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Category Archive for 'Sermon Notes'

Tell It Slant – Cultivating a Generous Life Matthew 25:14-30, NRSV Reflections Dear God, I am so afraid to open my clenched fists! Who will I be when I have nothing left to hold on to? Who will I be when I stand before you with empty hands? Please help me to gradually open my […]

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Tell It Slant – The Insignificant Acts of God Luke 13:10-21, NRSV Reflections What you call riddles are truths, and seem riddles because you are not true. — George MacDonald, Lilith Images of Kingdom of God: Mustard Seed, Yeast. I think the synagogue leader in the parable overlooks the miracle of healing, much like overlooking […]

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Tell It Slant – Reach for It Mark 5:21-43, NRSV Reflections The day I married Amanda, however, I bore my scars with pride. All those years before, I thought they told a story about a neurotic queer who was broken and deranged. I thought they were a symbol of my failure. Something shifted when I […]

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Tell It Slant – The End of Pretending Luke 14:1, 7-14, NRSV Reflections Ignore the pecking order — or worse — upend it? Don’t network, don’t schmooze, don’t brown nose? Open my heart and home to people who can do nothing for me? People I have no affinity for? People I can’t impress, earn favors […]

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Tell It Slant – Conduits of Mercy Matthew 18:21-35, NRSV Reflections Maybe retaliation or holding onto anger about the harm done to me doesn’t actually combat evil. Maybe it feeds it. Because in the end, if we’re not careful, we can actually absorb the worst of our enemy, and at some level, start to become […]

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Tell It Slant – Catastrophes and Fig Trees Luke 13:1-9, NRSV Reflections We live in a finite world where everything is dying, shedding its strength. This is hard to accept, and all our lives we look for exceptions to it. We look for something strong, undying, infinite. Religion tells us that something is God. Great, […]

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Love is God’s Name Exodus 3:1-15; 20:1-2, 7, NRSV Reflections We of the churches often gather our robes away from contamination, and thank God that we are not as other men. We don’t despise God’s name; in fact, we call upon it constantly to justify ourselves…. If we object to meat-eating, we declare that God […]

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A Divine Symphony Acts 2:1-13, NRSV Reflections God speaks people, fluently. — Willie James Jennings This act (Baptism of the Holy Spirit) by the Holy Spirit challenged the idea that holiness was determined by proximity to a more pure and dominant expression of faith. It challenged the idea that God would only speak to or […]

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The New Normal: Jesus is Now Everywhere Acts 1:1-11, NRSV Reflections Watching Jesus and watching for Jesus was and is a significant temptation for his disciples. Such watching can easily undermine the priority of the journey. — Willie James Jennings City Hope San Francisco  

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The New Normal: The Spirit Surprises Acts 10:44-48, NRSV, John 15:9-17, NRSV Reflections When you’re lying on the beach something is happening, something that has nothing to do with how you feel or how hard you’re trying. You’re not going to get a better tan by screwing up your eyes and concentrating. You give the […]

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