You Can't Cram for the Final Exam: A Progressive Take on the "Second Coming"

This sermon was preached at Knox Presbyterian Church on Sunday Nov. 12, 2017. The texts for the day were 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and Matthew 25:1-13. Anybody here ever dream that they’re back in high school? I used to have a recurring dream that I’m back in high school and I have to take a test to graduate, but I’ve missed almost all the classes in the semester so I’m not ready for the test. Sometimes, in the dream, I’ll remember that I’ve already graduated from college so my dream self will go to the high school office and try to convince the guidance counselor that there’s been some mix-up, and I shouldn’t have to take this test, and the my college diploma should be evidence enough, and th

Zombies & Fluffy Pink Stuff

This sermon was preached at Knox Presbyterian Church on Nov. 5, 2017. The text for the day was Matthew 23:1-12. Halloween was last Tuesday. I like Halloween. It can be such a neighborly holiday. We live on a cul-de-sac, and ever since we all had to evacuate in the middle of the night together, all the neighbors have been talking to each other more. We went out trick-or-treating with two other families from our street and it was fun to let the kids (safely) run a little wild now that we live in place where we know a lot of people. Anybody here go to any Halloween parties? Give out candy? Who here still likes to get dressed up for Halloween? My least favorite thing about Halloween is the gory

At the Door of Grace & Change

This sermon was preached at Knox Presbyterian Church on Sunday Oct. 29, 2017 in commemoration of the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. How many of you have a Bible? And read it? Really? You don’t need a priest to read it for you and tell you what it says? Interesting. Here’s another question: how many of you believe you can have a personal relationship with God...without a priest...getting in the middle? It’s just you and God. Well. I’ve got good news for you today. You’re in the right kind of church for those beliefs. The Presbyterian Church is a kind of Protestant Church and today we’re commemorating the 500th anniversary of the beginning of what’s called “The

Where is God in Times of Trouble?

This sermon was preached at Knox Presbyterian Church on Oct. 22, 2017, two weeks after the Tubbs Fire. The scripture texts for the day were Exodus 33:12-23, 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10, and Matthew 22:15-22. It has been a long couple of weeks. Hasn’t it? It’s hard to believe that it was only two weeks ago that fire swept through our town, causing many of us to evacuate and changing many people’s lives forever. There’s a video online - circulating on facebook - of the wind whipping up the fire - of how fast it was moving - some winds going as fast as 60 miles an hour - carrying the fire up and over the hills. Now, families whose homes have burned are getting back into their neighborhoods to see if

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