Blog Articles

Renewing our Covenant: We Agree to Differ

  Plymouth Church: It is time to talk about Lent. Lent is a season of 40 days (excluding Sundays) to prepare for Easter. It is traditionally a time for fasting, repentance and self-examination. The 40 day period begins with Ash Wednesday on March 6. (Sidebar: Join us for Ash Wednesday worship at Plymouth! There is... Read More

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

Teach Us To Pray (Matthew 6:7-21)

After a long hiatus, it is hard to get back on the horse. But this feels like a good week to jump back in. This week, we learn how to pray with Jesus. And, really, we learn a lot more than that. But before we dive in, let’s stop and take stock of our surroundings.... Read More

What Are We Waiting For? The Service of Lessons and Carols

Note: this is re-run of a post from last December. Consider it my annual commentary on the service of Lessons and Carols. -MML This blog post will be a little different. This weekend, our Saturday Night and Sunday morning services will be structured as Services of Lessons and Carols. Instead of a sermon, we will hear... Read More

For a Time Such as This: Reading Esther in Advent

  In Advent, we wait for God to come near. On the second weekend of Advent, we re-light the candle of Hope and we light the candle of Peace. God’s coming into our world means peace –peace within our own hearts, peace between people, peace for the entire earth. But what does Peace look like?... Read More

News

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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