Sermons by John Shuck

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Loving the Hell Out of Us

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This is what I do. I am not some slick marketer who can come in and tell you how to get young people in the church, or sing and dance to soft hits of the 80s. I find most of that stuff to be a bunch of bull. I can however tell you what I think is going on and help open discussions on how we might respond, theologically, ethically, and practically to changes that are coming.

A Free Mind, Love, and Good Tunes

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Our minds are not free if they don’t take us where our doubts take us. They are not free if we allow others to set the boundaries of what we can and cannot explore. We should search for what we think is true even if doing so challenges conventional wisdom.

The Hour Has Come

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King didn’t stop the war. The war machine has morphed and magnified 100 times since his time. It is worse than it has ever been. King did not succeed. But he spoke the truth. A truth that we can only trust will bear fruit in God’s time.

Love Wings

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Interfaith work is authentic, in my opinion, only to the degree that we can be changed by the encounter. Otherwise it’s just talking heads. To enter into interfaith activity or any kind of faith activity we must be vulnerable enough to know that that activity may change us in significant and important ways. And only then is it an interfaith activity. And so, yes, I have been changed this past year in my engagement with Islam and the trip to Arbaeen and the work about that.

But that shouldn’t be unusual. We should all be engaged in that in some form or another wherever we are on our path. I find that a fruitful thing to make me, I would hope, a better Christian. In fact, I think there are very exciting things between Christianity and Islam that is worth all of us to explore.

A Fresh Start

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We need an Epiphany on a regular basis. We all need it. You need it. I need it. We all need to know that we are accepted, loved, valued, treasured, without condition. The gifts we bring are beautiful.

Awake

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Peace is the message.
The Prince of Peace is about to be born.

The one who will announce peace through justice,
who will calm the seas,
heal the sick,
cure the blind,
eat with outcasts,
forgive the unforgivable,
love the unlovable,
weep with the grieving,
laugh at the devil,
and point a finger to God,

..that one is about to be born.

The one, who would make us,
if we would care to follow in his path,
also to be makers of peace with justice.
The one who would remind us that we are all sisters and brothers
and it is in all of our interests to put away squabbles and unite.

That one has been born,
and by the way he has been born in an animal’s feeding trough.

No pretentions, that one.

Genuine Light

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The light that comes into the world…
the Genuine Light that enlightens everyone
will most certainly make us vulnerable.
But it won’t kill us.
It gives us life.

Silence

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It is possible to be changed for the better.
It is possible for one’s heart to be known by God.
It is possible to have a sense of peace about who one is and what one is to do.
It is possible for the healing power of silence that comes from grace,
to be transformed into words on behalf of those who suffer in deadly silence.

It truly is possible to be moved through grief and grace to life and purpose.

For that, on this dark night, I bear witness and I am grateful.