A man lying in a ditch, stripped, beaten, left half-dead: A Sermon for Proper 10 Year C

A man lying in a ditch, stripped, beaten, left half-dead.

What contemporary images come to mind as you hear that description? Perhaps a homeless man, there’s likely at least one right now laying on one of the terraces surrounding the church, trying to sleep, seeking a little shade, a little comfort from what promises to be a hot, hot day. He’s certainly been abandoned, and yes, left for dead, by our merciless, uncaring, and unforgiving society. Or perhaps other more distant images come to mind—the bodies of a father and son who drowned as they tried to cross over into the US, or the many videos and images we’ve seen of children in cages, people crowded together in inhumane conditions… Continue reading

Lord, have mercy on us that we might show mercy: A sermon for Proper 10, Year C


Alton Sterling

Philando Castile

In Dallas…

Brent Thompson

Patrick Zamarripa

Michael Krol

Michael Smith

Lorne Ahrens

And Madison…

Paul Heenen

Tony Robinson

Michael William Schumacher

When I went back to my sermon for this gospel text from 2013, I was shocked to learn that I mentioned in it the not guilty verdict George Zimmerman received the previous day in his trial over the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The lectionary has moved through three years since then and America’s culture of violence and idolatry of guns has brought us to a place that none of us could have imagined on July 14, 2013. With the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, and the shootings of law enforcement officers in Dallas after a protest rally, our hearts are raw with emotion—with fear, anger, grief. I want to take a moment and allow you to sit in silence with those emotions. Continue reading

Seeing with the eyes of Christ: A sermon for Proper 10, Year C

A few years ago, I was on my way to celebrate at the midweek service at the parish church I was then serving. I was running late, probably because I was coming from another commitment at my other job. St. James is on top of Piney Mountain, which is actually something of a hill, and the road that leads to it, like most roads in hilly territory, was curvy and windy. Continue reading

MLK on the Good Samaritan and fixing the Jericho Road

Dr. King told Andrew Young then, “….Andy, I think the Good Samaritan is a great individual. I of course, like and respect the Good Samaritan….but I don’t want to be a Good Samaritan.”

Dr. King continued, “…you see Andy, I am tired of picking up people along the Jericho Road. I am tired of seeing people battered and bruised and bloody, injured and jumped on, along the Jericho Roads of life. This road is dangerous. I don’t want to pick up anyone else, along this Jericho Road; I want to fix… the Jericho Road. I want to pave the Jericho Road, add street lights to the Jericho Road; make the Jericho Road safe (for passage) by everybody….”

Do This and You will Live: A Sermon for the 7th Sunday after Pentecost (proper 10, Year C)

I don’t know about you, but the parable of the Good Samaritan annoys me. It especially annoys me, since I’ve been ordained a priest. It’s at the back of my mind every time I walk out the door, every time someone stops me to ask me for money. It popped into my mind yesterday, as Corrie and I were walking to the Farmer’s Market, and passed someone sleeping in the grass. As we went by, Corrie asked me, “He is breathing, isn’t he?” We didn’t give it another thought; although I’ll admit, I did look for him when as we made our way home an hour or so later. Continue reading