Sermons

Sermons

Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost

A young man phones up his father at work for a chat. The dad says, “I’m so sorry, son, I’d love to talk, but I’m up to my neck in work today” Son says, “But dad, I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you.” Dad says, “OK, but since I’ve got no time, just give me the good news.” Son says, “OK.  Well, the air bags work . . .” I know they’re corny, but I love…

Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost

If you’re a teacher or you know someone who is a good teacher, you’ll appreciate this story.  There was a priest who, for many years, made it his policy to refer the theological questions of six-year-olds to his wife.  Since she taught young children, he thought she had a much better grasp than he did on how to address the questions children asked. One day, a first-grader brought a drawing of a skeleton into class where his wife taught English…

Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost

One of the movies I used to watch with Adam when he was young was “Angels in the Outfield.”  In this movie, a young boy who is living in a foster home invests his hopes and dreams in the fortunes of a losing baseball team.  The boy’s biological father (who has abandoned him) promises before he leaves that when this baseball team (the Angels) win the pennant, he’ll come back for him and they’ll be a family again. So, the…

Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Greg Anderson is the founder of Cancer Recovery Foundation International, a global affiliation of organizations whose mission is to help people prevent and survive cancer.  Anderson was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer in 1984. He was given 30 days to live. In December of this year, he will turn 72.  In his book “Living Life on Purpose” Anderson tells the story of a man whose wife had left him. He was completely depressed. He had lost faith in himself, in…

Feast of St. Francis (observed)

Welcome to St. Francis Sunday — the Sunday when we remember the person most associated with animals in the history of Christianity. I have always loved St. Francis Sunday because it reminds me that Jesus’ life, Jesus’ death, Jesus’ resurrection, the good news for a broken world that we celebrate every Sunday — these events were not just for me, not just for humankind, but for all of creation. A relationship between God and the non-human animals of the world…

Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost

The Very Rev. H. T. Knight Theologian Karl Barth once said to a preacher:  “Take your Bible and take your newspaper, and read both.  But interpret newspapers from your Bible.” It’s hard to pick up a newspaper or watch the news these days without hearing about climate change.  The front page of yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle had a photo of a young person at the climate march holding up a big sign:  “ADULTS! DO YOUR HOMEWORK  (THE KIDS HAVE DONE…

Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost

I have always been a firm believer in hope.  I believe the best way to overcome loss, is to remind ourselves of all that we have been blessed with.  I believe that the best way to combat failure is to look at what can be learned from that failure to achieve success.  I believe that the best way to combat depression is by looking to the future with faith in a God who promises to sustain us.  And, of course,…

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

During my second year of seminary, a friend of mine and I started talking about the price of our faith journeys.  I complained about the difficulty of the life I had chosen.  About all that I had given up to enter seminary.  Then my friend told me his story.  He had been a successful executive for the long-distance phone company, MCI, long before that company had gone public or grown into the multi-billion dollar entity that it became.  At one…

Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost

As a gay man, I have a sort of love/hate relationship with the word pride. Sometimes pride refers to the self-respect and strength that is needed to sustain a person or a group in the face of hardship. For obvious reasons, pride is an important word for the gay community. But, as a parent, I have an issue with another meaning of the word pride, which is an inordinate self-esteem. As parents, it has always been important for me and…

Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

I have always been a student of human nature.  I suppose that’s one reason I became a priest.  I love trying to understand people and trying to understand the human condition.  To contemplate the purpose for our existence and to at least attempt to grasp some understanding of the greater meaning of life One of the most intriguing things I have noticed, is our surprising inability to look at ourselves with a critical eye.  We seem to find it so…