Emptied (Palm Sunday Sermon)

This sermon was preached at Centenary United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on Sunday, March 29, 2015 (Lent 5, or Palm/Passion Sunday). The text was Philippians 2:5-11. Pastors’ families tend to have weird traditions no one else has. A few examples from my own childhood: my family learned to negotiate my dad’s busy Christmas Eve …

Lifted Up (Lent 4 Sermon in Duke Chapel)

This sermon was preached at Duke University Chapel in Durham, NC on Sunday, March 15, 2015 (Lent 4). The texts were Numbers 21:4-9 and John 3:14-21. In October of 1991, Glenn Summerford tried to kill his wife. The weapon was not a gun or a knife or Summerford’s hands; instead, it was a poisonous snake. …

God’s Dream (2nd Sunday after the Epiphany/MLK Weekend Sermon)

This sermon was preached at Centenary United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem, NC on Sunday, January 18, 2015, the day before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The text was 1 Samuel 3:1-11. The new movie Selma portrays the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. not just as a civil rights leader but as a man with …

I run, but I’m not a runner.

On Saturday, I will run my first half marathon. And then, I will never run again. Just kidding. But no, I am not going to become a long-distance runner. I have said for years, "I run, but I'm not a runner." I'm sticking to that even with over 170 miles logged in the last 12 weeks. As it …

What Comes Out (Matthew 15 Sermon)

This sermon was preached on Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Centenary United Methodist Church in downtown Winston-Salem, NC on Matthew 15:10-20. In the fall of 1964, the musical Fiddler on the Roof came to Broadway, and five years later it became a movie. Set in early 20th-century Russia, it tells the story of Tevye, the …

What God Has Joined Together

This sermon was delivered at Centenary United Methodist Church in downtown Winston-Salem, NC on October 7, 2012, World Communion Sunday. The text was Mark 10:2-9. When I was a kid, we would sometimes play a game called “Would You Rather?” It’s pretty simple: you just ask the players to choose between two things—but it’s usually …