Sermons

Lent 1A Saved by Scripture

Lent 1A Saved by Scripture

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March 1, 2020

With this in mind, I want to share with you an excerpt from Ursula K. Le Guin’s essay, “Why Are Americans Afraid of Dragons?”

“For fantasy,” she writes, or in my case UFO conspiracy theories, “is true, of course. It isn’t factual, but it is true. Children know that. Adults know it too, and that is precisely why many of them are afraid of fantasy. They know that its truth challenges, even threatens, all that is false, all that is phony, unnecessary, and trivial in the life they have let themselves be forced into living. They are afraid of dragons, because they are afraid of freedom.”

The Good News of Baptism

The Good News of Baptism

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February 25, 2020

I have to admit, I am a bit surprised when Paul disses on baptism. When he writes to the Corinthians: “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel,” I couldn’t help but feel perplexed. For me, the gospel and baptism seem like two sides of the same coin. It makes me wonder why Paul was so angry and led me to think about my own baptism.

Berkeley Divinity School Morning Prayer – Standing up to Bullies

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February 2, 2020

Growing up with four brothers, each born less than 2 years apart, can be tough. Dad, chronically tired and anything but woke, called us “a pack of wild Indians.” Thank God for the moments of grace. Like being 10, lining up for recess, when the class bully snarled, “Hey, four eyes, get over here and carry my books.” A deeply religious child, I prayed to God… “Smite him… and quickly!” In a way, God did, as I heard, “Don’t talk to him like that!” The bully looked up at my older brother, and said – softly –“I’m talking to him, buddy, not to you.” To which my brother replied, “Yeah, well, when you’re talking to him, you’re talking to me.” I felt so grateful then, to be part of that motley flock.

Baptism of Our Lord – Blessed are the Hopeful

Baptism of Our Lord – Blessed are the Hopeful

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January 12, 2020

Everywhere around us, we’re encouraged toward hopelessness – our collective intransigence toward climate change, the multiple threats to our system of democracy, or the explosion of memes this week about the inevitability, indeed the relief from endemic uncertainty, that a World War III would being.