Sermons on Spiritual Life

Jesus is Coming

Today is the first Sunday in the church’s year. Advent Sunday. The first of four Sundays as we prepare to celebrate and remember Christ’s incarnation. And alongside our preparation for the coming of Christ as a human baby, as kind of a subplot, is our longing for the return of Christ in all his glory to sort out the mess that we humans create.

Jesus v. the Empire

Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14Psalm 93Revelation 1:4b-8John 18:33-37 In the year 312, the Roman emperor had a dream. The night before the battle of Milvian Bridge which is in northern Italy, according to the 4th century historian, Lanctancius, the emperor Constantine “was advised in a dream to mark the heavenly sign of God on the shields of his soldiers and then engage in battle. He did as he was commanded and by means of a letter X turned sideways, with the top…

The New Story

Daniel 12:1-3Hebrews 10:11-14 (15-18) 19-25Mark 13:1-8 I have always been puzzled by the disciple in today’s gospel reading. What’s the big deal? Hasn’t he seen the temple before? Is he admiring the architecture like a tourist might? Or is he just wanting Jesus’ attention and doesn’t know what to say – “Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!” Or could it be that he (note that I am assuming it was a man) was still thinking that Jesus…

When God lets My Body Be

when god lets my body be From each brave eye shall sprout a treefruit dangles therefrom the purpled world will dance uponBetween my lips which did sing a rose shall beget the springthat maidens whom passions wastes will lay between their little breastsMy strong fingers beneath the snow Into strenuous birds shall gomy love walking in the grass their wings will touch with their faceand all the while shall my heart be With the bulge and nuzzle of the sea   …

Humans Adapt, God Makes New

October 31 wears many hats, comes with many costumes.  Today is Halloween, also All Saint’s Eve.  Today on the Christian calendar this is Reformation Sunday or Ecumenical Sunday as St Ben’s celebrates it. St Ben’s also today celebrates the return of our pastor from Sabbatical, thanks be to God. Today is also the opening day of the UN’s Climate Change Conference. I’ll return to that soon.  Here’s one more hat today.  It’s also the fifth game of baseball’s World Series,…

Restoration

            Environmental devastation is not new to humans.  In the early settlements of what became Massachusetts, the forests were nearly demolished because of the conversion of trees toward building and fuel.  Primarily fuel, I would think. Today they are replenished, very likely because fuel now comes from fossil sources and wood comes from other parts of the planet.  It’s a mixed story.             Those of us of a certain age might recall when the Cuyahoga River in Pennsylvania caught fire…

Abundance

Season of Creation – Abundance Deuteronomy 8:7-18; Psalm 19; Revelation 22:1-5; Matthew 6:25-34 My preaching assignment today, during this Season of Creation, is to talk about Abundance.  It is my abundant pleasure to do so.  It is also abundantly daunting!  In English, the words “abundance” and “undulation” are related.  You can hear it. The shared letters between the two mean “wave.”  And whereas undulation means “waviness”, abundance means “from a wave.”  So when we talk about abundance, there is  one…