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Showing posts from April, 2017

Easter Sanctuary

This sermon builds on the idea that the design of the sanctuary is to help us realize that we are safe there- baptized and safe in God's family, fed and safe with God meeting our needs, alive in Christ off the cross and safe because God is bigger.            It is one thing to tell children that sanctuary means safety and that everything in a church is designed to help us feel safe. It is quite another thing to try to convey that same idea to adults, particularly adults who are very aware of how church has not always represented safety or sanctuary for all kinds of people. Additionally, the words of the gospels have not always been used for comfort, consolation, or assurance of safety in God to people from a wide variety of backgrounds and circumstances.            The church has been unsafe at times for women, for divorced people, for children, for people who sought the gospel in their own language, for people who were anything other than heterosexual and cis-gendered, fo

Whole Lotta Shakin'

In Matthew’s Easter account opens with two women approaching the tomb and an earthquake. (The two events are only related because of Jesus, not the former causing the latter.) The women are there to witness if Jesus walks out of the tomb, but he doesn’t. The stone is moved and he is simply gone. There is an angel sitting there, matter-of-factly, to tell them that he has been raised and gone to Galilee, just like he said he would. We do not get a reaction of the women to the earthquake or to the rolling away of the stone. Unlike in the other gospel accounts, we don’t even know why the women are going to the tomb this morning. They simply are. Of course, it is possible women were no longer able to be surprised, given the events of the past three days and the fact that Matthew inserts several earthquakes into his version of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Both seio (the Greek word for shaking and quivering) and seismos (the Greek word for earthquake or commotion) are used liberally

Follower or Admirer (Sermon)

John 12             Jerusalem is full of people who are gathered for the Passover celebration. There are people everywhere. Think of the sounds of children, family reunions, animals being bought, sold, and traded. There is the smell of bodies, dust, excrement, cooking, and perfumed oils that some use to disguise the odors. There is a rush to purchase food, oil, wine, and charcoal. Of course, there are also Romans- soldiers and their families. They look on at the sudden rush  of people in from the countryside with alarm. Where did all these people come from? Will they bring trouble? Will an influx of people make it difficult to get some of the food and goods they prefer? Better also head out to the market.             There are non-Judean Jews coming in for Passover as well. If valid worship or sacrifice can only occur at the temple, they also make the pilgrimage. It seems that some of them have heard of this itinerant rabbi, Jesus, of whom it is said that he raised a man w