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God and us

A prophet’s true greatness is his ability to hold God and man in a single thought.

Abraham Joshua Heschel

Category: Sermons

  • Choosing to be together

    Choosing to be together

    An Episcopal priest I follow, Reverend Rachel Kessler, said this week that if there is ever anything that makes her consider giving up on ministry, it is when the balance in her work shifts “from more about proclaiming the good news to like, trying to keep an institution alive.” And while I haven’t been doing…

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  • God the Tiger Parent

    God the Tiger Parent

    After the sermon two weeks ago about Song of Songs and love, I got an email about talking a bit about the “Tiger Parent” stereotype, and asking if there’s something to be said for God showing love in such a way. I couldn’t help but chuckle a little bit. I am not from a culture…

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  • What is God like?

    What is God like?

    I can’t help but wonder, friends, if the reason we can’t get away from the complexity of the trinity is that we are being called into the same. We are being given the holy mystery of God, revealed in the scriptures that our forebearers have compiled out of six millenia spent triangulating who God is…

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  • May we be empty

    May we be empty

    In Christianity, we think of the guidance we get from God as coming from the Holy Spirit. And I wonder if our Christian ancestors are telling us, “you need to be open to receive. You need to make the choice to receive.” And when you do, you’ll be infectious. You’ll create a feeling of closeness…

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  • The only way through is together

    The only way through is together

    That God of unity sends, at maybe one of the scariest moments of the disciples’ lives, heavenly beings to be in companionship with the disciples. That relational God charges the disciples to stay together, waiting for the power of God to come upon them. And as we’ll discuss next week in the Pentecost story, when…

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  • What do you have to believe?

    What do you have to believe?

    Maybe “I believe you can raise the dead” feels too heavy for Martha right now. And that’s where this week’s reading cuts off. A few verses later, Mary has an interaction with Jesus that’s somewhat different, but still does not end in her explicitly believing Jesus will raise her brother from the dead. We know…

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  • The shadows of sent-out ones

    The shadows of sent-out ones

    At Bible Study on Tuesday, I was touched by how quickly folks caught on to what’s unique about this passage: the hypothetical in this story is not just a hypothetical about resurrection. It is a hypothetical that pre-supposes a patriarchal world where a woman’s job is to bear an heir for a man—even a deceased…

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  • Come away

    Come away

    The Hebrew scholar Naham M Sarna notes that there’s a crescendo that happens when God tells Abraham to “go.” God lists all that Abram would be leaving behind in increasing intimacy, increasing seriousness. “Leave your native land, leave your extended family, leave your father’s house. I am taking you somewhere new.” Quite a big ask,…

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  • Dominant powers versus ultimate powers

    Dominant powers versus ultimate powers

    It was starting to feeling like maybe, just maybe, the bad guys didn’t have to keep winning. Maybe giants could fall. Maybe, as the Reverend Nadia Bolz-Weber says, dominant powers would not turn out to be ultimate powers. The next Halloween, for my work’s costume contest, I dressed up for Halloween as a cell phone…

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  • The things we hold in common

    The things we hold in common

    Some translations use the word “generosity” instead of simplicity, and that’s because the word we’re looking at is somewhere between idiom and metaphor in the original Greek. The word is “aphelotes” and its literal translation is something like “the opposite of stubbing your toe.” It’s something you do on accident, without even realizing it until…

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