Trinity Sunday: Our Job Description

The Swiss missionary and theologian, Emil Brunner, likened the church's involvement in missions to the relationship that exists between fire and burning: "The church exists by mission as fire exists by burning." In other words: no burning, no fire; no missions, no church."

A Strong Determination

Feb. 28, 2010 Second Sunday in Lent Luke 13:31-35 When Todd Beamer boarded United Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001, he had no way of knowing what events would unfold that day. He took that flight regularly as a part of his job. His heroic words, "Let's roll," have become legendary and serve as an inspiration to millions. His heroism in overtaking the highjackers on that day and crashing the plane in Shanksville, Pa., evokes deep awe and gratitude from a shocked nation. I was serving in Washington, D.C., at the time; I remember the wife of a Congressional staffer saying through tears, "He very well may have saved my husband's life."

Passing the Test

Feb. 21, 2010 First Sunday in Lent Luke 4:1-13 Iron Eyes Cody is the Native American actor who did a TV spot for the Keep America Beautiful campaign in the early 1970s. He was an Indian drifting alone in a canoe. As he saw how our waters are being polluted, a single tear rolled down his cheek, telling the whole story. This public service announcement is so powerful it still airs occasionally.

Agony and Ecstasy

Feb. 14, 2010 Transfiguration Sunday Luke 9:28-43 Occasionally, I invite someone else to come preach. Today, I've asked Peter to come tell us about the Transfiguration in his own words:

Do the Right Thing

Feb. 8, 2009 Fifth Sunday After Epiphany (B) 1 Corinthians 9:16-23 You're in a conference in a big meeting room in a fancy hotel. You get to the meeting early. Over to the side of the room is a very elegant looking purse. You pick up the purse and look inside to see if you can see any identification. Everything is intact. Before you get to the wallet, which is made of the finest, softest leather you've ever seen, you notice that the owner has only the finest grade of cosmetics in her purse. You see several other signs of affluence-a Mont Blanc pen, designer sunglasses and a cocktail napkin from the country club. You notice the car keys-a Lexus and a BMW.

Some Great Thing

Feb. 15, 2009 Sixth Sunday After Epiphany (B) 2 Kings 5:1-14 What is your wildest dream for your church? As you ponder that question, you may have a dream of a place where there is joy and excitement. You dream of a place where lost sinners are found, broken homes are restored, and those who are adrift find new purpose in living. That may be happening in your church or, sadly, it may not.

A Glimpse of Glory

Feb. 22, 2009 Transfiguration Sunday (B) Mark 9:2-9 One of the earliest sermons I ever preached attempted to tie together two different texts. One of those was the story of the time that Moses went up on the mountain and met with God. When he came down, his face was so radiant and bright with glory that he had to place a veil over it when he met with his fellow Israelites.