Recalibrating Your Spiritual GPS – February 7

Mark 1:21-22, 29-39 In today’s reading, Mark describes a day in the life of Jesus.  In Judaism, the day begins at sunset.  And so, at sunset, Jesus goes to the local synagogue as a visiting rabbi to give the message for the day.  In the course of his message at the synagogue, he is confronted […]

On Being Responsible

I Corinthians 8:1-3 In these COVID times, we have debated the meaning of freedom in a democratic society.  We are a country that has prized rugged individualism – like many of you, I grew up with John Wayne and the Marlboro Man – and this individualistic streak had led to tensions about whether bars, gyms, and […]

Remembering Your Baptism

Acts 10:1-23, 34-35, 44-48 Matthew 3:13-17 One of my teachers, Ernie Campbell, preaching professor and pastor of Riverside Church in New York City, noted that there are only two kinds of people in the world – “those who are God’s hands and know it and those who are God’s hands and don’t.”  The famed preacher asserted that each us belongs to […]

On Believing the Impossible

Luke 1:26-56 It has been said that all the great religions of the world are grounded in mystical experiences.  Moses encountering a burning bush.  Buddha meditating under the Bo Tree.  Mohammed retreating to a cave to listen for God’s voice.  And then there is Mary’s encounter with an angelic messenger. We don’t know much about Mary and since the […]

Risk and Reward

Matthew 25:14-30 It was a championship game.  I was an up and coming baseball player.  It was two outs in the bottom of the ninth, no one on, our team down by one.  The first couple pitches were outside, then I fouled off a few.  Two balls and two strikes, the pitcher wound up and threw. A fast ball.  It […]

A New Order is Needed!

Amos 5:18-24, Matthew 25:1-13 Election Day has passed and we are struggling to come together as a country, wondering about where we go from here. Most of us worry about our nation’s future. Regardless of our joy or sorrow at the election, we have work to do.  Our nation is in dire trouble. Last month’s west […]

A Higher Citizenship

Exodus 33:12-23 and Matthew 22:15-22               We are in the height of the political season with the election just two weeks away.  It is appropriate that today’s readings are about the intersection of politics and religion because our American political system has involved from the very beginning an uneasy relationship between political and religious power.  Our founding parents […]


Philippians 4:4-9 Joy in a time of pandemic?  Peace in a time of protest?  It sounds crass after all the carnage, tens of thousands of deaths, an economy in shambles, children sent home from school, anxiety and low level depression abounding and Covid fatigue near universal, and uncertainty in the body politic. How can we talk about […]

Living by a vision

Phil 3:4-14 Good teachers and spiritual guides are known by their solidarity with their students and congregants. They see their oneness in joy and sorrow and don’t hold themselves apart, despite their expertise and experience.  As the saying goes, they don’t care about what you know until they know that you care. And caring comes from recognizing […]

The Good Work Continues

Philippians 1:3-5, 21-30 Philippians is one of my favorite books in the bible.  It’s a letter from a pastor to a community he loves – a community that despite social and legal challenges as a religious and cultural minority is keeping the faith and living out the gospel. A community like South Congregational Church in this […]