Read recent sermons delivered by Pastor Jason.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Sermon: “Whoever Is Not Against Us Is For Us”
Scripture: Mark 9:38-41

We have not crossed the threshold yet, at least not in the sense of most churches and most of the prominent church leaders siding with and enabling an autocrat doing irreparable harm to our democratic republic. Politically speaking, I do not think we have arrived at that point yet. But there is enough complicity already that it is not too soon for us as Christians to start asking ourselves what the threshold is. As Christians we profess one baptism and one lord, one faith in the God made known to us as Jesus Christ. And from the earliest days of the Christian movement there has been both diversity and division. The early decades and centuries of Christianity are indeed more diverse than unified. But diversity and division are two separate things. Keeping this in mind seems to be a central teaching in this week’s lesson. (Read Full Sermon [PDF])

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Sermon: “Even the Dogs”
Scripture: Mark 7:24-37

When we encounter Jesus in a verbal sparring contest, he usually wins. His sparring partners are most often religious authorities, those with an interest in maintaining the status quo. In many cases their interests are about maintaining power, power over the decisions about religious life, power over who controls the checkbook, power in the sense of who gets to broker the stability without justice that comes with being occupied by imperial Roman forces. I say most because I assume that among Jesus’ opponents there are those who have more pure intentions, that there are some who are interested in truth and true faithfulness to God, even when they hold positions that are beyond our recognition as being such. Most of the people who get into these exchanges with Jesus, exchanges that involve disagreement or contention, exchanges that require a kind of resolution, end up being exposed as motivated by self-interest or trapped within their limited understanding of the situation. (Read Full Sermon [PDF])

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Sermon: “Grounded In Love”
Scripture: Ephesians 3:14-21

Have you noticed how popular yard signs have become? Front yards used to only display flags, and the options were quite limited to the stars and stripes or maybe a state flag or a military branch or an alma mater on game day. Then the options expanded a bit with the addition of seasonal and holiday flags, the Halloween flag and the snowman. It used to be that if one had a message you wanted to share with the world, one would have to commit to a long term messy bumper sticker, or, less common and more flexible, a pin. But in recent years yard signs have been popping up everywhere with all kinds of things on them. Like political yard signs used to do every four years when I was growing up in NH, only now it is all the time and everywhere. And maybe this is not much of a surprise given the times we live in and the utility of making clear statements of conviction amidst the hyperventilating news cycle. We know for our tradition that while we can and should avoid being partisan and polemical, faith never exists apart from the political. Which is simply to say our faith leads us towards certain convictions about how we are to live our lives and how we are to live them together. (Read Full Sermon [PDF])