light.   Then the man born blind – who has been in darkness all him life – is given sight and he becomes a child of light because of his belief while the Pharisees and officials who can see (technically) are the ones who are real

Sermon on John 9 - "Sin & Belief / Darkness & Light" - Lent IV A

Read the text for today here: John 9:1-41 Well, I don’t know if you have noticed – middle of Lent and I have not spent a lot of sermon time talking about sin, so far.   But that changes today because our Gospel lesson for Lent IV is, in part, about sin.   What exactly is sin? What does it do to us and how do we deal with it?   These are some of the questions posed by this text. So, what do you think about when you hear the word sin?   I suppose you think about doing bad things – breaking the 10 commandments or doing hurtful things to others.   Perhaps you think of sin in terms of rewards and punishment.   If you are good – God will reward you; if you are sinful you will be punished.   This is a very popular way of looking at sin; in part I suppose because it makes logical sense to us.   That seems to be the way the world works, right?   Many years ago – when I was in high school I spent my summers, as I think I have mentioned before, working out in the warehouses and in the yard