Prayer of Confession

This prayer is based on Isaiah 55. God, we are thirsty and you call us to your waters. But sometimes we try to slake our thirst from other sources. Forgive us when we turn away from the living water that you offer. God, we are hungry and you offer us bread without cost. But sometimes…

The Woman who Anoints Jesus

Matthew 26:6-13 Lent is the time in the church year when we move toward the cross and, ultimately, to Easter. Lent is 40 days (not counting Sundays) of preparation for the holy celebration. Days to, perhaps, give up something in your life that is getting in the way of your relationship with God. Days to,…

Waiting for the Messiah

On this feast day of the Presentation, here is an excerpt from a sermon I preached several years ago on Luke 2:22-38. Do you see that old man, sitting in the corner? He’s easy to miss. Shuffles into the temple most every day. Shrunken, bent with age. Wandering awkwardly among the crowds until the weariness…

Power Belongs to God

On Saturday, January 13, at 8:07 a.m., residents and tourists in Hawaii got text messages on their phones and alerts interrupting their television programs telling them there was a “ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii.” “This is not a drill” the messages warned. Alerts like this would be frightening at any time, but considering the…

Call to Worship for Epiphany

Arise, shine; for your light has come! God’s glory has risen upon us. Despite the state of this world: Despite illness, despite fear; Despite disappointment, despite injustice; Despite sadness, despite violence; Despite grief, and despite despair– God’s glory will appear over us. Lift up your eyes and look around: See the light of God’s hope,…

A Pastor’s 12 Days of Christmas

We are in the midst of the 12 days of Christmas, which begin on Christmas day and end with Epiphany (January 6). Here is a new version of the famous song for all of my clergy colleagues trying to get a little rest and then lead God’s people into a new year. (Fortunately, this is…

New Year’s Prayer

God of new life, God of life made new, I begin this new year as I ended the last– embraced by your spirit of love your presence of peace your gentle power. I leave behind the old year in the knowledge that Whatever I have done in the service of selfish desire; Whenever I have…