1. Listen to him! (Luke 9.28-36) [Sermon 02-07-2016, Transfiguration C]

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    February 5, 2016 by jmar198013

    Icon-of-the-Transfiguration-of-Christ

    Jesus took his disciples, Peter, James, and John on a mountaintop to pray. Moses and Elijah showed up, and Peter blurted out: “Let’s build three shrines: One for you, one for Elijah, and one for Moses!” God came in a cloud and corrected Peter: “This is my chosen Son! Listen to him!”

    In the church today, we abstract all sorts of “biblical principles” to address the issues of our time: marriage, money, capital punishment, war, who to vote for, how to discipline children, poverty, and the good life. But are we really just building shrines to Moses and Elijah? What if we actually paid attention to what God said on the mountain: “This is my Son. Listen to him!”?

  2. Walkabout 02-05-2016: A weekly compendium of stuff I’ve found along the way

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    February 5, 2016 by jmar198013

    The stuff they’re not telling you this week:

    Misreading Paul. E.J. Dionne is boring. The necessity of nonviolent deescalation. Rod Dreher is a racist, but not on purpose. Insurance companies are whining for political leverage. Liberal and democratic aren’t the same thing. News is a business, and that’s a huge problem. “The day the music died,” 57 years on. A neocon and a beat poet spend the night together. Colonel Sanders endorses a VP for Trump.

  3. Walkabout 1-29-2016: A weekly compendium of stuff I’ve found along the way

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    January 29, 2016 by jmar198013

    The stuff they’re not telling you this week: The role of intellectuals in “creating” the public. The impotency of the Democratic Party. Chomsky on imperial electoral politics. The New Republic toes the party line, as always. Literature and terrorists. Sustainability in mid-sized cities. Russell Kirk’s conservatism. Why free-market theory has made American conservatism a mutant. And talking points for discussions with anti-vaxxers.

  4. An unwelcome prophet (Luke 4.21-30) [Sermon 1-31-2016 Epiphany 4c]

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    January 29, 2016 by jmar198013

    In Luke 4, Jesus goes home and preaches Jubilee–good news to the poor, healing for the blind, release for the oppressed–in the synagogue. It sounds like good news, but before the day is over, his neighbors are ready to toss him off a mountain to his death.

    Why did Jesus’ ministry go downhill so quickly?

  5. Today this scripture is fulfilled (Luke 4.14-21) [Sermon 1/24/16 Epiphany 3c]

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    January 22, 2016 by jmar198013

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    Jesus returned to his hometown synagogue, and preached from Isaiah 61.1-2. The great Jubilee text. Good news to the poor. Release to prisoners. Recovery of sight for the blind. Liberating the oppressed. And Jesus concluded by saying, “Today, this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

    Jesus always confronts the church afresh with this challenge. Today is the day to proclaim Jubilee. Today is the day to proclaim good news to the poor, release to the prisoners, sight to the blind, freedom to the oppressed.

    Today is the day to fulfill the scriptures.

  6. Jesus’ first sign (John 2.1-11) [Sermon 1-17-2016 Epiphany 2c]

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    January 15, 2016 by jmar198013

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    John 2.1-11 records the first miracle–or “sign” of Jesus. When the wine runs out at a wedding feast where Jesus and his disciples are present, his mother presses him to do something about it. He has the caterers fill large water jugs to the brim. When the headwaiter tastes it, it has become superior wine–better than the wine they had to begin with.

    This sermon suggests that the first miracle of Jesus points the way for the church in a world characterized by need and lack. Jesus’ mother, the obedient servants, even the water vessels show us how God empowers us to respond to the needs of the world.

  7. Jesus’ baptism, and ours (Luke 3.15-17, 21-22; Isa. 43.1-7) [Sermon 1-10-2016, Baptism of Christ C]

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    January 11, 2016 by jmar198013

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    My sermon for 1-10-2016. Baptism of Christ, Year C. Pondering baptism in conversation with Luke’s story of Jesus’ baptism.

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visitors on the way to Emmaus

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