Skip to main content


Showing posts from May, 2017

Altars, Altars Everywhere (Sermon)

Outline for sermon based on Acts 17:16-31 Paul wanders through Athens, sees idols, and is dismayed at the sight. What idols would someone see wandering through Anchorage? LCOH? Our home/car/backpack? In order to convince the Athenians to put up an idol to a new god, the evangelist of the new deity must assert the ability to speak of the deity and the deity’s desires. One of the desires of the god must be to reside in Athens. The god’s Athenian residency must bring good will and blessing to the citizens. Yet, the Athenians have installed an altar to an unknown god. What actions in our life that would indicate to people that we worship a known God or an unknown god? Paul speaks to them the one whom they have classified as “unknown” is actually God over all things. This God is not limited in space, time, or material, but is the source of all things. This God is not a small provincial idol, but the Divine Presence of every place and within whom everything “lives


If I was taking a walk with You, I’d say, “It turns out there isn’t a limit to how  frustrated I can get. Or how many bad decisions people can make. Is there no bottom?” I think you would be silent. We would walk on and I would get exasperated. Yes, with You. “Are you going to say anything?” I will ask. Stride, stride, stride. Pause. “I am.” Originally written for and posted at , 5/19/17. 

Sermon: Made, Loved, Kept

I understand and I truly believe that Jesus was both fully human and fully divine, from his conception unto his resurrection. In his fully human nature, he would have been tempted to sin. Not just the sins experienced through the devil's presence in the deprivation of the desert, but also in every day ways. Thus, when Jesus clearly states to Thomas , I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him. And Philip IMMEDIATELY responds, Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied. I believe that Jesus was tempted. Perhaps not tempted to violence or sarcasm, but tempted to abandon patience, to growl at Philip, to roll His eyes, to throw up His hands and cry out, "How can I lead when the people I'm leading keep retreating?". A fully human Incarnation was tempted to something  in that moment, but did not yield to that temptation.

Repost: 10 Things to Know about Hell

I wrote and posted this originally in 2015 , but I recently dusted it off and updated it to preach to a group of clergy colleagues. It's one of those sermons that is truly written for oral delivery with asides, facial expressions, and gestures, but it's still good in the reading. _________________ The Top 10 Things to Know about Hell 10. About 99% of the images in your head of hell- the red demon with a pointed tail, the levels of suffering, the pit of fire, the presence of those who never knew Christ, the darkness, AND the eternal wailing and torment (plus the image of Judas in hell)- are all from Dante’s The Divine Comedy (or The Inferno ). His writing was a piece of political literature that condemned powers of his day that he didn’t like. It also was Dante’s way of confirming himself as a poet for the ages by using the poet Virgil, who lived and died before Jesus, as his guide. Additionally, Dante’s work was a distillation of Greek and Roman mythology, some alle