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Showing posts from August, 2012

Choose This Day (Sermon 8/26)

Joshua 24:1–2a, 14–18; John 6:56-69 If, on a morning, I open my eyes, My first decision thereupon lies. Will I continue to lie in the bed, Allowing my thoughts to run through my head? Will I get up and go to the shower, Regardless of both weather and hour? What of my child, who may want me to stay? What of the tasks that call me this day? From the minute of waking, there are choices to make, What will I give today? What will I take? I want to be saintly and say my first thoughts are of God, But sometimes they’re not and, in that, I’m not odd. We may rise with the sun or maybe at noon, And we make hasty promises to get with God soon. Yet, that instant, a choice has been made- The balance of time against God has been weighed. We can’t do it all. Surely God understands. Consider this: did not God make this world, its demands? But in each thing we choose, and it is choose we must We have decided in which god we shall

Between Jesus and Me

In this week's coverage of the scandalous words of Representative Todd Akin of Missouri (see: Akin, "legitimate rape", "shut that down"), his frantic retraction, and the push from other Republicans for him to step down from his race (not because he was wrong, but because he was public)... I have run through a gamut of emotions. I have revisited how I felt when assaulted by men who did not heed my words to stop and how I felt for friends who experienced far worse assaults than I did. I have pondered what I will say to the child I currently carry in my womb regarding rights, women, and America. I have been angry at the attempts to discuss abortion instead of the very real rights and bodies of women- women who are currently alive, women who (theoretically) have constitutional rights, women who are not magical vessels for pedestals or damnation. All of these emotions swirled in my mind until I had this exchange with myself, in my head, while driving: I'

Gotta Serve Somebody

This week's reading from Joshua includes the famous verse:  "Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amories in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, well will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15)  When I think of this verse, I consider the truth that we're never really choosing if  we are going to have a god, we're constantly choosing what we will worship as god. Will we choose the God of creation, who has chosen us, or we will choose any number of lesser gods- whose glittering promises of health, wealth, and power are played like siren calls from all corners of the world?  Whom will we serve?  I keep hearing the words of the prophet, Bob Dylan, singing, "You gotta serve somebody..." It's not that we've gotta, it's that we're gonna... so whom will you choose?  "Gotta

Life Force and Momentum (Sermon 8/19)

John 6:51-58                         How many of you know someone who says they don’t believe in God? Most of us do. Many of us have had conversations with friends or family members or even strangers who tell us that they don’t believe. Sometimes their reasoning has to do with church history or personal experiences and sometimes they just feel like what we trust is true just cannot be. So in your conversations with these people, how many of you have ever offered today’s gospel passage as an argument support?             How many of you have just casually offered, “You know, Jesus said: Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I

Why are you Eating? (Sermon 8/12)

1 Kings 19:4-8; Ephesians 4:25-5:2; John 6:35, 41-51             My best friend and I are what you might call “eating friends”. She lives in Pennsylvania, but when we know we are going to get together- we immediately start making a list of restaurants in the area in which we will be. We make choices about which days to eat the big breakfast, lunch, OR dinner. We also have foods we both buy or bring, only on trips, because they are our vacation foods and because we enjoy eating them together. For us, the experience of eating together is a fun part of our relationship and our memories of things we have done together. (For the record, we do things other than eat. I think.)             What are some of the reasons we eat? We eat for pleasure. We eat because it’s time. We eat because we’re hungry. Anyone who has worked at losing weight knows that it’s easy to fall into the trap of eating because you’re lonely, bored, or sad. We eat when we’re celebrating and when we

The Bondage of Memory (Sermon 8/5)

Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15; John 6:24-35             Every four years, I have a little jealous streak that rears its head. It’s not because I wish I had put more effort into being an Olympic athlete, though I am admittedly envious of their skills. The little green monster that peeks out dates way back to my childhood when, looking at a poster in the hallway of my house, I realized there were no women presidents. Immediately, I wanted to be one. The presidency became my goal. In high school, I pursued a lot of avenues that were open for politically inclined students. I was voted most likely to succeed and most likely to become President. So every four years, I feel a little nostalgia that it is not going to happen.             At some point, I realized this was not the path for me. I do not mean a path that was not open to me- I mean not the best one for me. In order to move on to places and things that were better suited for my skills, I had to let the dream of being president die.

The Class I'll Never Forget

I just received the most recent issue of the Yale Alumni magazine and the feature story is entitled "The Class I'll Never Forget". Inside the magazine, there were 15 short paragraphs from various Yale alums- describing their most memorable class and what made it so. Inspired by the article, I began to make a list of the classes I took while attending Yale Divinity School and my different teachers. You'd think the class that I'll never forget would pop right out at me, but as it turns out I think of the professor and the class so often, it took a minute to bring them to mind in context. I would like to say, however, that I took many classes from deeply profound and caring professors who inspired me in any many ways. These were men and women who taught me to see the humanity and the Spirit in church history, the power and the humor in Scripture, the darkness and the light in Christian ethics. Yet, the class I will never forget is "What Would Jesus Write&quo