Jesus Christ calls us to be a joyful community that celebrates God's love, transforms lives, and is a force for justice in the world.

Sermons on Luke

Small Things

This, to the world-at-large, wasn’t big news at all. It was a small, insignificant thing, not even a blip on the radar to anybody who was somebody. Status quo, at best… and yet, the One who hung the stars was born of a woman and swaddled in cloth.

Reclaiming Mary – Rejoice

Then I remembered Mary. Mary who was frightened facing the unknown, who despite that and any reservations she had about partnering with God in bringing Christ into the world, as a co-creator with God of a more beautiful world, dared to hope and dared to sing, “My spirit rejoices.”

Reclaiming Mary – Favor

As someone who was young, poor, and illiterate, Mary was not among the affluent or at the center of power, but lived in a village in the backwaters of the Roman Empire. This is who God honors—the least, the marginalized, the vulnerable. This is where God locates God’s self.

Reclaiming Mary – Yes

If we need to reclaim anything in Mary’s story—if we can reclaim anything in a story that is not ours in the first place, but the story of a young, poor woman living in occupied territory long ago—if we can reclaim anything for Mary and for ourselves it is the freedom of her yes, the courage in her yes.

Growing Pains

The point is that what we see here in this frantic and tense episode from Jesus’ life is true for all our lives. We belong to God, each of us individually and all of us together. That’s the core truth of Baptism: as children of God of whatever age, God is at work in all of our lives, even we can’t see or feel or know it. God is with us in the growing pains of faith, working out God’s good purposes.

Idle Tales

The people (the women and men) telling idle tales today are those who—like Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others—dare to look for life in seemingly dead places, or better yet, people who work for life in places that have only known death. These are people who aren’t visionaries, necessarily, but who are still willing, in the grunt work of daily life, to keep telling stories of what is possible.

A Mirror to Us

This story—the whole story, all parts of it—hold up a mirror to us. In the harsh light, we see the truth of what humanity is capable of. We can see ourselves in Pilate washing his hands saying, “I’m just doing my job.” We can see our reflection in Peter’s betrayal a friend because of fear. We can see ourselves in the other disciples, as they flee; in Mary, who faces the agony of losing a child. We can see our reflection in the fickle crowds who shout “Hosanna!” one day and “Crucify him!” a mere few days later. It’s all there: disloyalty, dodging responsibility, mob rule, persecution, blaming, bloodshed, you name it.

Virtue in the Vice – Greed and Sloth

“Greed is the inordinate love of money and material possessions, and the compulsive behavior that is driven by the need to have more and more of both. The truly greedy person is never content and is willing to sacrifice everything (and everyone) to acquire more… Sloth is more than the cartoon of a couch potato. It’s the sickness of the soul that leads to complete and utter indifference.”

Resist and Rest

Two thousand years later and a world away, what can we learn from how Jesus confronts the Pharisees, while still upholding the practice of Sabbath? I see two relevant take-away points here: 1) resistance and 2) rest. Being faithful and courageous in these times is going to take holy stamina. As we try to follow in Jesus’ footsteps right where we are, Luke reminds us that there’s a time to resist and a time to rest… so we can keep resisting.