Sermon Archive

Conversation on Forgiveness: Vivian Jenkins Nelsen

In today’s gospel reading Peter comes to Jesus with an innocuous-sounding inquiry. “Lord,” Peter says to Jesus, “If another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive?” We can be sure this is not a hypothetical question. He’s not thinking in the abstract here. Something has happened. Peter has been hurt.

Conversation on Forgiveness: Dr. Shashikant Sane

In all my years of preaching no sermon topic has consistently elicited more response than forgiveness. I suspect that’s because all of us need forgiveness somewhere in our personal lives and in our relationships and in our communities – and all of us struggle to get there. Knowing we need forgiveness is a first step into Christian faith.

What Does God-Among-Us Look Like?

Today is Transfiguration Sunday: the final Sunday before the season of Lent begins. Today we journey to a mountaintop and remember that God is with us. That is the hope, to offer us strong glimpse of God among us, an image we can carry with us for the road ahead.

Are We Ready to Follow Jesus?

Lent begins in two weeks. This year our worship in the Christian season of penitence will center on forgiveness. We will view it from a wide-range of perspectives in a series of dialogue sermons with leaders of other faith traditions – a Hindu, an African-American, a Catholic, a Muslim, and a Jew. Their insights will help us rediscover the practice of forgiveness and prepare us to follow Jesus when he calls.

What Does the Gospel Look Like?

We don’t often put Jesus in the category of prophet. We tend to see him more as a teacher and a healer. That’s safer. Prophet sounds a bit too political, too confrontational. It moves beyond the personal to the systemic. But…there is a time to be prophetic, a time to speak truth to power, a time to stand up for justice, a time to resist the ways of the world, a time to refuse to give up hope even when the odds seemed stacked against you.

Ordered Chaos

It is only natural for us to look for linear patterns and sequences in our lives, especially in the midst of a shaky political landscape or personal upheaval. We may hope to approach our lives and the world in a linear fashion, but as scientist Ian Stewart notes, “life is relentlessly non-linear.”

Why Change the Water into Wine?

Jesus changes the water into wine to signal God’s hospitality to those rejected by others and to reveal God’s delight in those deemed to be former people. At the wedding feast in Cana Jesus launches a movement, a movement of joyful resistance against the baser impulses that run through each of us and through the principalities and powers of every time and place.

What Is the “Acceptable Year of the Lord?”

The acceptable year of the Lord. It refers to the day when God’s reign would break forth in concrete ways: the poor would be lifted up, the oppressed set free, forgiveness extended, debts relieved, slaves released.

Where Do We Go From Here? For 50 Years!

King asks, “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?” It is still a good question for us today, and racism is still at the center of many of our problems. So let’s turn to scripture for some guidance that might shape our answers.