Sermon: Get Me Off This Ride


In pointing to the truth, we often need helping hands from one another to grope toward the light; this morning I’m going to open with a passage from the newspaper, this columnist Peggy Noonan talks about the events of this past week better than I could put them myself, and so I cede the pulpit to her for a moment:

When news broke at Christmastime five years ago of what had happened at Newtown a friend, a news anchor, called and said with a broken voice: “What is the word for what we feel?” I thought for a moment. “Shattered,” I said. “We are shattered, all of us.” When people in ensuing days spoke of what had been done to the little children in the classrooms, I’d put up my hands and say no, we can’t keep putting those words in the air, we can’t afford it. When terrible images enter our heads and settle in, they become too real, and what is real is soon, by the unstable, imitated, repeated.

When Columbine happened in the spring of 1999, it hit me like a wave of sickness…

We were bringing up our children in an unwell atmosphere. It would enter and distort them. Could we turn this around?

And here is the horror for me of Las Vegas: I was not shattered. That shatters me.

It was just another terrible story. It is not the new normal it is the new abnormal and deep down we know it’s not going to stop. There is too much instability in our country, too much rage and lovelessness, too many weapons.  (“The Culture of Death–and of Disdain” Peggy Noonan, WSJ, Saturday/Sunday, October 7 – 8, 2017)

Brothers and sisters, we keep seeing the same story over and over and over again. Continue reading

The Easy Waffle – Sermon

Whenever I start writing a sermon, I ask myself, “What is God revealing about himself in this passage? Who is God teaching us that he is?” Today, I want to ask that question of a larger section of Scripture, I want to ask, “What is God revealing about himself?” in the whole of the Gospels. In the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is this God revealing himself to be? Travel with me a moment, if you would, imagining the whole of Jesus’s life before us; we’ll start from the end and move back to the beginning. Continue reading

St. Augustine’s Sunday sermon

Let us pray: Grant, O merciful God, that your church, being gathered together in unity by your Holy Spirit, may show forth your power among all peoples, to the glory of your Name, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit, be all honor and glory, throughout all ages. Amen.

“Brothers and sisters; by the mercies of God, present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds.”

Last week, visiting family in Northern Minnesota and in North Dakota, I was struck over and over by the ways we who live in cities have moved on from our bodies, from the ways that nature guides our behavior. When night falls, both on the Hylden farm, and at the Thomey cabin, the world turns black as pitch. There’s no need for those black-out curtains in the baby’s room — everybody is plunged into darkness. It made me think about how electricity can trick us into thinking that we are in control of our own destinies rather than living at the mercy of the cosmos. Continue reading

A Collect of Lament and Repentance for August 13, 2017


delivered at the 10:15am Holy Eucharist at St. Augustine’s Oak Cliff

O God, you have made of one blood all the people of the world. We have forgotten this truth. We love power more than we love one another, we stay silent rather than defend and protect each other.

Root out racism, oh Lord. Root it out in our nation, in Charlottesville, in Dallas, and root out racism in our hearts.

Bring us in humility to the foot of the cross; lead St. Augustine’s into your kingdom. Mold this community to reflect your glory, throw our sinful appendages into the fire. Refine us by your mercy and your might.

Give us courage to sit with one another, to listen to each other as you speak, and to repent. All this we pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.