“Is this why you come to church? To be changed and transformed? Do you come to hear the promise God gives us in Jesus, that what was once dead can have new life? That what was once old can be made new?
This is what Jesus calls us to: a life of resurrection.”
“Vulnerable, naked, exposed like a child and able to receive love. This is what Jesus asks of us. This is the kind of love God has for us. This is the kind of love we are called to receive and to share with others.”
The Holy Gospel: Mark 1:21-28 Sermon given at Good Samaritan Episcopal Church: http://churchthatserves.org/ Sunday, January 28th, 2018 In-gathering Sunday for First Pledging Campaign Listen to sermon here: SoundCloud Audio As you may know, I just returned from a trip to London. I went with a group of ministers eager to study the church planting and revitalization happening in […]
The Holy Gospel: Mark 1:1-8 Sermon given at Good Samaritan Episcopal Church: http://churchthatserves.org/ Sunday, December 10th, 2017 Listen to sermon here: SoundCloud Audio It was June 12th 2015, a Friday. I had just dropped my son off at my friend Erina’s house. She would watch him while my husband and I went to St. Vincent Women’s hospital, where […]
I wonder if the servant was told to go and hide his talents. Maybe he was told he would never succeed in using the talents. Maybe he was told by his family or his friends, or his community, that he wasn’t worthy of the talents he had.
Maybe we’ve been told to hide who we are. Maybe we have been told to bury parts of ourselves because who we are is too shameful, or abnormal, that the way we are is not the right way for a person to act or think.
“He is telling them, in a very direct way, that they have it all wrong. Instead of welcoming, loving and opening their faith to others they have bound it up with rules, regulations and authority figures.
Instead of sharing the wealth, the fruits, they have kept it for themselves. And this, Jesus warns, will crush them. Their desire to have power and control, to regulate and institutionalize the faith, will crush them.”
Our authority, our power, then, is not dependent on society’s definition. The institutions of our lives are not where our authority lies. Who we are and where we derive our power from is that piece of God within us all, that signature God has left on our hearts.
What Jesus is demonstrating is powerful stuff. It means we don’t need to wait to be given permission to claim our authority, power, truth.
As I sat down to write this sermon for today I could not get this story of Al Letson and the fallen man out of my mind. I couldn’t help but see the connection between what Al chose to do in that moment when he flung himself down onto a fallen man being beaten and what Jesus is asking his disciples to do in this morning’s Gospel passage.
You may have noticed that we are currently in the midst of a “come to Jesus moment.” America is in the throes of a major “come to Jesus moment.”
Police brutality, white nationalism, nazis, riots, racism, sexism, slander, ignorance, hunger, human-trafficking, depression, drugs, pain, war, suffering, violence…
Among all the conflict, hate and pain, we are being asked “Who do you say that I am?” In other words: What do you believe in? What do you stand for? And what will you do about it?