Giving Up for Lent

Preached at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church – Tifton, Georgia Matthew 6:1-6,16-21   Lutheran pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber writes, “Ash Wednesday is my favorite day of the church year, and Lent is my favorite season. “Our culture has quite ruined Christmas and Easter with Santa and the Easter Bunny and all the grotesque consumerism and made-for-TV specials behind it…

From Glory to Glory

Preached at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church – Tifton, Georgia 2 Corinthians 3:4-6     Mark 9:2-9 There’s a United Church of Christ pastor named Shawnthea Monroe who tells the story of taking a group of inner-city kids on a wilderness canoe trip in northern Minnesota. She says that on the first night, when the sun had finally set…

The Thing That We Could Not

Preached at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church – Tifton, Georgia Matthew 21:1-11    Matthew 27:11-54     Philippians 2:5-11 Today is a day of spiritual whiplash. Today is a day when we show up, and we feel so alive. The church grounds are lush and green. The temperature is just right. Spring has sprung; the sun is gold; and God…

What We Think We Know

Preached at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church Tifton, Georgia Genesis 12:1-4a      Numbers 21:6-9     Romans 4:1-5,13-17     John 3:1-17 The only person I’ve ever known who I think got the whole “giving stuff up for Lent” thing right was my friend James. James is now a priest living in Texas, but when we were in seminary, I asked him…

Declare a Fast

Preached at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral Columbia, South Carolina Philippians 2:5-8 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. What a joy it is to be here! For some time now I’ve had a growing place in my heart for Trinity Cathedral. It’s partially because I’ve had the joy of…

Temptation & Grace

Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7 and Matthew 4:1-11 The holy season of Lent is here. These forty days are a time of fasting and prayer, a time in which we throw sheets and veils over all the razzle-dazzle, over all our shiniest objects, over all our spiritual crutches and best liturgical gimmicks. Why? For the same reason you…

Love, Ashes & Dust

Matthew 6:1-6,16-21 If you ask the average person what he or she knows about Ash Wednesday, you might get a funny half-answer like, “Ain’t that the day when those weirdoes put ashes on their heads?” (And to be clear: yes, that is the day when those weirdoes put ashes on their heads.) Or, if you’re…