Everyone Who Thirsts

How can we think theologically about the excitement of beginning a new ministry?
A sermon given at Amherst Presbyterian Church, March 3, 2013
Isaiah 55:1-13

This was my first sermon at my new installed position at Amherst Presbyterian Church in Amherst, Virginia. I wanted to find a way to speak with humility about where God is in all of the promise and expectation of a new season, and it seemed like working within the bountiful promises of Second Isaiah would be a good jumping-off-point. Read more »

Posted: March 3rd, 2013
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Take Off Your Coat and Stay Awhile

How can Advent respond to the terror of events like the school shooting in Newtown?
A sermon given at Pilgrim Covenant Church, December 16, 2012
[Luke 3:7-18]

I did something a bit different here which was to heavily preface the Scripture reading itself, not because I felt that the text needed context, but because I felt that the grief of the morning — two days after the school shooting in Connecticut — meant that we needed to acknowledge the difficulty of saying anything at all with some kind of humility.

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Posted: December 16th, 2012
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The Bad Old Days

How can Christians encounter the nostalgia that surrounds Christmas?
A sermon given at Pilgrim Covenant Church, December 9, 2012
[Luke 3:1-7]

The odd story of this sermon is that I did actually think, following my initial exegesis of the text, “Hey, I should go see that Lincoln movie — it might be relevant!” And then it was. Or at least I made it so. The closing illustration knocked me over after I found this NYT piece with a simple Google search.

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Posted: December 13th, 2012
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Other Christians

How can we claim to follow Jesus Christ in a world overrun with horrible things done in his name?
A sermon given at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, September 30, 2012
[Mark 9:39-50]

In May I was named the 2012 recipient of the David H.C. Read Preacher/Scholar Award, given annually by Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York. One of the consequences of that award is an invitation to preach at Madison Avenue itself. This was the sermon that I gave, following the lectionary passage.

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Posted: September 30th, 2012
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The Depths

What does it look like to worship God in depth?
A sermon given at St. Timothy Presbyterian Church, Livonia, July 29, 2012
[Ephesians 3:14-21]

This sermon uses a couple of autobiographical stories – probably one more than I would normally use, but it seemed like the personal touch was the right move given the tone of the sermon overall. Or maybe I just couldn’t find a good impersonal example.

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Posted: July 29th, 2012
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Great Man History

How can we think about the legacy of any one person’s life in aftermath of something like the tragedy in Aurora?
A sermon given at Slackwood Presbyterian Church, July 22, 2012
[2 Samuel 7:1-17]

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Posted: July 22nd, 2012
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Loss Leadership

How can Christians think about God’s call in a culture saturated with the language of success and results?
A sermon given at Slackwood Presbyterian Church, July 8, 2012
[Mark 6:1-13]

I don’t know that this one entirely comes together. But clearly I am trying to tie together my experience of watching debates about leadership at PTS and UVA while also reflecting on General Assembly — yeah, that might have been too many targets for one sermon. 

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Posted: July 9th, 2012
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May the Words of My Mouth

How are Christians to encounter a world that seems overcome by lies?
A sermon given at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, June 3, 2012
[Isaiah 6:1-13]

My favorite part of this sermon is the story that closes it. I had been carrying that story around, looking for a sermon to set it up, for only several months — like money burning a hole in my pocket.

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Posted: June 3rd, 2012
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Those Watchful Dragons

What do we do with the Book of Revelation?
A sermon given at Slackwood Presbyterian Church, February 19, 2012
[Revelation 12:7-17]

Slackwood was wrapping up its “Biblical Year” reading program, and so we had been reading in Revelation for a month. I wanted to try to say something about it from the pulpit. I haven’t been footnoting or citing in these sermons, because it seems out of place, but if I were, I would have to give heavy credit to Marcus Hong, Ph.D. student at Princeton Seminary, for his thoughts on C.S. Lewis.

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Posted: February 19th, 2012
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Death Cry Echo

How is it that evil can still be in the world?
A sermon given at The Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville, January 29, 2012
[Mark 1:21-28]

Preached at the “Worship in a New Key” alternative service; for the prayers of the people, we wrote the names of evils in our own lives on small scraps of paper and burned them as a sign of Christ’s ultimate victory.

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Posted: January 29th, 2012
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Fixing a Hole (Where the Rain Gets In)

What does it mean to proclaim and anticipate God’s judgment?
A sermon given at Slackwood Presbyterian Church, January 15, 2012.
[Ezekiel 22:23-31]

I wouldn’t preach this one too often. But every once in a while, I think we need to hear it. If you don’t know the text, go re-read it — it’s an amazing piece of scripture.

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Posted: January 15th, 2012
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Incontrovertible Visual Evidence

If Christmas is so miraculous, why doesn’t the world look any different afterwards?
A sermon given at Slackwood Presbyterian Church, January 1, 2012.
[John 20:19-29]

This was originally called “Seen and Unseen” in the bulletin, but it’s my blog, so I get to change titles after the fact if I want to. Not sure I ever entirely figured out the answer to the question I was asking here, but I think maybe the struggle is something.

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Posted: January 1st, 2012
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Twelve Hours of Daylight

What does hope look like in the expectation of Advent?
A sermon given at Slackwood Presbyterian Church, December 18, 2011
[John 11:7-16]

A strange Advent/Christmas/Winter Solstice/Easter Sunday mash-up sermon. Enjoy.

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Posted: December 19th, 2011
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The Wait

Where is God as we wait for God to show up?
A sermon given at Princeton Theological Seminary Chapel, November 8, 2011
[Psalm 40]

My senior sermon at PTS – and definitely pitched to a congregation wrestling with what it means to be called. The Psalm was read in two parts, intentionally, to push home this urgency about reading it all the way to the end.

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Posted: November 8th, 2011
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Death By Exposure

What does it look like to be found by God?
A sermon at Slackwood Presbyterian Church, October 30, 2011.
[Song of Songs 3:1-5]

Slackwood is on a “year of the Bible” program, which means that we’re off-lectionary and preaching from a wide selection of Biblical texts any given week that correspond to a programmatic way in which the congregation is reading through all of the scriptures. It just so happens that Song of Songs lands on Reformation Sunday — a kind of odd fit, to be sure. See what you think after the jump.

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Posted: October 30th, 2011
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Institutional Memory

Why does the church need to be reminded? Of what?
A sermon given at Slackwood Presbyterian Church, October 16, 2011.
[1 Thessalonians 2:1-12]

This was my first sermon at Slackwood , a small congregation on the outskirts of Trenton, NJ, where I will be working for the next year. I haven’t entirely figured out audio recording for this space yet — I have a recording, but the quality just feels too weird to post. So, we’re text-only for right now.

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Posted: October 16th, 2011
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Broken Dawn

What can Christians say to the despair of the world?
A sermon given at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill on August 21, 2011.
[Nehemiah 1:2-11]

This was to be my last sermon at PCCH, and I made a conscious decision, as a kind of farewell gesture, to try and articulate what I consider the center of my Christian belief. Read the full text after the jump.

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Posted: August 21st, 2011
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Defiance

What are Christians to do in the wake of the shooting in Oslo?
A sermon given at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill on July 31, 2011.
[2 Kings 19:8-19]

Full text after the jump.

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Posted: July 31st, 2011
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The Things We Do to Children

Who are we to punish our children for our own sins?
A sermon given at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill on June 26, 2011.
[Numbers 14:10-23]

This was one of my first Sundays back in worship after the birth of our first child. I knew that it would be the subject of everybody’s first words to me. And so I figured I should just run with it. Check after the break for the full text.

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Posted: June 26th, 2011
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The Time Traveler’s Life

How do Christians consider the time and passage of Lent?
A sermon given at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill on March 13, 2011, the first Sunday of Lent.
[Psalm 1]

Looking back, this sermon feels like it never quite found its heart. It’s full of ideas, but never makes an emotional or spiritual grab. Ah well. Click past the jump to read the full text.

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Posted: March 13th, 2011
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Down on the Corner

What is the proper place for faith?
An Ash Wednesday reflection given at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill on March 9, 2011.
[Matthew 6:1-8]

No audio file available for this sermon – but you can read the full text after the jump.

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Posted: March 9th, 2011
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In This Very Room

What does the church have to say to Judas?
An imaginative sermon given in coursework at on January 21, 2011.
[Matthew 27:3-10]

This sermon was an attempt to be as “out of the box” as possible, a minority report on the floor of the Sanhedrin following Judas’ confession. At the end, I attempt (and, in retrospect, fail) to weave in current issues at Princeton Seminary, references which will almost certainly be lost to anyone else. Click past the jump for the full text.

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Posted: January 21st, 2011
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Bargain Hunters

What’s at stake when we bargain with God?
A sermon given in coursework at Princeton Theological Seminary, January 18, 2011.
[Psalm 6]

It’s a class sermon – so, hopefully, there’s experimentation and regret. Otherwise, what’s the point of class? Jump past the break for the full text.

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Posted: January 18th, 2011
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Saving Christmas

Did you get what you wanted for Christmas?
A sermon given at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill on December 26, 2010.
[Matthew 2:1-12]

No intro. Just click past the jump for the full text.

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Posted: December 26th, 2010
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Remembering Worship

Why do we come to church – especially on July 4 weekend?
A sermon at Westminster Presbyterian Church, July 4, 2010.
[Ephesians 2:12-22]

This was my first public sermon as an adult – before any formal coursework or instruction. Click past the jump for the full text.

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Posted: July 4th, 2010
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