Posts tagged “Lazarus

Sermo Dei: Trinity 1, 2017

Posted on June 18th, 2017

God built fatherhood into man’s nature. God made man and blessed him for fatherhood. “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen. 1.28). Man was made for fatherhood. The man we call Abraham is—as you can see from today’s Old Testament reading (Gen. 15:1-6)—originally named Abram. Abram means “exalted father.” That refers to God, Our Father. Abram, named for the Father, wants to be a father himself. Abram wants a son. But he is old, and his wife is old. Some of you know how difficult it can be to conceive a child. And as the years go by, you feel worthless, and hopeless. That’s where Abram and his wife Sarai are. They didn’t have the many options that confront…

Sermo Dei: Palm Sunday 2017

Posted on April 9th, 2017

It’s nice to talk about resurrection, but the words I speak at the time of death sometimes feel hollow. It’s all future-oriented, and while I believe it, we’re still left with the corpse. Someone has to call the funeral home, someone has to open the grave, and then there we are, looking down into the earth. Most of our life is so sanitary, and even at death, we farm out the dirty work to others. But there, when the casket descends, and you see off in the distance the men waiting to come and close the vault and cover it with dirt – for just a moment, you see and you know that our clean lives are a lie. Squirt the anti-bacterial fluid, rub…

Sermo Dei: The Funeral of Roy Edge

Posted on September 25th, 2015

Dear Carla, Henry and Harry, parents and friends of Roy, brothers and sisters in Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. Can we blame Martha and Mary for being angry with Jesus (John 11)? Their brother Lazarus is dead, and Jesus—supposedly their close friend—was nowhere to be found. He even misses the funeral! By the time Jesus shows up, Lazarus is buried. When Jesus arrives, Martha comes out to meet Him, but Mary stays in the house. She won’t even talk to Jesus. But Martha levels her accusation: Jesus, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.” You know how she feels. Eventually Mary comes out, and she says the same thing: “Lord,…

Sermo Dei: Trinity 1, 2014

Posted on June 22nd, 2014

As the seventieth anniversary of D-Day passed, many of us reflected in awe at the courage and sacrifice of those heroes. The period also brought major changes in people’s beliefs. The retired Anglican bishop N.T. Wright, in his book Surprised by Hope, writes, The First World War produced not only a great deal of sudden death but also much reflection on its meaning. Some historians have suggested that belief in hell, already under attack from theologians in the nineteenth century, was one of the major casualties of the Great War. There had been so much hell on earth that people couldn’t believe that God would create such a place hereafter as well. So much death affected so many at that time, and again less…

Palmarum sermon 2011

Posted on April 20th, 2011

April 17, 2011 Gospel of the Procession: John 12:12-19 Passion Reading: Matthew 26-27 +INJ+ Quite naturally we cluck our tongues at Simon Peter, condemning him as a coward for saying to the servant girl, “I do not know the Man!” We know better. He does know the Man! And if you are anything like me, that is, if you too are a sinner, you say to yourself, “I would not have done that. Put me in that situation, and I would certainly say I know Jesus. I would identify with Him.” But we are in that situation, every day. And not just when we have an opportunity to talk about Jesus with someone who is not His disciple. When someone angers us, and we…