Archive for February, 2019

Hint: It’s Not About Me! (Transfiguration Sunday)

Full disclosure: I’m not preaching this Sunday at Plymouth Church. Stephen G. Ray Jr. is. He is the new President of Chicago Theological Seminary, where Valerie Miller-Coleman and I both earned our Doctor of Ministry degrees He is new and they want to build relationships with key churches, so his office called me up and... Read More

Step Out! (Matthew 14:13-33)

“We had the experience, but we missed the meaning.” –T.S. Elliot. When it comes to this week’s text—two stories of seemingly miraculous occurrences—it would be so easy to miss the point; to get bogged down in fruitless conversation about the plausibility of these events. But I ask you to suspend that kind of judgment. Together,... Read More

Deliver Us From Us (Sermon for 2/17/19)

I. Have you seen it? It may be my favorite bumper sticker of all time. “Dear Jesus,” it says, “please deliver me from your followers.”   Good words to remember as we look at our text today. Because Jesus is pretty great. But some of his followers can be a big disappointment.   II.  ... Read More

Blogging the Parables of Jesus

  Matt 13:24-43 Blogging about a parable is a lot like explaining a joke: it sort of defeats the purpose. But here we are, so here we go: 24He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; 25but while everybody was asleep, an... Read More

Scattered Thoughts on The Sermon on the Mount

  OPENING DISCLAIMER: This weekend, as part of our Climate Revival, Plymouth Church welcomes the Rev. Jim Antal into the pulpit. He will not be preaching on the Narrative Lectionary texts. But the passage is still very much worth our while. Matthew 7:1-14, 24-29   “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. 2For... Read More

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Breaking Out of the Bubble: Reflections for Pie Weekend

  It is Pie Weekend at Plymouth Church -a time to consider God’s invitation to share what we have! (What, you may ask, is Pie Weekend? It’s pretty simple: everybody brings a pie. To church. And we eat the pies. Together. This year it will serve to kick off our 2020 Stewardship campaign. You really... Read More

Is There Life After Betrayal in Friendship? (A Dad Rock Meditation).

  Here is the thing about friends: sometimes they betray us. No one knows this better than Jesus. Mark 3:13-18 13 He went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him. 14And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to... Read More

Befriending the Dead: Reflections on All Saints’ Weekend

  Halloween is upon us! And while I struggle with my own deep denial about the Beggar’s Night forecast (brrr!), I am also turning my attention to the weekend that will follow.   The practice of celebrating All Saints Day is an ancient one.   According to my trusty (and rarely consulted) Oxford Dictionary of the... Read More

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