Sermon for 1/29/17: Keeping Focus In Times of Turmoil

Micah 6:1-8, 1 Corinthians 1:18-31, Matthew 5:1-12

For Dick Blomquist: A veteran of WWII and a tender prophet for us now.   Jerusalem, May 2000

For Dick Blomquist: A veteran of WWII and a tender prophet for us now. 

Jerusalem, May 2000

Outside, the freezing desert night.
This other night inside grows warm, kindling.
Let the landscape be covered with thorny crust.
We have a soft garden in here.
The continents blasted,
cities and little towns, everything
become a scorched, blackened ball.

The news we hear is full of grief for that future,
but the real news inside here
is there’s no news at all.
— Rumi -- Translated by Coleman Barks

Sermon for 4/24/16: Lydia and Leymah

Acts 16:11-40, Psalm 146, Matthew 10:16-20, 11:28-30, 28:16-20

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

For Lydia who dealt in purple cloth, 2016

For Lydia who dealt in purple cloth, 2016

Sermon Notes

So lots of great resources this week to explore the story of Leymah Gbowee.  Check these out: her book Mighty be our Powers (public library and reference), a PBS series, Women, War and Peace which includes the documentary about the Liberian women's peace movement, Pray the Devil Back to Hell, and then this thorough Wikipedia article.  My quotes are drawn from Amy Goodman's interview of her with other women Nobel Peace Prize recipients last year on Democracy Now.  Watch it here...and ignore the title of the interview...sensationalist gimmick.



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?