Category Archives: Sermons

The Bread of Life

John 6:24-36 Hungry and desperate, the people press in on Jesus from all sides. I have a bread, Jesus tells them, that will always fill you up and satisfy you. Their mind hovers on these words: I have a bread that will fill you up. After all, this is a people, who know what it […]
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Grace Is Our Backstory

Mark 6:30-34, 53-56 The Scripture today tells us: The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught.  They had been on the road for days. Teaching. Telling the story of Jesus. Telling how their lives had been changed. Telling how they had just been out there in the tedium […]
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A Few Gems

James 3:17 Mark 6:1-13 It gleamed in the sunlight. Clear and radiant, the emerald was set in a simple gold ring. “That’s beautiful,” I said to my mother. “Oh, I got in the Smoky Mountains,” she replied, “There is a place where you can buy pails of dirt and sift for gems. If you find […]
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The Sleeping Gardener

Mark 4:26-34 A riot of bittersweet. A riot of bittersweet spilled over the stone wall by our church, flinging itself on each bare patch of dirt it could find, weaving its way through the crevices in the rock wall, poking itself through the holes. On our church clean-up day, Lisa Laing and Patty Rolfe worked […]
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Paint Big

2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1 Paul says to us: “We do not lose hope.” I want to know: Does he know how hard the uphill climbs of life can be when he says that? This week a friend was telling the story of someone who went for a bike ride and became utterly exhausted mid-ride. They had […]
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Wild Goose Chase

Text: Acts 2:1-21 Before preaching, I want to share this story with you called the Cyclist by Mark Nepo: On the day of the race, he waited with the others and felt that life was waiting in the hills. He couldn’t quite say why, but a blessing was about to happen. As the gun went […]
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Easter Fools!

John 20:1-20, a sermon for the sunrise service “Early on the first day of the week, while it [is] still dark, Mary of Magdala [comes] to the tomb.” What a fool she is: Grief floods her body with every step. Her heart feels like it has broken in two. The Roman empire has killed Jesus, […]
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As Many Times as It Takes

John 13:1-17, 31b-35 It isn’t quite foot washing, but it is close. In 1968, Mr. Francois Clemmons, who played a black police officer on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, filmed a scene with Mr. Fred Rogers, a white Presbyterian minister. Mr. Clemmons hadn’t originally wanted the job as the police officer. He reports that he grew up […]
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The Way of Peace

Psalm 118:1-5, 19-29 & Mark 11:1-11 The psalmist writes: “Out of my distress I called on The Lord; the Lord answered me and set me in a broad place.”  What does it meant to be set in a broad space? Two years ago, during Lent, my friend and colleague Jennifer Zogg came to Essex and […]
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Let’s Face It

Mark 8:31-38 Let’s face it. How do we learn to face things? What does that look like? I was pondering that question this week while I was reading the book Second Chances by Cat Hoke. In the book, Cat talks about visiting a prison one day, and seeing the entrepreneur talent of the prisoners. She […]
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