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Advent 3A: Watch Your Step

Have you ever felt really let down by something? Maybe it was a meal at some well-known restaurant. You’d looked forward to tasting this particular chef’s cuisine for so long but when you actually got to try the food, it was strikingly ordinary. Or perhaps it was some long-anticipated movie: maybe it was the sequel…

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Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

Proper 9A

I’m sure they had their reasons.  I refer to the folks who put together the readings for the Revised Common Lectionary.  I’m sure they had their reasons to leap-frog over verses 20-24 but in so doing, they created something of an irony (if not something of an exegetical faux pas). Granted, Jesus’ rant against various…

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Matthew 11:2-11

Advent 3A

“The War on Christmas.”  We have heard about this a lot in recent years.  Some while back people assailed Starbucks for removing the word “Christmas” from their holiday coffee cups.  Some were upset some years ago that the White House wished a blanket “Happy Holidays” instead of specifically mentioning Christmas.  And some while back the…

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Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

Proper 9A

I’m sure they had their reasons.  I refer to the folks who put together the readings for the Revised Common Lectionary.  I’m sure they had their reasons to leap-frog over verses 20-24 but in so doing, they created something of an irony (if not something of an exegetical faux pas). Granted, Jesus’ rant against various…

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Matthew 11:2-11

Advent 3A

Last year it was the cups at Starbucks.   But every year somebody finds something by which to allege that a coordinated war is being waged on Christmas.    Last year since Starbucks stopped putting Merry Christmas on its red holiday paper coffee cups, some customers did a coy end-run on it all by giving their names…

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Matthew 11:7-19

Have you ever said that about yourself that you are greater than King David?  Or have you ever said that you are greater than Solomon?  Jesus says that the least in the kingdom are greater than John the Baptist and John the Baptist is greater than all who came before him.  Which means you are…

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The Kingdom of Heaven Has Come Near

Preached at Duke University Chapel on December 12, 2004. Used with permission of Duke Chapel and the author.

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