August 26, 2019

Text:  Jeremiah 1:4-10

I spent my high school years in the land of pollsters who tell leaders which way public sentiment is blowing. They can tell you anything from what issue will turn an election to what color tie should be worn for a debate.

During my years of ministr...

August 18, 2019

Text: Hebrews 11:1, 13-16

Some years ago, on a beautiful August day at the national conference center in Chautauqua, New York, I listened to the outstanding preacher, Barbara Brown Taylor. In her sermon, Barbara spoke of doing something that I have been considering for...

August 4, 2019

Hebrews 11:1-3, 29-33

I was nine years old and living in racially segregated Newport News. My blue-collar, Southern family did not have much use for Dr. King. Around the dinner table, he was referred to as that blankety blank trouble-maker who didn’t know his place. For...

August 2, 2019

Texts: Isaiah 53:1-3; I Corinthians 13:12

In one of the most horrific encounters of the Second World War, the fate of the German Sixth Army was sealed in the battle of Stalingrad. The final plane out of the city carried seven bags of mail. In them was a letter from a dy...

Texts: Haggai 1:1-8; Galatians 5:1

This is the month for patriotic pundits to opine about freedom. Flags fly, fireworks explode, and this year even tanks made an appearance on the D.C. mall on the Fourth. 

I have found, though, that those who know the most about freedom...

Text: Mark 5:21-43

“He took her by the hand and said to her, . . .
‘Little girl, get up!’
And immediately the little girl got up
and began to walk about.”
Mark 5:41–42 (NRSV)

In her book of sermons, Bread of Angels, Episcopal priest and author, Barbara Brown Taylor write...

Text:  Genesis 21:1-21

I saw Hagar last week. She was foraging through a church dumpster. She was dodging ICE agents at the airport. She was harvesting crops from dawn to dusk on the Eastern Shore, praying that she would get paid this time. She was standing in line with...

Text: I Kings 19 (selected verses)

Chapter 18 of I Kings is all about the religious superstar Elijah. The prophet stands up to Jezebel, the powerful foreign-born queen of Israel, and he makes a fool of her and her minions. Elijah takes on the mouthy prophets of the wimp...

Text:  Proverbs 8, selected verses

The book of Proverbs is tucked away in the middle of the Old Testament. It is an odd book in many ways. There are no stories, no dramatic events recounted, and no clear beginning and end. In some ways, reading the proverbs is like open...

Text: Acts 2:1-21

The Session meeting had gone on for nearly five hours and it was rapidly approaching midnight. Yes, midnight! Many elders had come straight from work in D.C. and had not had supper. Nerves were frayed and patience had left the room a couple of hours ea...

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