Feet are Gross: A Maundy Thursday Sermon

Maundy Thursday / Jueves Santo
March 24, 2016 / 24 Marzo, 2016
Saint Andrew Lutheran Church/Iglesia Luterana San Andrés
John 13:1-17, 31b-35 / San Juan 13:1-17, 31b-35
(English & Español)

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This semester at seminary, I’ve been taking a preaching class, and last week, one of my classmates – Denise – preached a really awesome sermon about this evening’s gospel text. She focused on Jesus’ act of washing his disciples’ feet, but what really stuck with me about Denise’s sermon was that she didn’t just preach it; she actually took off her robe, poured water into a basin, and made it very clear that she had every intention of actually washing our feet.

That kind of freaked me out a little bit. I mean, baring your feet and letting someone else touch them is awkward under the best of circumstances – but in my case, I actually have a skin infection on both of my feet and one of my toenails that’s kind of embarrassing and gross (in fact, it’s actually really hard to even admit it here), so I was mortified by the idea of taking off my shoes and socks and showing my gross feet to everyone.

In our gospel story, the disciples – especially Simon Peter – were also a little put off by Jesus’ act of footwashing. Obviously, we don’t know whether any of them suffered from any sort of skin infection, but after roaming around the streets of Jerusalem and the Judean countryside in sandals, it’s a pretty safe bet that their feet didn’t exactly smell like roses. It’s understandable when Peter declares to Jesus, “You will never wash my feet.” Continue reading

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Sermon: Prisoners of Hope

Wednesday, March 2, 2016
“Encountering the Living Word” preaching course
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC)

Zechariah 9:9-12
Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion!
    Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem!
Lo, your king comes to you;
    triumphant and victorious is he,
humble and riding on a donkey,
    on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
10 He will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
    and the war-horse from Jerusalem;
and the battle bow shall be cut off,
    and he shall command peace to the nations;
his dominion shall be from sea to sea,
    and from the River to the ends of the earth.
11 As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you,
    I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.
12 Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope;
    today I declare that I will restore to you double.

 

Visual AIDSIt’s election year in America, and maybe you’re “feeling the Bern” or you want “change we can believe in” or maybe you just want to “make America great again.” On the other hand, maybe you’re already fed up with an election that sometimes feels more like a three ring circus. Wherever you may be with this election, I imagine that on some level, like me, you feel a sense of incompleteness about our political system. Our politics have become so polarized and dysfunctional that it often seems like politicians are more intent on beating one another than on meeting the needs of the people. Continue reading