Showing posts from March, 2019

Sunday Homily - March 31st, 2019 - Scandalous!

The Prodigal Son I. Scandal.  Etymologically, the word "scandal"   comes from a Greek word    that is sometimes translated as "stumbling block."     So, fun fact, when you see "stumbling block" in your Bible translation,      that's the Greek word that gave us our English word "scandal."      [] But that word "scandal"  is such an incredibly dark and nefarious word. When something happens in the world  that becomes worthy of the word "scandal"   it is a serious charge    with layers and layers of wrongdoing and cover-up efforts     that later reveal just how inescapably evil      the whole situation became. How many major scandals in politics have we had  just within the past 20 years alone?   I'll let your imaginations do the work for me    because I don't need to give you an example.     Y'all already know them.

Sunday Homily - March 24th, 2019 - "But, God..."

Moses and the Burning Bush I. There are some stories that are just so good,  that you don't have to add too much modern commentary to them. We have one of those stories this morning,  and perhaps you would permit me to tell you the fuller story   before we go into detail about what the Spirit is saying to us this morning. And the story I'm referring to is none other than THE central redemption story  of the Old Testament,   a redemption story that is so powerful and influential    that it becomes the foundational story of a people,     an enslaved people that find liberation through the love and grace of God Most High. And that story is the story of the Exodus of the people of Israel,  led out of Egypt by the God who loved them and chose them to be a light to the nations.   And the person God accomplishes this through is one of the most recognizable names    in all of the Bible:     Moses. But,  there is ALWAYS an origin story that goes along with th

Sunday Homily - March 17th, 2019 - Foxes and Hens

Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem I. There is an old rock wall at the house I grew up in.  It's a retaining wall that keeps the damp earth in place   held in place under the house that my Dad and my Grandpa built on the side of a valley hill. It is made of large quarried stone,  set in mortar,   about 5 feet high, give or take. And, as it would happen, walls  whether they be made of stone, iron, or concrete   eventually degrade and fall apart. At least, that's unless you let your 10 year old son  drive the large Kubota work tractor to mow the lawn   and you take a turn a little too quickly    and the front end loading bucket plows through the endcap of the wall.     Walls tend to fall apart more quickly if you give them some help! Well, later that year in the early spring time,  as we are walking outside in the crisp air,   we look across our front lawn,    and right there, as clear as day, is a red fox! We lock eyes with this red fox, and it looks over

Sunday Homily - March 10th, 2019 - Pride vs. Sacrifice

Temptation of Christ Icon I. Temptation is something we all face, isn't it? You haven't studied as hard as we should have for that test,  and you are sitting next to the smartest person in the class   and SURELY it wouldn't be that big of a deal to sneak a peek, right? You are on a new diet,  maybe you are committing to the Keto diet   the one in which you have to monitor your carb intake like a hawk    and BAM     your friends invite you out to that Italian restaurant.      Can you resist the Fettuccine Alfredo? You have to write two sermons in one week,  and you happen to have preached Lent 1 last year   and, hey, Trinity Parish hasn't heard that sermon before.    Who will be the wiser? Hey, it's like I said: EVERYBODY faces temptation! But everyone in this room knows:  not all temptation is as innocent as these. The temptation to put ourselves before others,  in our work,   in our finances,    in our lack of charity toward the po

Homily for Ash Wednesday 2019 - March 6th, 2019 - Addiction and Recovery

I. Kirk is a 24 year old man from the foothills of the Ozarks  Christina, his mom, sits across from him at the dinner table   in front of her biscuits and gravy that she had lovingly prepared    and the little stack of stir fried asparagus sitting beside it. And Kirk is furious.  Not because of the dinner,   but because his mom just took away his truck keys. "It was just a speeding ticket!" Kirk screams,  "Everybody gets them! And you just haul off and take away my truck?" Kirk thinks back through the scene.  He is cruising along the back roads in his old Ford pickup.   He knows he is driving too fast, but he pays no mind.    He knows these roads better than most people.     And that's when he rounds a 90 degree turn      and there is a state trooper, waiting for him around the corner.       Busted. He's driving fast enough that the officer asks him to step out of his truck.  His mind blurry with rage and anger,   he can't rem

Sunday Homily - March 3rd, 2019 - Lights and Baskets

The Transfiguration of Christ  Icon I. "This little light of mine,  I'm gonna let it shine.   This little light of mine,     I'm gonna let it shine.      This little light of mine,       I'm gonna let it shine,        let it shine, let it shine let it shine." Its a song that many of us may know instinctively.  Its a song that my mom used to sing to me when I was really small,   Its a song that MANY parents sing their children,    and its a song that, even if you don't know it, you have probably at least heard it. There are more verses, too! "Don't let Satan [blow] it out,  I'm gonna let it shine!" "Let it shine 'till Jesus comes,  I'm gonna let it shine!" But, by far my favorite verse of this song is the following: "Hide it under a bushel NO!  I'm gonna let it shine!" Now, you can tell that I was raised right,  because that was the Authorized King James Version of the Bible ri