Tari Lennon

Easter Sunday

April 20, 2003
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 25:6-9
Reading 2: 
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
Reading 3: 
I Corinthians 15:1-11 or Acts 10:34-43
Reading 4: 
John 20:1-18 or Mark 16:1-8
By Tari Lennon

What then shall we say about Easter? If bunnies and baskets are for us who can be against us? What will separate us from the love of chocolate? Diets? Cholesterol? Blood Pressure? No! In all of these things we are more than conquerors through denial that first duped us.

Well, if a little wine is good for the stomach, surely a little levity can’t be bad for the brain.

Palm Sunday/Passion Sunday

April 6, 2003
See Also: 

Lenten Candle Liturgy
John Cobb on redemption
Biblical Preaching on the Death of Jesus (Cobb)

Reading 3: 
Hebrews 5:5-10 or Philippians 2:5-11
Reading 4: 
John 12:27-30
By Tari Lennon

As I begin this exegetical work with you the invasion of Iraq has begun.  Regardless of one's position relative to the war itself, surely we can agree that this is a momentous event in the history of our country and for people of faith everywhere.  The weeks ahead demand bold and vigorous preaching that seeks not simply to comfort and assure people that with God all things will be made new but also connects folks to Jesus' passion for life and the terrible loss that his death brought to his friends and family -- and to God.

5th Sunday in Lent

April 6, 2003
See Also: 

Year A
Year B
Year C

Lenten Candle Liturgy
John Cobb on redemption
Biblical Preaching on the Death of Jesus (Cobb)

Reading 3: 
Hebrews 5:5-10 or Philippians 2:5-11
Reading 4: 
John 12:20-33
By Tari Lennon

As I begin this exegetical work with you the invasion of Iraq has begun.  Regardless of one's position relative to the war itself, surely we can agree that this is a momentous event in the history of our country and for people of faith everywhere.  The weeks ahead demand bold and vigorous preaching that seeks not simply to comfort and assure people that with God all things will be made new but also connects folks to Jesus' passion for life and the terrible loss that his death brought to his friends and family -- and to God.

3rd Sunday in Lent

March 26, 2000
See Also: 

Lenten Candle Liturgy
John Cobb on redemption
Biblical Preaching on the Death of Jesus (Cobb)

Reading 1: 
Exodus 20:1-17
Reading 2: 
Psalm 19
Reading 3: 
1 Corinthians 1:18-25
Reading 4: 
John 2:13-22
By Tari Lennon

We are now midway through our Lenten journey. The overall direction the Lectionary seems to be taking is toward acquainting the believer with the necessity of taking risks--and doing something novel--at the very point that our instincts are urging us to play it safe and do nothing to rock the boat.

2nd Sunday in Lent

March 19, 2000
See Also: 

Lenten Candle Liturgy
John Cobb on redemption
Biblical Preaching on the Death of Jesus (Cobb)

Reading 1: 
Genesis 17:1-7,15-16
Reading 2: 
Psalm 22:23-31
Reading 3: 
Romans 4:13-25
Reading 4: 
Mark 8:31-38
By Tari Lennon

Genesis
From celestial climes and arcing colors splashing across the sky we move to the land fecund with promise and full of possibility as the next location in the continuing drama of God's attempts to get human being to become partners in the work of creation and recreation.

1st Sunday in Lent

March 12, 2000
See Also: 

Lenten Candle Liturgy
John Cobb on redemption
Biblical Preaching on the Death of Jesus (Cobb)

Reading 1: 
Genesis 9:8-17
Reading 2: 
Psalm 25:1-10
Reading 3: 
1 Peter 3:18-22
Reading 4: 
Mark 1:9-15
By Tari Lennon

And so Epiphany, with its images of star spangled nights, wandering astrologers, menacing kings, relieved first-time parents, and shiny new babies, comes to a close.

And Lent begins.

If Epiphany asks us to look up and behold, to see God's activity in the very stars, the heavenly skies, Lent asks us to look down and understand-into the watery depths of life's birthplace, into the baptismal fount of new life.

9th Sunday after Epiphany

March 5, 2000
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Hosea 2:14-20
Reading 2: 
Psalm 50
Reading 3: 
2 Corinthians 4:1-6
Reading 4: 
Mark 9:2-6
Alt Reading 1: 
2 Kings 2:1-12
By Tari Lennon

Psalm
Since a central concern of the Psalm is the notion of sacrifice and since our booming economy and bull market have rendered us the least "sacrifice-sensitive" in memory, The preacher/teacher will have to become a bit ironic to claim people's interest in the merits of sacrifice. The psalmist does that very thing by having God request thanksgiving as the appropriate form of sacrifice.

5th Sunday after Epiphany

February 6, 2005
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12)
Reading 2: 
Psalm 112:1-9 (10)
Reading 3: 
1 Corinthians 2:1-12 (13-16)
Reading 4: 
Matthew 5:13-20
By Tari Lennon

And so we come to the end of Epiphany. This is my favorite liturgical season of the church year. "Matthew’s" wandering astrologers, captivated by the night sky, and lured to new places by unusual light, set the tone and direction of the season for me long before I knew very much about the New Testament from a critical point of view. Emerging from the hype of Christmas and flowing into the quiet of Lent, Epiphany represented a time for translating new beginnings into new ways of understanding and doing my life and my faith.

4th Sunday after Epiphany

January 30, 2005
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Micah 6:1-8
Reading 2: 
Psalm 15
Reading 3: 
1 Corinthians 1:18-31
Reading 4: 
Matthew 5:1-12
By Tari Lennon

The season of Epiphany continues to dawn upon a world darkened by catastrophe and grief. The consequences of human-made and natural disasters encircle our globe. How do we affirm the presence of the Light without seeming glib and facile? What do we say to our people to connect them through the Light to the darkness in the world without succumbing to sentimentality and trivialization? How do we address the massive suffering in the world without sounding despondent or risking cynicism?

3rd Sunday after Epiphany

January 23, 2005
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 9:1-4
Reading 2: 
Psalm 27:1, 4-9
Reading 3: 
I Corinthians 1:10-18
Reading 4: 
Matthew 4:12-23
By Tari Lennon

Let me begin this week by saying that the tragedies unfolding in Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Indonesia, et al., have completely redirected the focus of my thought for this season of Epiphany. I offer this word to you because today’s reflections will not seem to follow easily from what has been offered for the first two weeks in Epiphany. Certainly it is not uncommon for the events of the week to alter our plans for Sunday morning worship in general and our sermons in particular.

2nd Sunday after Epiphany

January 16, 2005
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 49:1-7
Reading 2: 
Psalm 40:1-11
Reading 3: 
I Corinthians 1:1-9
Reading 4: 
John 1:29-42
By Tari Lennon

If we think of Epiphany as a season for Enlightenment, a time for looking and seeing things in a new (transformed) way, then we might say that the Gospel of John is itself an example of that very creativity. What "John" lacks in historicity is more than compensated for in imagination. "John" offers us an entirely new way of thinking about creation itself. In the opening chapter (in the beginning), John offers a reworking of the Genesis account(s) of creation.

1st Sunday after Epiphany

January 9, 2005
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 42:1-9
Reading 2: 
Psalm 29
Reading 3: 
Acts 10:34-43
Reading 4: 
Matthew 3:13-17
By Tari Lennon

I think it was John Cobb who once observed that we tend to make fun of those scholastic scholars who had nothing better to do than sit around arguing about how many angels could dance on the head of a pin while at the same time we ignore the preoccupations with the trivial that characterize so much of academia today. I would carry that observation one step farther and assert that preoccupations with the trivial have come to characterize our national life.

Proper 12

July 28, 2002
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Genesis 29:15-28
Reading 2: 
Psalm 128
Reading 3: 
Romans 8:26-39
Reading 4: 
Matthew 13:31-33, 45-52
By Tari Lennon

The Jacob cycle is truly one of the more colorful contributions to the world of sacred texts. It is reminiscent of the great hero narratives of Hinduism and quest stories of Buddhism.

Proper 11

July 21, 2002
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Genesis 28:10-19a
Reading 2: 
Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24
Reading 3: 
Romans 8:12-25
Reading 4: 
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
By Tari Lennon

The lections for today move the imagination in so many directions. The continuing high drama and mischief of the Jacob cycle; the profoundly personal and poignant musings of the Psalmists; Paul’s expansive and exuberant adventures in the world of metaphor; and the gospel use of earthy storytelling to deliver a message provide the preacher with a wellspring of bubbling possibilities.

Proper 10

July 14, 2002
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 55:10-13
Reading 2: 
Psalm 65:(1-8), 9-13
Reading 3: 
Romans 8:1-11
Reading 4: 
Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
By Tari Lennon

Kinship and Creation are complementary concepts in the lessons for this week. Because God (Yahweh) is the Divine Author of all creation, everyone and everything that acknowledges its debt to God for the mere fact of existence is related to God and all other aspects/elements of creation.

Proper 9

July 7, 2002
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Genesis 24:34-38
Reading 2: 
Psalm 45:10-17
Reading 3: 
Romans 7:15-25a
Reading 4: 
Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30
By Tari Lennon

I suppose one of the features that makes scripture Scripture is that it can be read and experienced in myriad ways. Our lessons for today, for instance, could be read with appreciation for patriarchal tenacity, or respect for the artistry of Israelite poets, or curiosity over Paul’s occasional eruptions of humility, or gratitude for Jesus’ clarity in the midst of such unremitting chaos, or...

Easter Sunday

April 20, 2003
See Also: 

Sermons:
Nance 2006
Sauter 2003

John Cobb on atonement
John Cobb on redemption
John Cobb on Jesus

Reading 1: 
Isaiah 25:6-9
Reading 2: 
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
Reading 3: 
I Corinthians 15:1-11 or Acts 10:34-43
Reading 4: 
John 20:1-18 or Mark 16:1-8
By Tari Lennon

What then shall we say about Easter? If bunnies and baskets are for us who can be against us? What will separate us from the love of chocolate? Diets? Cholesterol? Blood Pressure? No! In all of these things we are more than conquerors through denial that first duped us.

Well, if a little wine is good for the stomach, surely a little levity can’t be bad for the brain.

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