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…

And You Say Nothing

The following Good Friday meditation was originally written as a journal entry during Week 3 of the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola, May 2016. I wish to express special gratitude for Fleming Rutledge, whose friendship and whose book The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ have been indispensable sources of knowledge, wisdom, and encouragement in preaching the…

About Judas

Preached at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church – Tifton, Georgia John 13:21-32 For the past few days, you and I have been getting ourselves ready— preparing ourselves as Jesus prepares himself— for both he and we know that the gut-wrenching events of his final days are just around the bend. On Palm Sunday, we cheered him on as…

All Just a Bit Too Much

Preached at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church – Tifton, Georgia John 12:1-11 One day a few months ago, I heard my daughter use the word “tacky.” “Tacky” is one of those underrated, versatile, biting Southern words. When said by just the right person in the just right way, “tacky” covers a multitude of sins and conveys mountains of…

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…

We Were Refugees, Too

Isaiah 58:1-12 and 1 Corinthians 2:1-12 We’ve got a lot going on today—both in the world around us and in the world of the scriptures—so we’d better get right to it. First, you might wonder what in the world is going on with Isaiah. “Shout out, do not hold back!” he declares at the top…