Sermon: Advent IV — How Silently, How Silently

Sermon: Advent 4A
 How Silently, How Silently (Matthew 1:18-25) The Lord be with you. Whereas the Gospel of Luke tells the story of Jesus’ birth from Mary’s perspective, Matthew tells it through the eyes of Joseph. Both of these accounts share common elements in describing what took place. Both testify that Jesus was to beContinue reading “Sermon: Advent IV — How Silently, How Silently”

Enjoying Handel’s Sublime Gift

Pastor Dan and his wife graciously treated us by inviting us to join them last night for a performance of Handel’s Messiah at the Center for the Performing Arts here in Indianapolis. It was magnificent. The Palladium is a state of the art concert venue, and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Choir, directed byContinue reading “Enjoying Handel’s Sublime Gift”

Advent Music: An Advent Invitation from Peter Mayer

The promise that comes to us in the darkness… Maybe peace hides in a storm Maybe winter’s heart is warm Maybe Light itself is born In the longest night… • Light a candle, sing a song Say that the shadows shall not cross Make an oblation out of all you’ve lost In the longest nightContinue reading “Advent Music: An Advent Invitation from Peter Mayer”

Sermon: Advent III — Jesus Commends the Doubter

Sermon: Advent III Jesus Commends the Doubter (Matt 11:2-11) Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist… • Matthew 11:11 • • • Jesus gives great praise to John the Baptist in today’s Gospel. He commends him as a strong man of truth, a prophetContinue reading “Sermon: Advent III — Jesus Commends the Doubter”

Another Look: My Ambiguous Apologetic

I confess. I have no apologetic. There is no defending God. There is no proving his way is right. To do so would require that I understand God, that I can substantiate the claims of truth my faith calls me to hold. I can explain what I believe well enough. I can demonstrate to aContinue reading “Another Look: My Ambiguous Apologetic”

Another Look: Go forth to meet him?

Another Look: Go forth to meet him? Here we are again, in the early days of December. We are not far away from welcoming the Christ-child at his birth. As we face this season and event, here are some words from Brother Thomas Merton that make me think. For Christmas will come this year, just asContinue reading “Another Look: Go forth to meet him?”

“We sanitize what isn’t safe and therefore lose what is nutritious”

From The Weight of Advent by Ian at Mockingbird [T]he prophetic word of Advent authorizes us to tell the truth about the world. As Edgar pronounces in the final scene of King Lear, “The weight of this sad time we must obey/ Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.” John the BaptizerContinue reading ““We sanitize what isn’t safe and therefore lose what is nutritious””

Sermon: Advent II — The Repentant Life

Sermon: Advent II The Repentant Life (Matthew 3:1-12) The Lord be with you. John the Baptist proclaimed, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” One of our most beloved stories at Christmas time is a tale about repentance — Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. It’s about the repentance of a man named EbenezerContinue reading “Sermon: Advent II — The Repentant Life”

Sermon: Advent I — Living in Hope on the “Day Before”

Sermon: Advent I 2019 The Lord be with you. Happy new year! Today is the first Sunday in the Advent season, the beginning of a new church year. From now until Pentecost, we will be remembering and reflecting upon the story of the good news that came to us in Jesus Christ. And it allContinue reading “Sermon: Advent I — Living in Hope on the “Day Before””

Another Look: A Favorite Gospel Word

Note from CM: This is one of the first posts I wrote for Internet Monk, back when Michael asked me to help during his illness nine years ago. I think it a good preparation for the turn of the Christian Year, which happens this Sunday on Advent I. • • • Blessed be the LordContinue reading “Another Look: A Favorite Gospel Word”