Sermons


Recent Sermons

Below are excerpts from some recent sermons.  You can also explore the full list since June 2015.  Some sermons include the podcast at the bottom of the page, with older podcasts from 2013-2015 still available. 

Preaching from St. Stephen’s Pulpit

Naming God — Who, Indeed, Is Not Far From Each One of Us

May 21, 2017
Acts 17:22-31     Sixth Sunday of Easter     May 21, 2017   We read one of my all-time favorite Bible stories this morning!  It’s from the Acts of the Apostles.  Did you know that Acts was written by the same author as the gospel of Luke?  In “Part I” – the gospel of Luke – we read stories of Jesus.  In “Part II” – The Acts of the Apostles – we read stories of the first followers of the risen Jesus, beginning to tell the good news of Christ’s death and resurrection. In the early chapters of Acts, Peter…

Along the Way of Jesus

May 15, 2017
John 14:1-14     Easter 5 (Worship on May 13 and 14, 2017) I. - Getting Into the Passage Have some of you heard this gospel passage?  It is not unusual for this reading from John to be chosen for a funeral, because it begins with the words: Do not let your hearts be troubled.  And Jesus describes life with him and with the Father, after we die.  Jesus uses the metaphor of a house with many dwelling places.  It truly is a comforting image, isn’t it? But we dare not overly-sentimentalize this!  Do not let your hearts be troubled.  This…

Suffering

May 7, 2017
1 Peter 2:19-25; John 10:1-10 Fourth Sunday of Easter    For it is a credit to you if, being aware of God, you endure pain while suffering unjustly, we hear this morning from 1 Peter. I conducted an informal poll of the various ways that people suffer.  Here’s what you told me: Working in kindergarten the last day of school before Christmas break during a full moon. Law school. Having your finger caught in a beaver trap spring and having to call the fire department to get the finger unstuck. What you should know about this is that it…

But We Had Hoped

May 1, 2017
  Luke 24:13-35     Third Sunday of Easter In Paris, a week ago Thursday, a man got out of a car, and shot directly at a police officer.  ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack that also wounded two others.  On Tuesday, there was a national ceremony to honor the slain officer.  In the silent courtyard, the officer’s husband, Etienne, spoke to his partner, Xavier.   " Xavier, on Thursday morning, as always, I left for work, and you were still sleeping. Over the course of the day, we talked about our plans to go on holiday to a country far away.…

Memorial Service Homily for Christopher Winslow Doake

April 30, 2017
Philippians 4:4-7     April 28, 2017   Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.  St. Paul wrote this, in the first century, to a tiny congregation of Jesus people in the city of Philippi.  I have read these words once before at a time like this.  The last time was at the funeral for a friend of mine who had died, of a virulent form of lymphoma at the age of 59.  The words sounded jarring to me. Do they sound jarring to you at a time like this?  Rejoice in the Lord always; again…

Christ’s Resurrected Body

April 23, 2017
John 20:19-31     Second Sunday of Easter     April 23, 2017   When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the [Jewish leaders], Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." What are you afraid of?  Are you afraid that their money won’t last through their retirement?  Are you afraid of declining health and mobility?  Are you afraid of doing poorly on your exams and final papers?   Are you afraid your project budget won’t…

I Have Seen the Lord

April 16, 2017
John 20:1-18 Easter An interesting news story caught my attention the other day.   I must say, It warms my heart for a three-year-old to want to know more about Jesus and the Easter Story.  Isla was having this deep theological conversation with her dad. “I just don’t understand what Easter is all about.  Why do you give me chocolate?” "I don’t get the Easter characters either. Are Easter Bunny and Jesus best pals?" Isla wants to know. "Is Easter Bunny in the Bible?" "Does he carry a large basket of eggs?" Isla asks. A woman after my own heart,…

The Questions of Identity

April 13, 2017
John 13:1-17, 31b-35     Maundy Thursday   You can smell the pot roast simmering as soon as you step through the door. The rolls baking in the oven instantly return you to the last time everyone showed up for dinner.  The kitchen is slightly warm and humid from the potatoes boiling on the stove. Joe’s brought a fruit salad, and Sue her famous salted caramel bars.  You quietly hope that Aunt Karin isn’t going to be the one to make the gravy. Gathering for meals is something that we do to celebrate birthdays, retirement, Christmas, Easter or simply…

Dying to Our Sinful Selves and Rising With Christ

April 2, 2017
John 11:1-45     Fifth Sunday of Lent     April 2, 2017   For the third week in a row, we have an involved and engrossing story from the gospel of John.  There’s so much that we could get into! It’s one of the most revealing insights into Jesus’ humanity.  Do you remember how the story begins?  We discover immediately that this is about Jesus and three close friends.  Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.  Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet…