Jesus is the Human One: Just Look Beneath the Surface of the Text: a sermon on John 6:1-21 for Pentecost 9B

Fully HumanI am indebted to the work of Origen of Alexandria, John Dominic Crossan and Peter Rollins for providing a deeper understanding of the stories of Jesus’ Feeding of the Multitude and Walking on the Water. You can listen to the sermon here

Come Away With Me…Sanctuary for Refugees: a sermon for Pentecost 8B, Mark 6:30-34,53-56 and Ephesians 2:11-22

MerkelI chose to extract two readings from the lectionary to reflect upon sanctuary for refugees. Splitting the prescribed gospel text into the first and second readings and using the epistle text as the Gospel: Mark 6:30-34, Mark 6:53-56, Ephesians 2:11-22. The video which was shown during the sermon, along with the English translation, can be viewed here, listen to the sermon here

The Reign of God Is At Hand: Our Hands – a sermon for Pentecost 7B – Mark 6:14-29

John the Baptist's headThe beheading of John the Baptist is an unusual subject for a beautiful summer morning. However, from time to time the lectionary takes us where we are reluctant to go. Our readings included: Mark 1:1-11, Mark 1:14-15 and Mark 6:14-29

Listen to the sermon here

Time to stop holding our noses as we suspend reality! Let’s tinker with the rite of baptism…

Baptismal Liturgy pastordawnOver and over again, I hear from colleagues who find it difficult to use prescribed baptismal liturgies. In my own denomination, the Evangelical Lutheran Worship hymnal was published in the 21st century (2006). But the liturgical rite for Holy Baptism still prescribes the use of questions which contain images that harken back to medieval times. We have long since given up teaching our members to personify evil in the form of the devil. But the authors of our new liturgical texts insist that we continue to ask parents and sponsors to “renounce the devil an all the forces that defy God”; locking participants into some sort of cosmic battle in hich both evil and indeed God are personified in ways that most 21st century folks find archaic. As a confessional church, creeds continue to include proclamations of a virgin birth; an obstacle that seems laughable to people who have had the benefit of New Testament scholarship. Clergy who preside at baptisms are expected to hold our noses, while participants suspend reality and still the church continues to bemoan the fact that few and few parents bring their children to our fonts. In an effort to work with parents and sponsors to create baptismal rites that allow for the possibility that the Spirit is alive and well and working in, with, through, and beyond our feeble attempts to celebrate the miracle of new life, I have over the years tinkered with the rite of baptism. We have for several years now celebrated the rite of baptism using the liturgy which is provided here as an inspiration for others to tinker with the rite. 

click here for a pdf of our 21st Century Baptismal Liturgy

Peter Rollins on Radical Theology

thedivinemagicianIn April, I had the privilege of travelling to Belfast to attend Peter Rollins’ Festival of Light where he gathered together some of the thinkers who have influenced his thinking. In his book The Divine Magician the fruit of this influence provides an expression of radical theology which has the power to ignite what Pete calls “pyrotheology”. Here are a few short videos which are designed to fan the flames. Enjoy!