The Reformation: Celebrate or Repent?

~ Jeremiah 31:31-34/Romans 1:16-17, 3:19-31 ~ Martin was an intense young man. The son of a Saxon miner, he had every intention of becoming a lawyer. One day in 1505 while walking to the village of Stotternheim, he was caught in a thunderstorm. A bolt of lightning struck nearby knocking … Read More

“Sanctuaries and Walls: The Power of Symbols”

~ Matthew 22:15-22 ~   As I was preparing for this sermon, digging into this iconic gospel text about a coin, it suddenly hit me: I preached on this very passage here (well, at St. Luke’s) three years ago. I can’t believe it’s been three plus years already. Time flies … Read More

“Holding It Together”

~ Exodus 17:1-7/Philippians 2:1-13 ~ God’s people can be a quarrelsome lot. Just ask Moses. There he is, out there hitting a rock with a stick wondering aloud, “Is God with us or not?” Sometimes it’s not easy being the leader of God’s people – not that I’m complaining. Holding … Read More

“The Hard Work of Getting Along”

~ James 3:13-18 ~ Is stress a good thing or a bad thing? A few years ago – OK, many years ago – I was climbing Longs Peak, one of the many Fourteeners, we call them – 14,000-foot mountains in Colorado, this one rising prominently on the Front Range. I … Read More

“Doing Community in a #Hashtag World”

Matthew 18:15-20/Romans 13:8-10 For biblical scholars and, well, for preachers, making ancient texts relevant to today’s world is a real challenge. One can make the common mistake of taking a text from the bible and just applying directly it to whatever situation you are dealing with today. This seems pertinent … Read More

“Rewarding Criminal Behavior”

~ A Crisis of Forgiveness ~ Matthew 18:21-25/Psalm 103:1-13   Early in my time here at Noe Valley Ministry, I preached a sermon on this passage. I raised the question: Does forgiveness excuse bad behavior? When we are dealing with people who have wronged us or hurt us, doesn’t forgiving … Read More