Thursday, April 4, 2013

Sermon for Easter Sunday

Easter 2013

For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
--(1Cor 15:25-26)

One of the interesting things I get to do is to go behind-the-scenes, so to speak, in our local funeral home. I really enjoy all the guys who work over there, and  I notice how much they kind of try to shield the loved ones of someone who’s died from the nitty gritty details. For example, sometimes I’ll do a service for a family without a church home over at the funeral home, and typically it’s an open casket, and the person has been made to look so nice and there might be sentimental objects placed in their hands or what have you. After the service they’ll shoo all the family out of the room and very matter-of-factly close the casket, a process that has a few steps. The first thing they do is crank down the pillow that’s keeping the dead person’s head elevated, the put a little crank into the casket, and wind down the thing so the person’s lying flat. Then they take the little blanket that’s tucked around the person and pull it over their face, and then they close the lid. I don’t mind telling you the first time I saw them do that I was pretty freaked out.  It really

Sermon for Good Friday

Good Friday 2013
by Rev. Kate Ekrem

This happens every day. On some level this is a very ordinary story. Someone who’s been preaching about human rights and dignity gets arrested and tortured and killed by an oppressive regime. Really it’s not so different from so many other arrests, so many other people who've been made to disappear by those in power. We can name Oscar Romero, Janani Luwum, DietrichBonheoffer, but also so many whose names we don’t know, those in Argentina in the 1970’s, Germany of the 1930’s, or in our own country in the lynch mobs of the 1960’s, and those in  Syria or Tibet even today, this very day, right now.  This story is not so different from all those stories. But this is the one we know by heart.

This is the one whose facets and contours are so familiar to us, the high priest’s slave’s ear, the rooster crowing, the seamless garment, the sour wine. We know every detail of the story of Jesus’ suffering and death; it’s compelling as well as horrifying.

Sermon for Maundy Thursday by Bill Fortier

Maundy Thursday
Bill Fortier

Jesus, feed your hungry and hurting sheep, dear shepherd of souls. Amen
So let's start with two stories about hand-me-downs, one from my mother and one from my beloved wife, Barbara.

First story: I'm just about to start the police academy and doing what every unmarried Catholic boy does: I'm living with my mother and father. My mother is so proud of me. This is, for her, the blue collar Irish version of Yale, a patrolman!

My mother is also really proud of herself here: She has made my bedroom look all grown up, painted it. It still had the grotesque crucifix of Jesus with multiple red wounds, all over it, dead center over the headboard, like a scarecrow. The crucifix is placed there to ensure that the only two things I'd ever, ever think about in bed were sleep and an awful death. Thanks mom.