a sermon on groaning

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost | Texts: Genesis 29:15-28, Romans 8:26-39, Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52 |There’s something about breathing together with other humans that sort of reorients me to my own body, to my sense of presence, to my connection with God. The very first sentence of today’s reading from Romans reads, “We do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words”...

a sermon on reorienting to upside down

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost | Texts: Genesis 25:19-34, Romans 8:1-11, Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 | Yesterday, Josh and I visited the Chicago Botanic Garden for the first time. I wouldn’t describe myself as much of a plant person, which I think is part of why I appreciate gardens like that so much. I love to cook with fresh herbs, so a few weeks ago I bought a little pot of dill at the grocery store; I couldn’t keep it alive for more than a few days...

a sermon on the holy trinity

First Sunday after Pentecost | The Holy Trinity | Texts: Genesis 1:1--2:4a, Psalm 8, 2 Corinthians 13:11-13, Matthew 28:16-20 | The nature of God is something not best expressed with permanent marker, with scientific formula or perfect accuracy. The nature of God  is something captured more clearly with a poem, a dream, a song, an invitation to dance…

a sermon on justification

Third Sunday in Lent | Texts: Exodus 17:1-7, Romans 5:1-11, John 4:5-42 | All week I’ve had a song stuck in my head - a song appropriate for a week spent preparing a sermon on the doctrine of justification. The English translation of the lyrics is something like: God is the one who restores you. God never pushes you away. The Lord comes out to meet you, comes out to meet you...

a sermon on rules and loopholes

Sixth Sunday after Epiphany | Texts: Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Psalm 119:1-8, 1 Corinthians 3:1-9, Matthew 5:21-37 | In last week’s gospel, we heard Jesus tell the disciples, “You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world.” The reading ended with this difficult sentence: “I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” ...