And he that sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” – Revelation 21:5
October is beckoning to you. Some of you hear the siren call of pumpkin spiced latte’s and candy corn. Others hear the voices of sports fans at the height of football season and the culmination of the baseball playoffs. Others hear the early and overplayed holiday music while you are still looking for decorations of orange and black, pumpkins and turkeys, corn husks and cobwebs.
For us in the north country, it calls to us with a voice that may seem different, unnoticed, undesired. A call of the sleep that is coming. A falling of leaves to the ground as trees give up their fruit to await another day and time. A calling of color to prepare us for some silence. For some cold. For extended darkness and waiting. A repose of the world, awaiting the snow as it’s blanket until warmth may come again.
Sermon for the 16th Sunday after Pentecost - Matthew 20:1-16
Jesus has made a decision about you. In fact, God has made the decision about you in Jesus. A decision that is not earned because of your own ability or niceties. It isn’t based on your time in service or membership in THE club. It is a decision made freely because what God has to distribute, the pay he is giving out, is so priceless that anything you might do to earn it actually makes it less valuable. It devalues it. A decision that is accompanied by the blood of Jesus that flows so forcefully, like the Red River in Spring, that the sound it makes screams – I forgive you.
Sermon for the 15th Sunday after the feast of Pentecost - Matthew 18:21-35
Forgiveness in Jesus is bigger than our bitterness, our anger, our strife, our memory. Forgiveness in Jesus is something sent for freedom, not failure. For transformation, not compulsion. And this is good news for the two siblings fighting in the backseat over who looked at who. Who touched who. Mom, she’s looking at me! Am not! Dad, he’s not staying on his side! Often, attempts to find the trivial, or rather insignificant, to be bigger than they are. Looking at someone the wrong way, saying the wrong things, insults, offence, all around stupidity. Not to say those things are unimportant in this world, but they are small matters in comparison to what Christ sees as the essential foundation of forgiveness.
Sermon on "Church Discipline" (14th Sunday after Pentecost) - Matthew 18:15-20
Jesus doesn’t like headings. He doesn’t like the subtitles in our Bibles. These places we demarcate out that we say – This section is this, and this section is this. We break ‘em up, as Bernie Sanders would say. Breaking up the story. Breaking up the teachings. Never thinking that things in the scriptures go together for a reason, and when the authors and writers actually wrote things down, they organized them for our benefit, that we might actually know what is going on, rather than having a few fragments and hoping we have at least some of the story.
Sermon for the 13th Sunday after the feast of Pentecost - Matthew 16:21-28
Jesus is Jesus. That is who he is, and that is who he will be. He has no time for someone to recast him as someone else. He has no time for politicians to use him for their latest campaign. He has no time for his disciples to get in the way of his work as preacher, as crucified Savior, as Son of God made flesh for you. He has no time for all the hemming and hawing over what just might be the right interpretation. He lays it out their for us here and now – You say ‘I am the Christ, the Son of the Living God?’ Well let me tell you about me. Let me tell you what that means. What it looks like. What sort of impact I will have on you. On your heart. On your soul. On your sin. I am the Christ, but not the kind of Christ you think you need, or the kind you want. No matter. Jesus is Jesus for you, and that is all he can do or be. for you.