Sunday, September 25, 2011
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Sarah Dylan Breuer has observed, "Have you ever wondered why it is that, when we gather as a church to remember Jesus, we do it with a meal? If you think about it, it really could have been anything. We could have built statutes to remember Jesus, or held a dance. We could have made it a poetry reading, a teach-in, a weekly golf tournament -- but we didn't. When we gather as a church, our central act together in remembrance of Jesus is to have a meal."
In seminary I had sort of a left wing professor who said the symbol of Christianity should not be the cross, but the loaves and fishes.
Monday, July 11, 2011
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Zechariah 9:9-12 “Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! ... Lo your king comes to you; ... humble and riding on a donkey, ...”
Romans 7:15-25a “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate ... “
Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30 “To what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places and calling to one another, ‘We played the flute for you and you did not dance; we waited, and you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds ...”
O Lord, give us inquiring and discerning hearts, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to love you, and the gift of joy in all your works.
Last Advent, we had removed the American and Episcopal Church flags from the sanctuary to make room for the mitten tree, and no one thought to put them back until a parishioner mentioned it this spring. When the flags were returned, other parishioners questioned if they belonged. This exchange encouraged Kate to open a conversation about the flags with the congregation, and what better way to start than with a sermon on Fourth of July weekend,
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
One scripture passage I didn't get to in this Sunday's sermon was the one from Exodus, about Moses finding water in the desert for the thirsty People of Israel. It's a very thought-provoking story, though, and I think that's in part because we have so much in common with those thirsty complaining folks who gave Moses such a hard time. We worry. We're anxious. We think what we need is not going to be there for us.
Moses stops at a place in the desert where there is no water. This is unusual -- desert nomads (like Moses's wife Zipporah, who was with them) usually traveled from oasis to oasis. It makes us wonder, why the unscheduled stop? Did they overextend themselves, or not go far enough? Did they run out of water because they didn't conserve it? Whatever the case, they got off track.
And don't we get off track in similar ways? Unlike most of the world we have plentiful clean water, but we can sometimes pay insufficient attention to our own basic needs and resources. We over-extend or over-consume. Here it's water, but what about time, energy, sleep, silence, play? Do we plan like nomads and move carefully from oasis to oasis, from sabbath to sabbath, or do we get stuck in the middle with nothing to drink, burnt out and exhausted, like these guys?
This Lent, make sure you plan plenty of time and replenishment at the oasis that you need.
P.S. If such refreshment moves you to share with others, you might take a peak here.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Yesterday in my sermon I brought up the topic of atonement theology (i.e. how Jesus's death saves us) because I think it's something very important for practicing Christians to have a grasp of. In today's pluralistic society, it's more and more common that a friend might ask about what we believe, or have a mis-understanding of Christianity based on TV evangelists. Or maybe we ourselves have questions about how God could possibly need Jesus to die. I only just touched on the topic in my sermon, giving the highlights of three of the dozens of ways theologians explain atonement.
So here is some unpacking, and to keep you reading I've put my own favorite theory at the very end....
Here is my sermon from yesterday. You can find the scripture readings here. I realize I opened a bit of a can of worms with all those atonement theologies (it was very hard to summarize!) so I'll post another blog post unpacking that a little more for those who are interested.
Sermon for March 27 2011 by the Rev. Kate Ekrem
If you’ve been reading the Redeemer blog, you know that last Sunday I got to have dinner with the youth group and we played “stump the priest.” And they did! Well, at least it’s easier than Crainium, but they asked some tough questions. But the one question I think I really did not give a good answer to was, what does it mean that Jesus saves us? We say he died for our sins, but how did his dying fix the problem of human sin?
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Monday, March 14, 2011
Today I’d like to talk about sin! Oh good, you are all still here. So, raise your hand if sin means for you something that makes you feel guilty, or you think is supposed to make you feel guilty, or is just a word you
I saw this article in this weekend's Boston Globe by G. Jeffery MacDonald and thought it was though-provoking. The author says Lent is "widely ignored" by American Christians because we don't like to deny ourselves anything. And, he suggests, we are consumerist in general about church, seeking entertainment and emotional support rather than "the harder and more edifying parts of Christianity." He says, "Strangely, Americans recognize the value of sacrifice in pursuing material goals, such as prosperity via education. Yet we tell ourselves that spiritual growth can be cost-free." He concludes, "It’s time for American Christians to reclaim the power of their tradition. Lent is the right time to start. The season beckons Christians to grow in character and compassion by walking in their ancestors’ footprints."
What do you think? Is MacDonald on to something or off-base?
Monday, March 7, 2011
In this Epiphany seasons, we’ve been talking about light, us being God’s light and salt,