Small Easter

  A few years ago I audited a class at St. Paul seminary on “Preaching and the Short Story.” There was a story on the syllabus with “Easter” in the title, and I kept thinking I should read that before I wrote my Easter sermon. So this story title, “Small Easter,” kept rattling around in…

God’s Presence on the Mountain

(Transfiguration: Luke 9:28-36) The second Moses and Elijah show up on that mountain, the entire Jewish tradition of the Exodus and the prophets is brought to bear on this story—and on Jesus’ life and ministry. To understand the story of the Transfiguration, we have to understand the narratives of all three men:

Reflections on 1 Samuel 3

[This post is excerpted from this full sermon.] The very first sentence of this story tells us that “the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli.” And this sentence tells us right away how things are supposed to work. Samuel is a boy and Eli is a grown-up. Samuel is serving under Eli.…

Reflections on Mark 1:14-20

[This reflection is an edited excerpt from this sermon on Matthew 4:18-22.] Think, for a minute, about a time in the past few days that you were at work–your job work or working on some project or responsibility. You are grading papers or standing in front of a class full of kids. You are making…

Dear Peter

[This is an excerpt from a sermon I preached on 1 Peter. My husband, who does not usually provide sermon commentary, said, “It was gimmicky, but you pulled it off.” Clearly he was deeply moved in the Spirit by my words.]   Dear Peter, I just wanted to write to you as one church leader…