Biomimetic Belonging: Cooperating with God’s Sprigs and Seeds of Trust

“Thankfully, we are slowly turning back to seeing existence as an ecosystem in which diverse organisms and species cooperate so that everything in creation can both survive and thrive together. Instead of a competitive mindset of extraction from the natural world, Biomimicry shows us how we can cooperate with and learn from creation. I would argue, based on this morning’s scriptures, that Ezekiel and Jesus are proponents of a biomimetic theology.”

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Holy Transitions: Tarrying with God through the In-Between Times

“In her book, Tarry Awhile: Wisdom from Black Spirituality for People of Faith, African Caribbean Theologian Dr. Selina Stone explains that Tarrying ‘is a collective time of waiting on God… It is a time of surrender to God, in the hope of personal and communal transformation. It is also a moment for intercession, for bringing our spiritual needs to God as well as our loving concern for our neighbors and the world.’ I think we can agree that to face this world’s overwhelming destruction of human lives and of creation, tarrying together as a spiritual practice in community is an absolute necessity.”

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Resurrection’s Responsibility: Living God’s Rebellious Liberating Love for Others

“Every Easter, we hear those sublime words: “Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb.” The Roman Empire had tried to crucify and kill the love of God incarnate, and they failed. Empire tried to contain, control, and seal up that incarnate love of God in a tomb, and they failed. Empires still try to control, crucify, and kill the most vulnerable of God’s beloved creatures. Jesus Christ, the love of God made flesh, crucified and risen, triumphs over all empires eternally. God’s liberating love always bursts free from cages, enclosures, and tombs of empire.”

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Sermon for the Feast of Absalom Jones

“This work of Justice: Becoming God’s Beloved Community is challenging. That is why I need to know that saints like Absalom Jones chose Christ’s love and friendship, in spite of slavery, in spite of heartbreak, in spite of violent, racist, demonic coloniality, My devotion to saints who embodied, lived, and worked as antiracist and decolonial agents of Christ’s reconciling love has become a slight obsession of mine. I want you to fall in love with these saints and to be as obsessed with them as I am.”

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Leave Your Nets, Listen to God’s Calling, Follow the Way of Love

“Like Jonah, we become so fixated on escaping our own lives, we get swallowed up and stuck in the bleak, terrifying, and extremely stinky belly of a sea monster. Nevertheless, after Jonah’s sublime prayer, God causes the whale to vomit him out onto the dry land, and as we heard in today’s First Lesson, ‘The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time.’ Today’s sermon is about God’s endless supply of second chances. “

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Show Up Unacceptably Anyway: Jesus Christ Comes to Visit Us in Great Humility

Today, Howard Thurman will be our spiritual guide. Two short excerpts from his “Meditations for Apostles of Sensitiveness” will open and conclude my homily. And for those who are not into being all spiritually woo-woo and contemplative, fear not! There’s an outrageous story about humility; the science behind blushing; and some theology for my fellow church nerds.

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Hard-Won Wisdom: Replenishing Our Spirits to be Christ’s Loving Light

I know what it feels like to experience what Blanche DuBois hallows with her heartbreaking line from A Streetcar Named Desire, “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” In fact, the story of how I became an Episcopalian begins with the kindness of a stranger who pitied me when I, like one of the foolish bridesmaids, was found lacking at the last minute.

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Conflict Births Reconciliation: Love is not a feeling. Love is a practice.

I have witnessed how conflict has been faced in healthy ways and in not so healthy ways in a variety of faith communities. I have been in healthy conflict and I have also been in unhealthy conflict. Unhealthy ways of dealing with conflict, like triangulation – complaining to people about a person we refuse to speak to directly – avoids the hard work required of love. Erich Fromm famously writes, “Love isn’t something natural. Rather it requires discipline, concentration, patience, faith, and the overcoming of narcissism. It isn’t a feeling, love is a practice.”

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