Christ the Vine

Grace be unto you from God our Father, and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen. Today we hear in the Gospel of John, that Jesus is the true Vine, which if I understand it, means he’s the place where you can post video clips of the totes righteous sandwiches you are eating right now to share with your friends. For those of you that aren’t tech savvy, Vine is a web-service and phone app that is like twitter but with video instead of text. You get six seconds to tell your short video tale to the world! And you can share with all your friends, and you can even do stop motion tricks, and… And so what we learn today is, Jesus is the true place to send your video snippets?? OK, so maybe Jesus is not talking about the Vine App on your phone, he’s talking about...

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Sermon: Doubting Thomas (That’s me!)

Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father, and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen. This is one of the most fitting days for me to preach; because my name is Thomas, and I have a lot of doubts. The story goes that this Sunday is “doubting Thomas Sunday.” This is the day when we hear about the bad example of Thomas who doubted, when it would have been better for him to believe without seeing. I grew up hearing my namesake was the skeptic, the one who needs to see to believe. Thomas’s sin was that he demanded proof of Christ’s resurrection. The moral of the story was told to me, that doubt is bad, it is the opposite of faith, and blessed are those who do not need proof of God’s love. Thomases like me got a lot of bad press. But is what Thomas did really...

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-See You Later, and Good Legs-

This year for National Poetry Writing Month, I’m taking a much more relaxed “at least one a week” approach rather than the poem-a-day frenzy. I am currently with frenzy-a-plenty elsewhere. So here’s my first one! Hope you enjoy. — -See You Later, and Good Legs- Adding abdomen to her words, she tells me “It’s just a figure of speech” as if having a silhouette and calves made diction innocent. I wonder if I put too much ankle in my “I understand.” Or if I was more speech than figure, with my hand and my elbow clangoring. One brown strand flagellates out from her hair, waving to static in the room. She says about the wine being well legged while my next sentence pulls on armpits and epidermal cells. Her eyewhites flash: be anywhere but...

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On Joyfully Serving

This Lent we have been journeying through our new mission statement. We heard how we are Called by Christ, remembering our baptisms; we heard also how we are Gathered in Grace, how our sins are forgiven and we gain freedom in community. Today we begin the last part: Joyfully Serving. So how do we be joyful in our serving? Sometimes, it seems joyful serving is more of a prayer than a reality. We don’t really want to serve our neighbors. Given the choice of feeding the homeless at 6am on a Saturday, and sleeping in, why I think I’d rather take sleeping in! For help in this prayer for joyful serving, one place we can look is at the Fourth Commandment. What’s that you say? Honour thy father and mother? What does that have to do with joyful serving? I suppose I’m bad...

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Sermon In Lent: Wrestling With John 3:16

Grace be unto you from God our Father, and our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, Amen. You’ve heard it! It’s been tweeted. Facebook can’t even with how many times it has been posted, liked and shared. It’s been shouted triumphantly, and whispered in fervent prayer. It’s been cross-stitched into wall hangings. It’s on bumper stickers. It’s glammed onto dorm-room walls. It’s embossed into commemorative bracelets. There’s always one low-rez self-proclaimed Christian that holds it up on a sign at sporting events. It has its own line of T-shirts. People have it tattooed on their bodies. I’ve even seen it on the bottom of coffee cups, and in football-player face paint. It’s John 3:16. It is the rockstar bible verse that everyone already knows and just plain gets by heart,...

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On FWEdom

Tonight we hear in First Corinthians that in Christ, “each has been given a manifestation of the Spirit for the common Good.” To one is given the knowledge, to one is given sweet licks on the guitar, to one is given joyful noises, to one is given the ability to bake bread, to the one is given the gift of soups, to one the fine painting skills of tiny ceramic eggs, to another the ability to make beauty from their giant mess of paints on the same ceramic eggs. On and on, all of our gifts are given and activated by the same one God. All of these manifestations of the spirit are given to us, not for our own health or our own independence. Not for one-upsmanship, nor the ability to say “my egg is better than your egg, her egg is better than his” but First Corinthians...

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-Lady-

There is an elegance in saying “Lady.” I like pronouncing the word as if it were a chocolate ready to melt, gum your fingers, and chemically change your mood. Lady has a dignity, and it is allowed to eat ice cream in front of Matlock while sweats wearing if it wants to. Some people say the word “woman,” and they mean it like some lemon lozenge in your throat stopping you from coughing: *girlgirlgirl* Or sometimes woman is prescribed in italics: woman. It can be a migraine itself, woman. Said like “get behind me nurse.” Then there is “female.” That prickly-clean paper crumpling of the doctor’s chairbed creasing your thigh and that notcovering gown. Female is ready to see you now, It peers over a clipboard and looks about to give...

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