Sermon for 3/27/16: Easter Sunday -- Avoiding Other People's Tombs

Acts 8:26-40 and John 20:19-31

Scripture readings follow the alternative lectionary outlined in Brian McLaren's book We Make the Road by Walking (reference and public library).

A Central Coast Collection

A Central Coast Collection

Question of the Week

When have you found yourself residing in another person's tomb?  When did you come out of it?  What happened immediately before your departure?  What happened after?

Sermon for 3/20/16: Protest and the Soul

Luke 19:29-46 and Psalm 122

Scripture readings follow the alternative lectionary outlined in Brian McLaren's We Make the Road by Walking (reference and public library).

Sermon Notes

A few weeks ago, I scanned the chapter for Palm Sunday in Brian McLaren's book. Chapter Thirty-Two is entitled "Peace March."  I think I've imagined the Palm Sunday processional as protest before, but with that simple McLaren phrase, it became all the more palpable.  It just hit me that much harder.  So thank you, Brian McLaren!  At the same time, I was listening to a Krista Tippett interview with Patrisse Cullors and Robert Ross.  They talk about the soul and protest.  Not my insight, by any stretch.  Turns out, demonstrating even has health benefits.  Anyway, all this swirled around as I thought about North County and our attitudes and the frustration I sometimes experience in teaching about the political Jesus. The historical context I offered regarding Jesus as political person comes from Reza Aslan's book, Zealot (reference and public library).  While I would argue with a number of his interpretations and his biblical analysis in the book, the contextual information he gives is really helpful in understanding the turbulent environment of Jesus' day.  My reflection on a political Jesus also holds a frustration I also have with myself and my commitments. Just sayin'.  And out of the chaos and wondering about ALL of that emerged this sermon.  I hope you feel as challenged by it as I was writing it.  Plus, here's the ever-inspiring Krista Tippett.  It's one of the sanest discussions I've heard about Black Lives Matter.  Thought provoking, challenging personally and professionally.

Question of the Week

What's your protest story?  How did it change you?

 

Sermon for 3/13/16: You Have What You Need -- Lessons from the Sermon on the Mount

Matthew 7:13-29

Scripture readings follow the alternative lectionary posed by Brian McLaren in his book, We Make the Road by Walking (reference and library).

African Daisies, Cambria 2016

African Daisies, Cambria 2016

Sermon Notes

I spent a whole lotta time thinking about this interview of Dr. Jerry Weichman by Dr. Drew Pinsky.  He covers many issues related to mental health in adolescence.  I found that much of what he says about life in those years still applies to adults and his vision of the healthy person seems to resonate with much of the words Jesus offers in the Sermon on the Mount albeit, a very different context. If you have a teenager in your life, this interview at the following link is worth listening to and learning more.

Questions of the Week

What verses do you struggle with in the Sermon on the Mount?  How do you make sense out of Jesus' no nonsense spiritual admonitions in these final verses? 

Sermon for 3/6/16: Anxiety Interrupted

Matthew 6:19-7:12

Suggested Scripture readings follow Brian McLaren's alternative lectionary in We Make the Road by walking (reference and library).

The Purple Challenge continues after the rain                             Cambria 2016

The Purple Challenge continues after the rain                             Cambria 2016

Sermon  Notes
This week we visit the issue of anxiety...not just a mental health thicket, but apparently a spiritual quandry Jesus deigns worth addressing.  I suppose any kind of thicket in our lives is a spiritual one.  

Maria Popova on her amazing website Brainpickings.org wrote a reflection on Sarah Manguso's work Ongoingness: The End of a Diary (reference and library).  It was there, she posted a thoughtful quote on the root of anxiety --  the entry into my sermon. Subscribe to her weekly newsletter.  Totally worth it.  Follow this link to her article and so much more:

Yet again, another interview by Krista Tippett to feed the spiritual imagination.  I found Brother David Steindl-Rast's words on anxiety thought provoking.  Have a listen:

Questions to Ponder this Week

When you find yourself worrying, what do you do to soothe yourself? Healthy habits? Unhealthy? Are you aware when you feel anxious or do you notice later...after the house is clean, after the punishing exercise routine, after the lost sleep, after you run out of antacids, etc.,etc.etc?