A sermon text isn’t exactly a sermon–a sermon is an event. It takes place once, in a particular place and time, among a particular group of people. But still, here are some texts of sermons I’ve preached. I hope you enjoy reading them.

Bring Your Gifts: Epiphany

They brought him gifts: these sages–these Persian stargazers–these Zoroastrian seekers after God. They followed a mystic light from heaven, and they came to a humble house. And they opened their chests and brought forth their treasures, rich gifts laden with hope and expectation: Gold. Incense. Myrrh.

What have you come to give him? What do you bring with you, tonight, hidden in the treasure chest of your deep and mysterious soul?

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The Invasive Kingdom: Proper 12, Year A

Last weekend I was at a family wedding in South Carolina. As soon as I stepped out of the airport I was struck by the climate, by the overall feeling of things: the heat. The humidity. The chirping crickets. And all around, the green, green, green. So different from the golds and greens of our California hills and evergreen forests: there it was deciduous trees, and vines growing on the deciduous trees, and more vines growing on those vines. Driving down the freeway was like being in a tunnel between two walls of solid vegetation. So much of that, of course, is thanks to just one plant: kudzu.

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Proper 17, Year A: A Stone to Make Them Stumble

There’s something captivating about a rock. It compels the human spirit to climb: magnificent in its solidity and permanence, like Gibraltar or Everest. In this particular case the rocks were only two or three feet high at the most, but for me—a three-year-old smaller than your average Canada goose—they were mighty and worthy of conquest.

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3 Easter, Year C: Breakfast

It doesn’t take a whole lot of time on pilgrimage in the Holy Land before you begin to learn to take some of the historic identifications of the holy places with a grain of salt.

And so it was when our group of pilgrims toured the Galilee chapel built over a flat rock, the “Mensa Domini”—the very Table of the Lord where he laid the charcoal fire and spread out the loaves and fishes.

Or, of course, maybe it really happened at that other flat rock over there—or that other beach a mile or two down the shore. Who can say?

Yet as we stood there, looking out at the turquoise water lapping at the rocky shore, I realized how profoundly right this holy place was. Over twenty centuries of time, cities appear and vanish; buildings, streets, and trees come and go—but the sea today is still the same as it was then, and contemplating the story in that place was incredibly easy.

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