Monday, August 24, 2015

Rooted in Trust (Sermon for the 13th Sunday after Pentecost) Ephesians 6:10-20

Sermon for the 13th Sunday after Pentecost
Ephesians 6:10-20
Calvary - St. George's Church, Manhattan

“Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, the authorities, the cosmic powers of this present darkness.”

If anyone has ‘been strong in the Lord,' it’s Dietrich Bonhoeffer. When nearly every German minister capitulated to the horrible desires and decrees of the Third Reich, Bonhoeffer remained steadfast. 

His dissent began early. Two days after Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, with storm troopers already on the streets, the 27 year old German pastor gave a dangerous radio address proclaiming resistance to the Fuhrer and support for German Jews.

The rest of his life, until he was executed in a concentration camp in 1945, was one of resistance against the ‘rulers and authorities; the cosmic powers of this present darkness.’

Bonhoeffer was so rooted in confidence and trust in his Lord that his very real fear and anxiety were simply swallowed up.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Way of Force (Sermon for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost)

Sermon for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost
Calvary - St. George's Church, Manhattan

On Idolizing My Hero (Sermon for the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost)

Sermon for the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
Calvary - St. George's Church, Manhattan

When I was in middle school my church hired a new youth director. John was young, outgoing, and we all thought he was super cool.

John was also really smart. He made me want to be smart, too. To read books so that I actually knew what he was talking about.

Most important of all, John took a particular interest in me. He took me out to lunch, to Rita’s water ice, for coffee before I even liked it.

I tried to hide my admiration for John. I tried to keep it cool. He was the older brother that I never had. An older friend who not only didn’t make fun of me, but thought I were cool and worth talking to. He made getting involved with God seem alright.

A few years later, after I had gone away for college, my mother told me that John had had a great fall. She told me that he left his wife and newborn daughter to run away with a girl whom I later found out was not much older than I was at the time.

I was shocked. At first I accused my mom of not getting the facts right. Then when I found out that his wife hadn’t left him, I continued to blame her anyway. (Sorry, ladies. Typical misogyny.) But after this short lived denial, of justifying John’s behavior, of making excuses for him, I came to. John had done a terrible, terrible thing. Everything he’d been for me was undone. He was no hero after all.