Archive for the ‘sermon’ Category

Choosing a Leader

December 3, 2019

About six weeks ago I preached the installation sermon for Dan Baumgartner, a long-time friend, at The Cove, a church in Santa Rosa that I know well. The topic is David’s anointing as told in 1 Samuel 16. You can listen to it here. The sermon begins at 3:07.

Rich Toward God

August 12, 2019

Last week I preached in Healdsburg on the parable of the rich fool. Here’s the link.

What is Justice?

August 9, 2018

I preached at my church on Sunday, offering an introduction to the minor prophets, the topic of justice, and the book of Micah. Here’s the link:

After the Wise Men Leave

January 22, 2018

On New Year’s Eve I preached on Matthew 2:13-23, which describes how Mary and Joseph took Jesus into Egypt, while Herod slaughtered the children left behind. I used the passage to probe the question of hope. What gives genuine hope in such dispiriting situations? I looked at the way Matthew cites prophecy to connect to the biblical story–a story that describes centuries of struggle and suffering, but that is powerfully hopeful. I talked about how story operates in our lives.

You can find the audio here.

Jesus Lived Generously

October 14, 2015

That’s the title of the sermon I preached Sunday at Healdsburg Community Church. It’s on the feeding of the 5,000 as recorded in Mark, and I found quite a lot to think about there. It’s a provocative (and unsettling) commentary on how I respond to needy people–an ancient, contemporary issue. You can listen here.

Disappointment with God: Naomi’s Story

July 13, 2015

Here’s an audio link to the sermon I preached on Sunday. It’s a sketch of Naomi (in the book of Ruth), her bitterness and disappointment with God, and the way in which God reached into her situation. The sermon lasts 23 minutes, and I think it’s pretty good!

What in the World is Holiness?

July 21, 2014

That’s the title of the sermon I preached on Sunday. As you may know, I don’t preach very often, so it’s pretty exciting to me when I do! I spoke from Isaiah 6:1-5 and Hebrews 12:14-16, seeking to rehabilitate the word “holy.” If that sounds boring, it might be because the word hasn’t yet been rehabilitated for you.

Here’s the link: It goes about 25 minutes.

Sermon: What We Need

July 26, 2013

Here’s the audio of the sermon I preached last Sunday. You can either stream it or download.

The sermon is about God’s justice, his setting the world right. I examine the beautiful, little-known Psalm 72. There is mention of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, along with Abraham, David and Jesus.

The Lord’s Supper

November 6, 2012

Sunday I preached on 1 Corinthians 11, speaking briefly to women wearing hats but going on to focus on the meaning of the Lord’s Supper. You can listen to it at

What Is a King?

April 13, 2012

Here, after considerable delay, is the audio for my Palm Sunday sermon. I had a ton of very positive responses.

My main concern was the nature of royalty. In religious contexts we talk about “King” and “Lord” but those political realities are lost to history: all that survives are pomp and circumstance. It’s hard to fill out the meaning of “the kingdom of God” if “king” is a vague concept.

It clearly wasn’t for those who cheered Jesus into Jerusalem. Nor was it for Jesus.

In the sermon I try to recreate the meaning of “king” and then discuss what kind of king Jesus was. He wasn’t conventional, certainly.