Sermon for the funerals of Candi Goochey and Heidi Pierce - February 23rd, 2019
My beloved people. Brothers and sisters. Family and friends of Candi and Heidi. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ who raises the dead. I basically want to end there. Mic drop. Because I think that is what is needed now. Here. Today. Grace. Peace. Resurrection. Because everything else fails. Words fail. Emotions fail. All of it fails, apart from what we receive from the Lord – Grace and peace and resurrection.
Sermon for Sexagesima Sunday - Luke 8:4-15
My greatest fear as a pastor is that my people will always want to hear something other than Jesus. My greatest fear as a man is for Christ to make me so weak, that all I can seek is Jesus. Weakness being the worst thing you could ever imagine to pray for. We always pray for strength. I’ve asked this week for you to pray for strength for me and Pastor Tim, our communities, as we try and shepherd this us all through tragedy. Because we as children of God want to be strong. All of us. Not just pastors. We want to stand courageous. Be rocks and fortresses all throughout our lives. People to lean on. Never thinking that in reality we need to be weak.
Sermon for Septuagesima Sunday - Matthew 20:1-16
Well, I have two sermons for you this morning. Written anyways. I didn’t know which way I would go because I really loved the one I wrote and then Thursday came. You always think you know what you are going to say on Sundays. You look at the words of the texts, you hear Jesus speak, and you get something all ready and then what has happened in our parish, in Nevis and Akeley, comes. Three people dead. Tragedy. It was a great sermon. Great for the bin. Because right now we need, I need, Christ to speak to us in some other way. We need to hear his call to us.
Gesimatide. What a wonderful word. A word for a three Sunday period when the church leaves the joys of Christmas and Epiphany, but hasn't quite reached the perils and penitence of Lent. Where we take one last glimpse at all that is basic to our faith in Christ before we delve deep into the frailty of Ash Wednesday and the trudge of a journey through 40 days in the wilderness awaiting the new "Promised Land" in Christ.
Sermon for the Transfiguration of Our Lord - Matthew 17:1-9
It is an amazing thing to look into the face of God. I am not talking about some manifestation of what I think him to be, or what we presume to be his work among us through the face of another. I am talking about the actual face of the Lord. God himself. The holiest of the holy. The perfect of the perfect. The most merciful of anything you could ever imagine. Which is an amazing thing to say since we look around the world and find very little of any of that. Within our faith, or religion (whatever you want to call it), what often is missing in the Western World is this question of transcendence. Of something above and beyond us. The wonder of the Almighty. Of a God that is so beyond us that he is uncontrollable.
Sermon for the 4th Sunday after Epiphany - Matthew 8:23-27
Our psalm said – Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. I am not very good at that. I tend to be an anxious person. If I were in that boat on the Sea of Galilee that day, with the waves and wind swarming all-around me, I would not ascribe glory to God. I would be shaking Jesus like nobody’s business to try and wake him up. I would awaken the Lord, not ascribe glory to him. That is human nature, though. When control leave us and we discover ourselves weak and vulnerable, despair can creep in and we turn every which way to find safety and comfort. More often to ourselves more than anything. Hoping that we might overcome some great obstacle or danger in front of us on our own. American ingenuity and all that. Or we do end up turning to despair because we think everything is hopeless. We can’t fix it so why try. Let’s turn back and go the way we came. God doesn’t care about us, he wants us to perish. Control over our lives often leading to great and grave danger.