Sermons


A Prayer for Relief

Most of you recall that I’m originally from Rifle, Colorado, a town that is 190 miles west of Denver on the banks of the Colorado River, which means the town itself sits in a beautiful mountain valley. As a boy, I spent as much time as I could outdoors—deer hunting, trout fishing, mountain climbing, river… Read More

Malcolm and Jesus

Howard Thurman once said: “There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself.” A few months ago, I finished reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X and turned to the brief essay by Ossie Davis that closes the book. Yes, I thought, Malcolm was a… Read More

Living Toward Belovedness

Every few weeks, I carry the baptismal bowl to the kitchen. I dump out the water that’s grown stagnant and cloudy. I scrub away the rings of filmy residue. I refill the bowl with fresh water from our tap—water that is both sacred and ordinary, water that gives life, water that is life. Then I… Read More

The Stable Is Our Heart

The darkness was warm and inviting. People sat shoulder to shoulder in the pews. Dozens more lay on the floor of the chancel. Projectors splashed the night sky onto the ceiling. Music, readings and visual art immersed us in the mysteries of the cosmos. This event, at Hope Lutheran and called “Night Songs,” reveled in… Read More

Control, Alt, Delete

This has been a very difficult week. Weeks like this can leave us wondering which wildfire to put out. In fact, the last 11 months has felt as if we’re being chased by wind-blown flames. Of all the international and local crises, which deserves our time and attention the most? The season of Advent prepares… Read More

Prepare for Disruption

Our family enjoys the Knuffle Bunny stories by Mo Willems. The first book begins this way: “Not so long ago, before she could even speak words, Trixie went on an errand with her daddy.” As Trixie and her Dad leave their apartment, Dad balances a full laundry basket with one arm while steering Trixie with… Read More

Awake to Hope

On the day of the solar eclipse, I rushed over to the parking lot of Hope Lutheran so that I could borrow a pair of eclipse glasses from my friend Nick. On the way there, I noticed that the neighborhood felt different. The day was unusually quiet. The summer sky was shrouded in semi-darkness. People,… Read More

My Way, Your Way

Moral dilemmas. How many of you have seen the movie, “A Bronx Tale?” This is a movie from 1993 starring Robert de Niro and another great actor, Chazz Palminteri, who wrote and directed the film. The movie is set in the 1960’s and tells the story through the eyes of a 9-year-old boy named Cologero,… Read More

Desert Wisdom

Last Spring, at the beginning of my sabbatical, I spent a couple of weeks in the desert. I drove north out of the village of Abiquiu, NM, past Ghost Ranch, and toward the dirt land that leads to the Monastery of Christ in the Desert where I would spend a week in solitude and silence…. Read More

A Way out of No Way

It’s probably not news to many of you that I have a terrible sense of direction. When I guided canoe trips in the Boundary Waters, finding my way was a major challenge. With the canoe bobbing in the waves, I would scan the landscape and study the map. Given the rambling shorelines and numerous islands,… Read More