Perhaps it surprises us that at the tail end of the Easter liturgical season we hear of Jesus’ praying for our protection. Why would we need protection? The First Epistle of Peter answers the question and calls us to be alert, for the adversary seeks whom to devour. Continue reading
Christ is Risen! Alleluia! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia! Having just replied as you’ve been taught, does it feel more like an echo now than a first excited exclamation to say that? Or all too back into ordinary time, are we cast back into the mindset of those two upset disciples walking a dusty rocky road in a world that again bears no promise for them? Continue reading
Walter Brueggemann is a contemporary theologian who does not hedge his words. He is one of the most prolific and prophetic preachers alive. A popular quote of his aligns closely with the point of our scripture lessons today. He says, “The crisis in the church has almost nothing to do with being liberal or conservative; it has everything to do with giving up on the faith and practice of our Christian baptism and settling for a common, generic U.S. identity that is part patriotism, part consumerism, part violence, and part affluence.” Continue reading
Based on Deut. 30:15-20; 1 Cor. 3:1-9; Mt. 5:21-37
It was a long slog for the alto soloist. Not because the music was uninteresting and strewn with vocal passages of the character of high craggy mountains and deep dark valleys. But because, evidently, the soloist was overwhelmed by the flu in front of the full house. Verdi’s Requiem, ramped up by the Houston Grand Opera, was magnificently produced. The conductor commanded forces of the size and sound of the whole Fifth Army. Verdi’s music was as powerful and well-performed as ever. And somehow the alto soloist sang all she had to sing: with conviction, power, nuance, and expert technique. Continue reading
Sermon for the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany
January 29, 2017
Micah 6:1-8; Psalm 15; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; Matthew 5:1-12
Jesus is preaching to us on the mountain.
Our mountain is now this nave, a holy place, set aside for the intimate encounter with God, a place filled with the real expectation that a revelation from God right now right here is not out of the question.
We surround Jesus who is seated, and he speaks to you and to me, personally. He speaks to me about people, but it is fine to include ourselves. Go ahead, please do include yourself among the blessed ones. Continue reading