How will we sing…? (Sermon for 4-21-13)

the Scripture text is Revelation 7:9-17 A tribe of nomads marks a place where God was made known to them. They gather large stones and stack them carefully on top of each other—a painstaking process that results in a kind of tower—a mound. A mark. Every time they pass by it, for generations, they retell…

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,…

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….

Glimpse of Glory

When my parents were missionaries in Japan, they had colleagues that ran the gamut from liberal Presbyterians to conservative Southern Baptists, and while there were lots of differences, one that seemed most obvious  to my teenaged perspective was the differences when it came to alcohol. My parents enjoyed wine and beer, and always tucked little…

Who tells your story?

When I was in college I volunteered with our campus alternative gifts fair. If you’ve never been to one of these before, the idea is that instead of giving another tie, or pair of holiday socks to a family member who doesn’t really need it, you can make a donation in their name to an…

Reaching In, Reaching Out

Brendan is a little boy growing up in a monastery—his uncle’s monastery. His uncle is the Abbot—the guy in charge, and his uncle is intent on keeping the evil out. The evil includes Viking invaders as well as the fairies and the wild forest and the supernatural spirits that live in the forest. Brendan is…

Mothering Love

The text for this week’s sermon is John 15:9-17 A small girl, maybe a toddler, maybe a preschooler, stands still watching a group of older girls. Their bright laughter and whispers drew her attention and she is enamored. She begins moving a little closer to the big girls, hoping they will notice her. She smiles…

Presence-in-Absence

Sorry for the late posting this week. The relevant text is John 15:1-8 I am the vine. You are the branches. I wonder how those disciples heard these words when Jesus spoke them. Here they were, an unexpected assortment of back-woods Galileans, drawn together into a messy tangle of community by their common attachment to…

Recognizing God’s Voice

When I was a preschooler, sometimes I would stay at my grandparents’ house while my parents went out on a date. I’d bring along pajamas and take a bath with a little scoop of my grandmother’s bathsalts, and I’d curl up in bed, but I wouldn’t always fall asleep. Often I would lie awake, listening…

Days 1 to 8, or The Week of Watching Thomas Doubt

Day 562 of following Jesus. Day 3 after he died Day 1 of a new creation That’s right—I’ve started the count over, again. Three days ago, I thought it was the end of the world—I thought I would count the rest of my life from that day—the day Jesus died, but today I’m starting over….