Category: Sermons

  • The First Evangelist

    A version of this sermon was originally preached by me at Fairplain Presbyterian Church in Benton Harbor, Michigan on Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022. CW: brief mention of the death of an adult child, unjust execution, self-harm, mention of the idea that demons cause mental illness. It wasn’t supposed to end this way. Mary Magdalene…

  • (Authenticated by) the Wounds of Love

    (Authenticated by) the Wounds of Love

    I was sick last Sunday, so I didn’t get to preach the sermon I had prepared. I’d been meaning to post it because I don’t think I will be in the same place next time the lectionary gives us this passage again. Also, this sermon is adapted for my blog’s audience and format, so it’s…

  • Anointing Eliab (David’s Older Brother)

    Our scripture this morning is I Samuel 16:1-13. I grew up in Sunday School, so of course I heard this story more times than I can count. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve known the story, and I’ve known the moral: “Humans look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” It’s…

  • Ash Wednesday Meditation

    The lectionary passages for Ash Wednesday are about repentance, and for me as a recovering fundamentalist, especially reading Psalm 51, repentance is all about wallowing in guilt and what Brennan Manning called cultivating ingrown eyeballs, where you try to imagine all the ways you might have offended God and debate whether you’re sufficiently penitent. I…

  • How to Choose Life

    Scripture: Deuteronomy 30:15-20 See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I am commanding you today, by loving the Lord your God, walking in his ways, and observing his commandments, decrees, and ordinances, then you shall live and become…

  • The Superior Losers

    I was privileged to preach this sermon on January 22, 2017, at Waverly Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Our scripture comes from I Corinthians 1:9-18. God is faithful; by whom you were called into the fellowship of God’s Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of…

  • Herod Wishes You a Merry Christmas

    Our scripture this morning comes from Matthew chapter 2, verses, 13-23. Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for…

  • The Peaceable Kingdom is Still Coming

    I had the privilege of preaching this sermon on December 4, 2016, at Waverly Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Our scripture reading comes from Isaiah 11:1-10 A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the…