November 8, 2020 Matthew 25:1-13 This Gospel story is horrible. These foolish bridesmaids just can’t get it right and the consequences are dire - like wailing and gnashing of teeth dire. It reminds me of the most recent iteration of my anxiety dream where I am running into church late - without time to put on my robe or print my sermon - and I can’t make my way to the front - and Oran fires me on the spot. Nothing like this has ever come close to happening and yet I can’t tell you how often I have this kind of dream. Today’s Gospel parable is like my worst anxiety nightmare. And it feels a little too realistic at this moment in our national life. Here we are just a few days post-election. I intentionally recorded this sermon on Tuesday, so I wouldn’t know the results yet. So I don’t yet know who wins and who loses. (Maybe you don’t either!) But I do know that either way it goes, unless we can change things fast, we are going to be stuck in this Gospel story like quicksand.
September 13, 2020 Genesis 50:15-21, Matthew 18:21-35 One of the rare shared moments of excitement during the pandemic was when Hamilton was released to streaming audiences. I’ve seen it three times now and each time I find myself in tears during a scene near the end, when after all the misery and pain that Alexander Hamiton has put his wife Eliza through -- absence and distraction, public infidelity, the death of her oldest child -- we see the two of them walking quietly uptown. There are moments that the words don't reach There is suffering too terrible to name You hold your child as tight as you can And push away the unimaginable Even though Alexander has been a selfish, unthinking schmuck, even though he clearly doesn’t deserve Eliza, I can’t help being overcome by the beautiful moment of redemption when Eliza takes his hand. They are standing in the garden Alexander by Eliza's side She takes his hand It's quiet uptown Forgiveness. Can you imagine? And I can