Do We Believe It is Good News?

A sermon delivered to the Presbytery of Lake Michigan on March 11, 2017 by the Rev. Sarah Schmidt-Lee Scripture: John 3:1-17 Good morning all! It’s good to be with you today. I’ve had a friend from college visiting with me this week, and it’s been delightful to catch up with her–to find out what has…

Lent Photo-a-Day Challenge

For Week 1 of Lent, all of our prompts are connected to the theme of Inner Peace. Beloved Knowing that we are beloved by God may not lead to comfort or security. Like Jesus, our very next steps may lead into the wilderness. What does it mean to you to be beloved? Does it give…

Free From Shame; Free to Love (A Sermon for June 16th, 2013)

Luke 7:36-8:3 It’s a beautiful dinner party. Simon is known for these. Everything always comes off perfectly. The table settings sparkle. The flowers are fresh. The cocktails are classy. The food is presented in beautiful courses with garnishes. The guest list is small and select: all people who are model citizens—well-respected leaders—scandal-free. And it’s all…

Walking Forward in Freedom

Here’s a narrative sermon from 2010–the last time Luke 7:36-8:3 came up in the lectionary. I knew exactly how she felt—this woman at Jesus’ feet. She felt free—free to love and be loved; free to care and be cared for. She felt the same way we all did—all we women disciples of Jesus. Women did…

Feed My Sheep (Sermon for April 14th, 2013)

sermon text is John 21:1-19 There was an article in the LA Times, recently, that circulated around the internet pretty quickly. The authors share a story from when one of them was in the hospital after surgery related to breast cancer. One of her colleagues felt a strong need to visit her in the hospital,…

Proclaim! (A Sermon for April 7, 2013)

Sermon text: John 20:11-18 To start us out this morning, I’m going to say a phrase—a phrase that describes an activity—and I want you to visualize it. Ready? “Proclaim the gospel for the salvation of humankind” What picture came to mind for you? How many of you pictured a TV preacher, or someone like Billy…

Alive–For What? (A Sermon for Easter, 2013)

This week I watched a video where a well-known young-adult novelist, John Green, made the case that most of us—most people—live our lives in a kind of functional nihilism. Now, I’ll admit, I had to go look up nihilism to be sure I understood what he was talking about—my philosopher husband wasn’t home to consult….

Extravagant Love, John 12:1-8 (Sermon for March 17th, 2013)

My husband, Barrett and I were married in December of 2004, and three months later, my grandfather died, unexpectedly. We were in school in Vancouver, and when I got news that my grandfather died, in New Orleans, I was disappointed to find out that my parents assumed I would not make it to his funeral….

Unconditional Love

We’re going to do things a little differently this morning. All through Lent, we’re looking at ways that Jesus teaches us about love, and this parable is huge, and deep, and all about love. It’s about love so big and so tenacious that it’s hard to fathom. So, rather than me standing up here and…

Love Waits One More Year

I ran across a quotation this week that is worth sharing. I found this in a book by Brene Brown, but the quotation comes from Lynn Twist, who is a fundraiser for global non-profit organizations, and in this paragraph she is describing a mindset of scarcity, which she calls “the great lie.” “For me, and…

Love Rejected (Keeps on Loving)

“Jesus, you should leave Galilee, because Herod wants to kill you.” Were the Pharisees who brought this warning to Jesus trying to protect him, or threaten him? I wonder if it was any clearer to him than it is to us? Regardless of their intentions, Jesus’s response dismisses both the warning and the threat. “I’ve…