Zechariah 9: 9-10 Luke 19:26-40  “The Passion of Palm Sunday” 

Read the Scripture I have a colleague in ministry who has a complaint about the way most Christians observe Holy Week. My friend says that most go from the pomp of the “Triumphal Entry” to the victory of Easter without ever passing through the agony of Gethsemane, the horror of… Continue reading

Cotton Patch Gospel for Today

(31 minutes) I was invited to deliver the sermon at Downey Avenue Christian Church on July 30, 2023. It is based on the vision and ministry of Clarence Jordan, who in 1942 led in establishing Koinonia Farm, christened with a Greek word meaning “a community that is united by common… Continue reading

“Promises, Promises” Genesis 15:1-7

Read the Scripture One of the persistent questions plaguing the faithful is this: How do we continue to trust the promises of God when the evidence against those promises is all around us? Genesis 15:1-7 highlights this problem. When Abraham was seventy-five years old, he and Sarah left all the… Continue reading

The Elephant in the Room

This sermon was written for the thousands of churches in our culture who are anxious about the future of their dwindling congregations. The sermon assumes that we are in a time of transition regarding the nature of both the church and Christianity. My hope is that what I share may be helpful as congregations contemplate their identity, mission, and future in our changing society. Continue reading

Whose Stuff Will They Be? Luke 12:13-21

This rich man’s story has been repeated all through recorded history. Whether one is a king or a pauper, a genius or a simpleton, a Republican or a Democrat, a believer or an atheist, everyone leaves this earth with none of the possessions they cherished and valued during their lives. Death is the great equalizer. Continue reading

Isaiah 50:4-9 “Sustaining the Weary” 

Read the Scripture In this splendid poetry of the Bible the ears of a prophet are opened. He is surrounded by weary people–weary from oppression and injustice–weary from war and enslavement–weary from hopelessness and helplessness–weary from sin and death. All around him are the tear-stained faces of the weary. But… Continue reading

A Scandalous Gift of Grace: John 7:53-8:11

Read the scripture. Our passage is called a “floating pericope” by New Testament scholars. A pericope is a self-contained passage of Scripture. This familiar story of a woman caught in adultery is not found in most ancient manuscripts. In other manuscripts it’s located in John 7:53-8:11, at the end of… Continue reading

Matthew 2:1-18 “Light in the Darkness”

The great German preacher Helmut Thielicke, in an Epiphany sermon entitled “The Message of Redeeming Light,” said the following:   If we take light seriously, we have also to reckon with the fact that there is a night in which it shines. This is the limit of all Christmas dreams. Light… Continue reading