Praise God

If you’re here this morning feeling triumphant and joyous and free because of the Supreme Court’s decisions this past week, praise God.

If you’re here this morning feeling queasy and uncertain because of the Supreme Court’s decisions, or because of hate that’s been manifested in our state and even across the street in the last few weeks, praise God.

If you feel like finally, finally, God is answering your prayers, praise God.

If you feel like, in light of this week, God must be taking a nap, praise God.

I do truly pray that there are people in these pews today of all those convictions, because there is merit in all those convictions, and familial love and diversity is a hallmark of the Kingdom of God.

God doesn’t look the way that any of us think he does. God doesn’t act the way any of us suppose he should. God doesn’t look like you. God doesn’t look like me.

God looks like Jesus Christ.

God is Jesus Christ.

Praise God, our Lord Jesus Christ.

And you know what today is? Continue reading

Friday Icon

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Christ on the Mount of Olives, life-size sculpture in Strasbourg Cathedral, 1498

 This collection of sculpture twists time, featuring a few Jesuses–here seen both kneeling at the Mount and hanging on the cross. This combination artwork of both relief and free-standing sculpture bends expectations in many arenas–time, space, sound, light.  How does Jesus’ Passion bend and stretch our expectations?

what to say about the Charleston martyrs

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artwork via

three sermons that are worth chewing on this week:

“That your Gospel is more powerful than our hate, more powerful than our despair, more powerful than our pride, and more powerful than our delusions, we give you thanks O God.”  Confession (1)

In the face of Emmanuel AME Church, Naming Goliath (2)

“Last week in Charleston, however, was different. To be sure, it’s important not to romanticize or idealize the black church, or any church. All Christian groups are riven by Sin just like all other groups. But the black churches have suffered so extremely, and so unjustly, for so long, that they have achieved a maturity that seems almost superhuman.” “What’s in those lamps?” (3)

Lament – Prayers of the People for 21 June, 2015

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We lift up our broken hearts this morning in sure and certain hope of the resurrection, in victory over evil and darkness, and in the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Let us pray to our God and Savior.

Almighty Father, on this Father’s Day, we lift up to you all fathers, especially those who are grappling with what to say to their children, how to protect their families, and how to keep themselves alive in this world at this time.

We lift up to you the leaders of our nation, especially Barack Obama, and the leaders of our state, especially Nikki Haley; cleanse our nation and state from hatred and racism, bring us into the new light of your kingdom.

O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples and races of the earth,

and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and those who are near:

Take into your loving arms the bereaved of Charleston, and especially Emmanuel AME Church, granting them peace and comfort that only you can give.

Pour out your spirit upon all flesh and hasten, O Lord, the coming of your kingdom, that your church throughout the whole world may enjoy communion with you and with each other, bringing all of creation into your good purposes.

Protect and embolden those frightened to attend church or to go to work. There is a different gold star pinned to many backs today, God, and it is dark skin.

Gathering below the cross this morning/evening as your sons and daughters, we acknowledge our guilt and sin, our complicity in racism, our hardness of heart and our clinging to darkness and evil rather than your light.

We commend to your mercy all who have died, especially DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel Simmons Sr., Sharonda Singleton, and Myra Thompson;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(composed for Trinity Cathedral’s Keenan Chapel service)