“Is not my word life fire,” a sermon in three parts (108)

Part I – Luke 12:49-56

Jesus came to bring fire and division. And we thought he was all about peace.

Whatever we might have thought or hoped for, Jesus says, “From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three . . . wavesfather against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

I’m not sure we needed Jesus for that bit about in-laws but maybe it fills out the picture.

Jesus is shaking fists and four-letter words. He’s come to ruffle feathers and make ears burn. And he isn’t just talking about ‘they’ or ‘them’ or the people out there who don’t yet have it together. Read more


A Homily on Fear (107)


“Do not be afraid,” or “fear not,” depending on which version you read. Both our gospel reading (Luke 12:32-40) and our reading from the Old Testament door2(Genesis 15:1-6) have that same phrase in the very first verse. How timely is this? In this summer of 2016 fear seem to stalk us: terrorism, politicians who want to scare their way into power, personal struggles with physical and mental health and the usual stuff that makes congregational life hard—even mosquitoes and the Zika virus. Read more