Sermon: The Birth of a New, Contrast Community

This is a message I gave at First Friends Meeting in Greensboro on December 22, 2019 following Revelation 12 and Matthew 1:18ff. Here is the recorded version of the message. Rev. 12:1   And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman eclothed with fthe sun, with fthe moon under her feet, and on her headContinue reading “Sermon: The Birth of a New, Contrast Community”

A Reading for Advent – Oscar Romero

No one can celebratea genuine Christmaswithout being truly poor.The self-sufficient, the proud,those who, because they haveeverything, look down on others,those who have no needeven of God – for them therewill be no Christmas.Only the poor, the hungry,those who need someoneto come on their behalf,will have that someone.That someone is God.Emmanuel. God-with-us.Without poverty of spiritthere canContinue reading “A Reading for Advent – Oscar Romero”

Mary: Revolutionary for Our Time

It is advent, a critical moment in the church calendar. It is post-election, a critical moment in the life of the United States. Advent is marked as a time of quiet, expectant waiting. There is hope in birth narratives of Jesus, but it is hope tempered by loss, defeat, and suffering that comes from livingContinue reading “Mary: Revolutionary for Our Time”

We Are The Stargazers (Matthew 2:1-12)

Herod and The Theologians Our passage this morning presents two contrasting groups of people discerning the will of God. King Herod and the Theologians on one side and the “three wise men” or Magi on the other. The arrival of Jesus makes for a very real, very large scale, as in cosmically-sized, conflict that isContinue reading “We Are The Stargazers (Matthew 2:1-12)”

Outline for a Candlelight Christmas Eve Worship Service

 Immanuel, God With Us. I enjoy putting together meditative worship services. A couple years back I posted this resource for using with a Christmas eve Candlelight Service. I have been working to make an updated one and since it’s just about complete I wanted to post it here for those of you who might beContinue reading “Outline for a Candlelight Christmas Eve Worship Service”

The Angel of No Going Back or the Day of Visitation (Luke 1:26-38)

“Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.” (Luke 1:26–38 NRSV) The day of visitation Our text this morning gives us a glimpse into what early Quakers would call “a day of visitation.” “The basic idea ofContinue reading “The Angel of No Going Back or the Day of Visitation (Luke 1:26-38)”

A (New) Family Portrait (Matthew 1)

Abraham had Isaac, Isaac had Jacob, Jacob had Judah and his brothers, Judah had Perez and Zerah (the mother was Tamar), Perez had Hezron, Hezron had Aram, Aram had Amminadab, Amminadab had Nahshon, Nahshon had Salmon, Salmon had Boaz (his mother was Rahab), Boaz had Obed (Ruth was the mother), Obed had Jesse, Jesse hadContinue reading “A (New) Family Portrait (Matthew 1)”

Embracing Surprise (Matthew 24: 35-44)

# Embracing Surprise This is the Gospel reading for Advent 1 and the text my sermon was based on for yesterday: “But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming ofContinue reading “Embracing Surprise (Matthew 24: 35-44)”

Plenty of Room at the Inn: The Nativity Scene Resurrected | On Being

We must always be attentive to the edges of our own storytelling. Attractive as it may be to children, and lodged as it may be upon the portrayed scenes of religious Christmas cards, it is simply incorrect to think that Mary and Joseph were forced into a stable. They found shelter in the kindness ofContinue reading “Plenty of Room at the Inn: The Nativity Scene Resurrected | On Being”