Giving Thanks. A sermon on Luke 17:11-19

This is what true Thanksgiving does. It changes us at a deeper level than our skin. It acknowledges our true nature as creatures radically dependent on God in times of plenty as well as in times of want. It refocuses our concerns and our desires and our commitments from the things we have or the things we wish we have to the One to whom we belong and on whom we can rely.

God doesn’t care about the order. A sermon on Matthew 20:1-16

As someone whose last name begins with a “W”, I’ve always appreciated those rare moments when a teacher would say something like “and, just for a change, let’s go in reverse alphabetical order” and, just like that, I would be moved from the back to the front of the line, displacing all those smug As and Bs as the last became first and the first became last.

Embracing the unreasonable expectations of Jesus. A sermon on Matthew 18:21-35.

It is easy to lose sight of just how unreasonable Jesus actually is – partly because we – and our forebearers – have worked very hard to make him less so. Finding it impossible to actually live as he says, we have come up with justifications and rationalizations and approximations to make our failure feel more acceptable. We accuse Jesus, either openly or covertly, of being too much of an idealist – of not taking into account the complications of the real world; the necessary compromises of real-politic – whether at the level of the nation-state or of the community or even at the level of our own all-too-human hearts.