Princeton University Religious Life

Sermon Archive

We invite you to reflect upon these sermons, offered at the Sunday morning service at the Princeton University Chapel. We hope that you find them to be a resource to you in your own spiritual journey.

Sermon
January 28, 2018

 

Sermon
December 24, 2017

It is Christmas Eve, and here we are, together again, on this silent night, this holy night.  Much has happened in our country, and in our world, since we gathered last year.  Some things are hopeful, many are challenging, particularly for those who have always been vulnerable – the poor, the refugees, those marginalized because of their religion or race.  The baby Jesus was each of these things, born this sacred evening into the brutal occupation of the Roman Empire.  What his young parents...

Sermon
December 17, 2017
 

 

As I thought this past week about this text for today—Mary’s visit to Elizabeth—I was also hearing and reading the news in this country.  As women (and some men) continue to share their stories of sexual harassment and assault the phrase “Me Too” is everywhere.  It occurred to me that this is what Mary needed to say to Elizabeth, because Elizabeth was the only other person in the world who would...

Sermon
November 5, 2017

It has been a very full week since we met for worship last Sunday – I could say that it has been full of rest for a University community on Fall Break, full of revelation and speculation for a country experiencing the first public indictments made by Princeton Alumnus and Special Prosecutor Bob Mueller, it has been a week of the anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, whose impact is still widely felt, but I really mean that it’s been a packed week of religious observances. On Tuesday was the 500th...

Sermon
October 15, 2017

Living in anxious times – I am blessed not to have any major sources of worry in my life right now, but I certainly spend lots of time in pastoral conversation with those who do. I spent time this past week with Dreamers on campus, students who enrolled long ago in DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. They now fear deportation, and wonder if enrolling in DACA wasn’t a terrible mistake in the long run. They gave all their personal information to the government in order to...

Sermon
October 1, 2017

Questions about fairness start early in a person’s life, don’t they?  This past week, I watched a colleague’s toddler eat just enough of his good dinner in order to receive a piece of the cake he was fixated on in the corner of my kitchen counter.  (I still become quite aggrieved if I eat the healthy food but am somehow denied dessert.)  When I was a kid, there was great attention paid to whose turn it was to ride in the front seat, and to not crossing the imaginary line that ran down the...

Sermon
September 10, 2017

Hello Chapel Family! How good it is to be here together again. The choir is back! The clergy are back and so are those in our community of faith who’ve been travelling! Upper class and grad students are filtering back on to campus. And there are the newest members of our family, whom we welcome with wide-open arms. Wherever life has taken each of you—physically and/or spiritually—in the recent or distant past, I hope and pray that the journey was a blessing. Sometimes the most blessed...

Sermon
May 21, 2017

The news sources that I click on or listen to are saying that the American public today is entirely split in its social and political opinion, that we have never been more divided, and that the differences are so profound that we may forever be two Americas. I think, hope, and pray that this isn’t accurate, and that it is more the kind of dramatic journalism that seeks consumer loyalty with dire assessments and predictions. There would seem truly to be a tremendous difference of many...

Sermon
May 7, 2017

These lovely words that we’ve just heard from the Book of Acts are about a community that is on fire – they are passionate, they are glowing, they are unstoppable. They are, together, like a person in the throes of a great new love: they are, in every moment, their best selves. Their sense of personal ethics they now proudly proclaim and go to new lengths to live out. They are starry-eyed; they are devoted to noticing the welfare of others, to selflessness and a giving spirit. Their...

Sermon
April 30, 2017

Easter happened – it was two weeks ago. We know Easter happened because we were there, or here – we woke up that Sunday morning and came to Chapel and the whole world was here and there were kites flying and special music and even, in 2017, a few Easter hats. We might need to remind ourselves that Easter happened, though. Fourteen days later and life is pretty much the same – the people we know who are sick remain a continuing source of worry for us. The stresses of the semester are only...