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More Than Magical Thinking

John 20:1-18 Blow the trumpets. It only seems natural. Sing “alleluia” with glad abandon. How can we do anything else today than shout “he is risen” at the top of our lungs. It is Easter, after all; that is what we do. Most often, John’s is a trumpet-blowing, brass-blaring, alleluia-shouting kind of Gospel, so it is almost shocking how he begin his Easter story – in the dark, in solemn stillness, in dead silence. There is no trumpet fanfare. No alleluia. No shouting from the rooftops. There is only Mary of Magdala headed to the tomb before the break of dawn to do her death duty. A few years ago, the award-winning writer, Joan Didion witnessed her husband die almost instantly from a massive

Just Another Week

Singing Stones - Luke 19:28-40 Just another week. Set the alarm. Start the coffee. Fold the laundry. Go to the gym. Head to work. Do the homework. Wash the dishes. Take out the garbage. Pay the bills. Service the car. Mail the birthday card. Buy the groceries. Watch some TV. Finish the novel. As the world counts the hours, today begins just another week. For those of us who spend our lives paying attention to Jesus, though, this is anything but just another week. The Gospel writers spend more time talking about this coming week than all the other weeks in the life of Jesus combined. They know that in the coming week the clock will tick with its customary precision. They also know that dur

Imagine That

Text: Luke 15:1, 11-32 I know these two brothers. I know them well. Brother One is a prodigal, an ingrate, the child who is a constant source of a parent’s heartburn. He does not come to his father on his knees pleading for a loan. He storms into the room and demands what is coming to him one day, to get what he stands to “inherit,” right now, even though his dad is not dead. Brother One does not become a more sympathetic son when he hits the road. This big spender closes down the casino every night and leaves with considerably less cash than he had the night before. He treats women in a way that I will not describe in this sermon, but you get the point. When he runs out of money, he mocks

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