Sermons on defining moments

Sermons on defining moments

Transfigured

Over twenty years ago, in a parenting book I’ve long since given away, I remember reading an account of the Transfiguration story and strongly identifying with Peter. I can’t help feeling a little sorry for Peter because I completely understand why he responded the way he did, a reluctant character in this scene that goes from comical to monumental in just a few words. Taken high up this mountain by Jesus, with only James and John for companions, the physical…

See the Light. Be the Light.

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. “Blessed are the merciful, for they…

How Can This Be?

I say the same words each week to many people, but, they never become mundane or repetitive, because it’s the same invitation Jesus makes to John’s disciples in today’s gospel, “Come and see”. These words, repeated weekly from my heart to yours are, “The body of Christ, the bread of heaven” or in Lent “The body of Christ, broken for you.” These words, uttered often soft and pensive,  as they come from the soul place of my being, are designed…

Beloved

Beloved First Sunday after the Epiphany: The Baptism of our Lord January 12, 2020 RCL readings, Year A, Isaiah 42:1-9; Psalm 29; Acts 10:34-43; Matthew 3:13-17 Dina Carter Ishler; St. Andrew’s, Shippensburg Baptize us with your Spirit, Lord, your cross on us be signed, that, likewise in God’s service we may perfect freedom find. In the name of God who calls us all beloved, Amen. I am certain I am not the only person here who does not clearly remember…

JOURNEY ON WINGS OF THE HEART

Second Sunday of Christmas, January 5, 2020 RCL readings Jeremiah 31:7-14; Psalm 84; Ephesians 1:3-6, 15-19a; Matthew 2:1-2 Here is the little door-lift up your hands, O lift! We need not wander more but enter with our gift. In the name of God who loves us, sustains us and guides us on our way, Amen. Today’s Gospel- actually, all of today’s readings-tell us the story of pilgrimage. They took the journey first- Joseph, Mary on the patient donkey, the shepherds,…

Wondrous love

Our faith journey can sometimes feel like a roller coaster ride. There can be moments of intense excitement, awe and fear as we near a mountaintop experience, before dipping down into the depths of our soul. And there can be times when we can feel lulled into momentary complacency as we chug along the track in a steady rhythm. There can be times when all our attention is focused on a particular spot or turn when God grabs our full…

Our truth & God’s truth

We can’t stay in or return to that place of utter communion we all experienced in Brian’s hospital room this week, but we can be determined to live out of that moment. We can allow the sense of shared love, of openness to one another and God, to be what defines us as we move forward. We can allow God to give us the ability to see without blinking, to open our hearts to the wholeness which can and will be ours again. And we can allow God to hold us, tenderly, fiercely, and with steadfast love. For in that release of our souls into the heart of God, we will find and fall into the truth of God, and we will be restored and saved.

All that Glitters is not gold

This humble monk, whose statue represented authenticity, truthfulness, prophecy, and a simple love of Christ, was surrounded by glitter and gold. Mosaics, beautiful perhaps in another context, but wrong in the way we understand how Domingo lived. In this moment of contrast, between glitter, gold, and opulence of his shrine, and the simplicity, honesty, and authenticity of Domingo’s heart, the parable we heard in our gospel today screamed in my heart. I could see the distinction between living from the deepest part of our authentic being in the living Christ and living from the glitter and gold part of our being, the flashy, socially and politically correct, popular part of how we present our lives.

Thanksgiving in the in-between Places

Borders can be places of danger and it is no surprise we want to avoid them- we feel vulnerable there, uncertain and exposed. Sometimes, our journeys into unknown regions can lead us across borders that are not physical. We may be afraid of the shifting borders in our families or our communities, may feel lost in regions of economic, social or political disruption. We may feel the pain of past exiles that have marked us individually or as communities, where the borders of race or gender or country of origin have marked us as “the foreigner.”