Leaving the Mountaintop

Epiphany Last, Year C

February 7, 2016

St. Thomas, Newark, DE

Good morning, St. Thomas! I am so thrilled to be here this morning, and I would like to thank Father Paul for lending me this pulpit. I guess the first thing to know about me is that Father Paul knew me when I was 14 years old — more than half my life ago — and still asked me to come preach to you all this morning, so he is a good and trusting man, and sees potential in teenagers who are  … I’ll say precocious.

I actually knew about St. Thomas before Father Paul even got here because my older cousin was a student at the University of Delaware. She is someone who would self-identify as “not into church,” but once she told my “very into church” mother that she would come to dinner here on Wednesday nights when she was feeling low and she would always leave feeling better. She said, “I’m still not a church person, Aunt Nancy, but I’m glad that it’s there.” So I have known for a long time that you are a very welcoming church and thank you for having me today.

Let’s talk about Moses. I am having so much fun picturing Moses this morning, trudging down that steep mountain lugging two tablets. And he doesn’t even know it, but the skin on his face is shining. It’s shining so intensely that it’s scaring his friends. And his face is shining this way because he had been talking with God.

I think we’re all familiar with the idea of having a “certain glow.” Sometimes you can tell if people are drinking enough water and taking care of themselves, because they have a bit of extra shine to them. “Oh, you’re positively glowing,” is something you maybe don’t hear as often as I’d like.

But have you ever, in all your days, been glowing this intensely?
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Hurling Off Cliffs: A Sermon for Wonderers

All Saints’ Church / January 31, 2016

Evening Prayer / 5pm

Proper 13 / Year B

Fourth Sunday after Epiphany / Year C

Luke 4:21-30

Good and gracious God, you eclipse our best words, and still we know that you are with us. May our thoughts and prayers and rumblings tonight be holy in your sight. Amen.

Tonight I am thinking about following Jesus–what it means to follow Jesus.

The beauty of this evening prayer service is that everyone is welcome here, to talk along if you wish, or simply to listen, to let words fall over your ears and bodies. To come together, a group who wouldn’t be together in any other context. To look at each other. To look into each other’s eyes and not have to come up with anything to say. We give it all to you in a little bulletin to follow along.

A chance to sit in silence. When do we do that at other times in our lives?

Anyone can do this with us, no matter what you think about who God is, or even if there is a God, and no matter what you think about Jesus.

But I want to talk about Jesus today, and what it means to follow him. Whether we are far along that journey with him, or at the very beginning, or perhaps walking on a parallel path, or maybe a path that is about to cross, or even a path that has already crossed.

What does it mean to follow Jesus? Continue reading

How I Learned to Love Jesus (Through His Vagina)

In 2013, I saw an image as part of an exhibit at the Morgan Library:

Fifth Wound

1) Christ’s wound. 2) Christ as Man of Sorrows. Pierpont Morgan Library. MS M.90, fol. 130r. From France, perhaps Verdun and Paris, ca. 1375. Image Courtesy of the Pierpont Morgan Library.

At Union Theological Seminary, I wrote a thesis about it.

And then St. Lydia’s invited me to preach about it, as part of This Is My Body: A Sermon Series on Faith, Sexuality, and Identity.

Here’s a video of the sermon I preached on Sunday night, October 11:

The text is John 19:31-40. Transcript (sort of) below!

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Bread Remembering

All Saints’ Church / August 2, 2015

Proper 13 / Year B

Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15 / Psalm 78:23-29 / Ephesians 4:1-16 / John 6:24-35

A couple months ago, I was in Colorado for a friend’s wedding, and I was staying in a shared cabin. I had gotten there pretty late at night, and as the single friend, I was sleeping on the pull out couch in the living room. Around 2am, when I couldn’t sleep, I tiptoed into the kitchen and went into the fridge. Continue reading

Did They Kill Her Too? Sandra Bland and How We Believe

All Saints’ Church / July 26, 2015

Proper 12 / Year B

2 Kings 4:42-44 / Psalm 145: 10-19 / Ephesians 3:14-21 / John 6:1-21

I stood here two weeks ago and preached a sermon about John the Baptist being beheaded. And now, on this day when we get to talk about the loaves and the fishes, there is just one thread that I want to pick up from my sermon a couple weeks ago.

But first let me just say, it is totally okay if you were not here two weeks ago. I’ll fill you in on what you missed. And if you were here, please excuse my brief recap:

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Kid Logic & the Beheading of John the Baptist

All Saints’ Church

July 12, 2015

Proper 10 / Year B

Amos 7:7-15 / Psalm 85:8-13 / Ephesians 1:3-14 / Mark 6:14-29

I was leading a retreat for St. Lydia’s this weekend–the church where I work the other half of my time. And the centerpiece of the whole retreat was the Road to Emmaus story, from the Gospel of Luke.

It’s just after Jesus has died, and the disciples are walking along the road. Jesus is there, too, but they don’t recognize him until he breaks bread and gives it to them. It’s a beautiful story about knowing and remembering and resurrection and eating bread and how Jesus loves us. The kind of story that makes you feel really good about the bible and church.

So I had to leave the retreat a little bit early to come here and I told everyone, sorry: I have to go preach about a beheading.

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Being In-Between

All Saints’ Church

June 14, 2015

Proper 6 / Year B

Ezekiel 17:22-24 / Psalm 92:1-4, 11-14 / 2 Corinthians 5:6-10, (11-13), 14-17 / Mark 4:26-34

Keep, O Lord, your household the Church in your steadfast faith and love, that through your grace we may proclaim your truth with boldness, and minister your justice with compassion. Amen.

When I was in seminary, I supported myself by babysitting for two adorable, and also opinionated, little girls who were about 10 and 6. Once, the 6 year old asked me how old I was, and I did that thing that you should probably never do with children, which was to respond, “how old do you think I am?”

“Um, 50?” she said. This is why you should never open these kinds of questions up to children.

“No!,” I said. “I’m 29.”

To which the 10 year old piped in, “You’re 29?!?! When are you gonna get a career?”

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