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

News

Creation: The Story So Nice They Told It Twice! (Genesis 2)

  Our “Rooted in Creation” summer series continues with the second chapter of Genesis and an entirely different creation story. Genesis 2:4-25 4 These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created. In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, 5when no plant of the field was yet in... Read More

BONUS BLOG POST: Climate Change, Science and Progressive Christian Snobbery

  Do you know the hardest thing about preaching –or, to be more precise, the hardest thing about writing a sermon? Discipline. The discipline to recognize that something you REALLY want to say does not, in fact, belong in the sermon. But do you know the best thing about having a blog? It gives me... Read More

Summer Program Guide 2019 is here!

Don’t miss a single piece of programming at Plymouth Church this summer! Our Summer Program Guide 2019 includes everything happening for every age. Pick up a copy in the church’s literature racks, or download a PDF copy by clicking here.... Read More

The Preaching of Paul and a Punk Rock Song: Acts 13 and 14

  This week’s Scripture reading reminds me of a punk rock song. No, seriously. Belfast’s own Stiff Little Fingers has a song called “Nobody’s Hero.” It’s a (loud, angry) reminder that human beings have a habit of trusting too much in mere mortals. But the thing is: you don’t need a punk rock song to... Read More

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