How can we think theologically about the excitement of beginning a new ministry?
A sermon given at Amherst Presbyterian Church, March 3, 2013
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 »
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
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.
How can Christians encounter the nostalgia that surrounds Christmas?
A sermon given at Pilgrim Covenant Church, December 9, 2012
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.
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
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.
What does it look like to worship God in depth?
A sermon given at St. Timothy Presbyterian Church, Livonia, July 29, 2012
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.
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
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.
What do we do with the Book of Revelation?
A sermon given at Slackwood Presbyterian Church, February 19, 2012
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.
How is it that evil can still be in the world?
A sermon given at The Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville, January 29, 2012
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.
If Christmas is so miraculous, why doesn’t the world look any different afterwards?
A sermon given at Slackwood Presbyterian Church, January 1, 2012.
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.
Where is God as we wait for God to show up?
A sermon given at Princeton Theological Seminary Chapel, November 8, 2011
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.
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.
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.
What can Christians say to the despair of the world?
A sermon given at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill on August 21, 2011.
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.
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.
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.
The Things We Do to Children [Numbers 14:10-23]Play Now
What does the church have to say to Judas?
An imaginative sermon given in coursework at on January 21, 2011.
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.