Sermon: Practicing Hope

By Joanna Lawrence Shenk

Psalm 4

Answer me when I call, God of my justice!
Give me relief from my distress!
Have mercy!
Hear my prayer!

How long will you people dishonor me before God?
How long will you love delusion and pursue lies?
Know that those who love YHWH
have been set apart by divine will—
YHWH will hear me when I call!

Tremble, and stop your sinning;
search your heart,
alone and silent in your room.
Offer sacrifices of justice,
and put your trust in YHWH.

So many are asking,
“Does good even exist anymore?”
Let the light of your face, YHWH, shine on us!

You put joy in my heart—
a joy greater than being full
of bread and new wine.

In peace I’ll lie down;
in peace I will sleep:
for you alone, YHWH,
keep me perfectly safe.

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Sermon: Christ Has Descended! Alleluia!

Easter Sunday

Matthew 28:1-10

There are shadows within us. Yes, there is also a burning flame, an Inner Light as the Quakers call it, the image of God in us. But the shadows are there. We’ve been exploring them throughout Lent. Morton Kelsey, a priest and psychologist, puts it this way, “Each of us has underneath our ordinary personality, which we show to the public, a cellar in which we hide the refuse and rubbish which we would rather not see ourselves or let others see.” (From Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter, Orbis Books.) In this dimly lit cellar are many half shapes —  the unloved, rejected, despised parts of ourselves — and from these parts emanate shadowy emotions —  fear, shame, jealousies, regrets and grievances, deep sorrows, an anger that can erupt out of seemingly nowhere. 

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