Mission, Misgivings & the Mighty Power of God

Preached at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church – Tifton, Georgia Jonah 3:1-5,10 One of the funniest stories in the entire Bible is the story of Jonah. Jonah’s the kind of story you learn when you’re a kid in Sunday School, but by the time we grow up, about the only thing most folks remember about Jonah is that…

A Righteous People

Preached at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church – Tifton, Georgia Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20 The great theologian Karl Barth is said to have said that a preacher should always preach with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other. This is good advice not just for preachers, but for all Christians. We who love the…

Fall Together

Preached at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church – Tifton, Georgia Exodus 17:1-7 For the past many weeks we have been on an Old Testament journey, tracking along through the book of Exodus and the great story of Moses and the people of God. It started back in August when we read how a baby named Moses was born…

Just Shut Up & Forgive

Preached at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church – Tifton, Georgia Matthew 18:21-35 In many ways today’s message is as simple and uncomplicated as it gets. I read this Gospel, and I am tempted to issue a two-word sermon: Just forgive. Or for those of you who prefer something longer, here’s the five-word version: Just shut up and forgive….

All In Your Power

Preached at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church – Tifton, Georgia Exodus 1:8-2:10    Romans 12:1-8    Matthew 16:13-20 Without a doubt, there is too much bad news in the world around us. Near and far, there are natural disasters; crises of leadership; wars and rumors of wars; instability, hatred, and fear. Cumulatively, it’s almost enough to make you lose hope;…

Grace, Law & Why We Help Out at Church

As a father of two young daughters, it always irks me when people see me in public with my own children and ask, “Oh! Are you babysitting today?” Uh . . . no. I’m their father. Spending time with my children is not babysitting. It’s also not some chore to be relegated to my wife so I can busy…

The Easter Hymn That Just Won’t Quit Me

My friend Kevin says that when a hymn gets stuck in your head, “it’s a little gift from God.” But what do you do when the hymn gnawing at your cabeza is one you just can’t stand? Growing up an Episcopalian, the Episcopal Church’s Hymnal 1982 has been—for better or worse—my primary church music influence. As hymnals go, it’s admittedly far from perfect, but where it…

The Easter Sermon

St. John Chrysostom (c. 349-407) was the archbishop of Constantinople and an Early Church Father. His name, meaning “golden-tongued,” attests to the renown in which he was held for his gifts as an orator and preacher. This sermon is a version of John Chysostom’s Easter sermon, which is still read every Easter in Orthodox churches around the world. It is…