Knocking in the Night

A sermon originally delivered at Calvary Community Church in New Berlin, Wisconsin Text: John 3:1-17 I’m not much of a night person, but I wish that I were. Night time is enchanting. While the day-dwellers go to sleep, another world awakes, both people and animals. While we often think that it is only malice thatContinue reading “Knocking in the Night”

The unfair mercy of God

Sermon originally delivered at Calvary Community Church in New Berlin, WI. Text: Matthew 20:1-16 “It’s not fair!” I would protest. I am the oldest of three boys, and as is typical for siblings, and perhaps especially older children, I was hyper-aware to perceived unfairness.  It is almost this primal preservation instinct, that we have toContinue reading “The unfair mercy of God”

Bring Me Your Nothing

Sermon originally delivered to Calvary Community Church in New Berlin, WI. Text: Matthew 14:13-21   Jesus caught word that John the Baptist had been executed, complete with his head presented on a platter. We may assume that Jesus was grieved as the gospel writer records that Jesus went off to be by himself. Much ofContinue reading “Bring Me Your Nothing”

The Siren Song of Success

We are driven by success. We dream of it, we strive for it, we sacrifice our families and our friends and our lives on the altar of success. This is no less the case in the church. We strive to be successful clergy. But what is success? If we are successful our churches will growContinue reading “The Siren Song of Success”

Leaning into the Wilderness

A Sermon originally delivered to Calvary Community Church in New Berlin, WI Text: Matthew 4:1-17 Immediately after Jesus’ baptism, the claim from the heavens that Jesus is God’s son, Jesus is led to the wilderness to be tempted. While we may see these as different events, they are all tied together in one long narrativeContinue reading “Leaning into the Wilderness”

One Word for 2015: Wonder

Wonder Few things are more beautiful than to see a person filled with wonder. More often than not it is children that experience this sense of wonder when faced with a world that they are still trying to understand. The capacity to experience wonder is the capacity to be surprised, to be amazed, to understandContinue reading “One Word for 2015: Wonder”

The Deception of Carols

Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright… *** O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie! Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by… *** Away in a manger, no crib for his bed, the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head. The stars inContinue reading “The Deception of Carols”

From Family Churches to Church Families

Churches love families. We have family nights, family worship, bring families up front and we have pictures of families on our websites and screens in churches. Churches ought to be a good place for families – a place to support families and strengthen them. In many of our churches, families are defined as the midContinue reading “From Family Churches to Church Families”