The blessing of Zoom worship (there are one or two) is that it is easier to capture a video of just a sermon. This morning I stepped into the virtual pulpit (sat at my kitchen table in front of my laptop) to preach about racism and white privilege and lament and protest and to imagine what the Spirit is telling us our congregation’s role is in this movement of anti-racism justice. When I edit up my manuscript I’ll put it here as well. The reading of scripture (Lamentations 1:8-22; 2:10-22) is about half the video. I just didn’t want to make any cuts. #BlackLivesMatter
In It Together: a sermon on Deuteronomy 6:1-9, Luke 18:15-17
At the playground once with my children, I saw a dad waiting with his son for some space to clear up on the jungle gym. The only parent in that area, while helping his son wait patiently, he also helped some other children make their way safely to the top. Even after his little boy had reached the high platform he kept helping the others, spotting them so a potential fall wouldn’t be so dangerous, giving a hand to steady them if they got a little wobbly. Another dad came jogging up when he saw his daughter getting some assistance. He thanked the first dad and apologized for not being there, but the first dad simply smiled and shrugged, “Hey, we’re all in this together!” Continue reading
Finding Joy – a sermon for Easter on Matthew 28:1-10
Please don’t mock me if this is true, but I may be the last person in the United States still watching the ABC TV show Grey’s Anatomy. Is there any chance I am not alone in this? It’s OK if you don’t want to admit it. Many, many people believe the show has, as they say, jumped the shark, long ago lost any resemblance to a quality program, but it is one of my guilty pleasures.
In a recent episode* Dr. Meredith Grey, the show’s title character who began almost ten years ago as a surgical intern, was experiencing a streak of good luck. She hadn’t lost a patient or had an unsuccessful outcome in surgery in about three or four months. It seemed like impossibly good luck, and it did not go unnoticed among her peers and subordinates. In fact, she developed a literal following among the surgical interns. The student surgeons would flood her observation galleries as she practiced her craft. Everyone wanted in on one of Dr. Grey’s surgeries or wanted Dr. Grey working on the case for their patients. Defying the odds she seemed to almost miraculously be able to defy death.
When talking to a colleague about Dr. Grey’s new intern-disciples, fellow-surgeon Dr. Miranda Bailey tried to explain, “Don’t you remember what it was like to be a resident and have all this death around you being new, terrifying? Why do you think they care so much about this stupid streak? Death is scary. They just want to believe that there’s somebody out there who can defy it.”