Talk with the Preacher

Monthly Archives: October 2010

Roses, Late Summer What happens to the leaves after they turn red and golden and fall away? What happens to the singing birds when they can’t sing any longer? What happens to their quick wings? Do you think there is any personal heaven for any of us? Do you think anyone, the other side of that darkness, will call to us, meaning us? Beyond the trees the foxes keep teaching their children… Read More

One of the unique qualities of the Calvary community is that it is populated by the youngest older people I have ever met.  While some of their youthful vigor can undoubtedly be attributed to the fascinating sermons they hear every week, there must be something else going on.  Whatever the reason, nobody around here even bats an eye, for example, when 90-year-old Bill Fahey lugs piles of sod on church workday or… Read More

She always reminds me to keep reaching for God.

We Belong to God: Me First Luke 18:9-14 When I was a little kid we had shelves and shelves of colorfully illustrated Bible story books.  I guess my parents knew they needed to start early and young with us.  I recall that I loved reading those books, and I especially loved reading them aloud to my four younger brothers and sisters.  I am just saying that my parents should never have been… Read More

It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.  The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision. We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.  Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying that the Kingdom always lies beyond us. No statement says all that could be said. No prayer… Read More

Bothering God Luke 18:1-8 Who knew? It turns out that well-known preacher and writer Barbara Brown Taylor has published a sermon on this text from the Gospel of Luke in her book Home By Another Way with the same exact title as I chose for my sermon this morning.  Great minds, etc.  Maybe I had her catchy title somewhere in the back of my mind when I was sermon planning, or maybe… Read More

A poem from Sufi mystic Hafiz this morning: With That Moon Language Admit something: Everyone you see, you say to them,  “Love me.” Of course you do not do this out loud; Otherwise, Someone would call the cops. Still though, think about this, This great pull in us to connect. Why not become the one Who lives with a full moon in each eye That is always saying, With that sweet moon Language,… Read More

Everybody needs a pastor, and I swear I am not just saying this because I like being employed.  In fact, you would think that someone such as myself would not consider this realization so deeply profound.  I know, I know: I should know this right?  (Add it to the list.)  But this week offered me two opportunities to remember, experientially, again, that this is true.  It’s really, really true. The first time… Read More

I didn’t really know what I was walking into when I went to an afternoon meeting at the invitation of some colleagues yesterday, but it didn’t take long to realize I should be paying attention.  You know those times when you’re listening to someone and it dawns on you that you’re in the presence of greatness?  Everything that came out of Michael Kaiser’s mouth sent me running for a pen and paper,… Read More

Standing Out From the Crowd Luke 17:11-19 I think it was Rick Goodman who commented recently: “It’s such a shame that I feel like I learn the most about somebody from their obituary!” Sad but often true, I’m afraid.  There are people with whom we live day in and day out, about whom we probably feel we know everything there is to know.  But there are always new things to be learned. … Read More