Sermons


When You Pass through the Waters

When I saw the photo on the bulletin cover, which someone sent in response to our “thresholds” theme, I laughed out loud. It captures one of our doorways here at the church. “Use other door,” the sign says. I don’t know what the person who took the photo was thinking. Here’s what this submission made… Read More

Overwhelmed with Joy

I hesitate to admit this, but I’m not really a dog person. I’ve never had a dog as part of my household so I don’t quite know how to act around them. I get grossed out when they lick my hands and annoyed when they jump on me. Felix, a schnoodle, belongs to my brother’s… Read More

Silent Night, Holy Night

Was the organ broken? Had mice chewed the bellows? Or perhaps flooding had ruined the whole instrument? There are many legends about what prompted the composition of Silent Night, which turns two hundred years old tonight. What we know for sure is that as Christmas Eve approached, Joseph Mohr, a parish priest in a small… Read More

What Should We Do?

  This sermon is inspired by Dr. Ted Jennings, Professor Emiritus at Chicago Theological Seminary, Michel Beth Dinkler, Assistant Professor of New Testament at Yale Divinity School, and my friend, Bill Ayers, former Professor at the University of Illinois Chicago and co-founder of the Weather Underground. If you were granted the power to make one… Read More

Imagine

Ruminating over today’s scripture texts, I am drawn to two images: the “righteous branch” in Jeremiah and, in Luke, the sprouting leaves of the fig tree. In Jeremiah, the armies of Babylon were marching toward Jerusalem. Within a short time, the streets of the city would be filled with blood. Those who survived the brutal… Read More

A Journey Through the Church Year

Welcome to our journey through the church year. Our Jewish roots emphasize the holiness of time. The weekly Sabbath is a kind of sanctuary in time, created by God, for humanity and the earth. The Sabbath day is time set aside for something different, something more, than work, worry and commerce. The Sabbath is a… Read More

Here for a Reason

This sermon was inspired by Ari Berman, a writer for Mother Jones magazine; Wil Gafney, Associate Professor of the Old Testament at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, TX; and by Chris Hedges, a former writer for The New York Times who is also an author, ordained Presbyterian Minister, visiting lecturer at Princeton University. Hedges,… Read More

Pursuing Peace

The Hebrew word, “Shalom” is hard to translate. Rabbi David Zaslow says this: Contrary to popular opinion the Hebrew word shalom does not mean “peace,” at least not in the English sense of the word. It comes from a Hebrew root-word that means “wholeness.” And what is wholeness? In the Hebraic way of thinking, wholeness… Read More

Boldly Go

This sermon was inspired by Craig Koester, Professor and chair of New Testament at Luther Seminary, Archbishop Oscar Romero, and free soloist mountain climber Alex Honnold. I have often been threatened with death, if they kill me, I shall arise in the Salvadoran people. If the threats come to be fulfilled, from this moment I… Read More

Making Friends with the Habit of Listening

I’ve never been a morning person. My body just does not like to wake up and get out of bed. I’m crabby and no fun to be around. It’s worse in the dark fall and winter seasons. A few months ago, though, I began a new morning habit. I creep downstairs and tend to a… Read More