Princeton University Religious Life

Sermon Archive

2007-08 Sermons

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.

June 8, 2008

Thank you so much, Laura, and everyone, for the invitation to preach this morning. It is wonderful to be here again among you. You are a special community of people, and I have missed you.

Our four wonderful lessons for today are each about faith. Oh, they concern a number of other things too, but the idea of faith unites them mightily. In Genesis we read of God’s calling of Abraham, and of Sarah and Abraham’s faith in God’s project and protection as they willingly venture off into...

May 28, 2008

I have had the privilege over the years of making a number of visits to Guatemala. It is a beautiful country of lush mountains, volcanoes, deep lakes, Mayan ruins, and most of all living Mayan cultures with twenty-two language groups and all their customs, traditions, practices. As you may know, Guatemala is perpetually trading off with Nicaragua for the dubious honor of being the second poorest country in the hemisphere. (First place always goes to...

May 17, 2008
Thank you all so much for the privilege and honor of being here. It’s always a bit nerve-wracking to be introduced by someone who knows you well, and has much that they could say, so let me thank you, Bill, for your gentle, generous, yet restrained introduction. My warmest congratulations to the Bucknell Class of 2008, to your parents and extended families, your friends, your teachers, trustees, administrators, alumni and all. I am profoundly...
May 4, 2008

He had been with them for forty days - forty days since he had been executed, that is. How stunned they had been (to put it mildly) when he appeared to them after that, having risen from the dead. Forty more days he was with them, but it was nothing like the years they’d had with him before. Things were very different now. Before, there had been miracles – demons cast out of sick people, withered hands restored, a girl brought back to life, thousands...

April 6, 2008

Let me begin by confessing that this story from Luke of the walk to Emmaus is one of my very favorites in all of scripture. For this reason my husband Jarrett and I chose it for the gospel reading at our wedding some years ago. It tells of the presence of Christ – the accompaniment of Christ – where we least expect him, when we don’t even know that he is there, perhaps when we are elated or when we are most devastated, and when we are simply running through the...

March 23, 2008

Did you hear it in these verses – the overwhelming part of fear in the resurrection story? I’ve only recently noticed it. Did you hear it, too? Each of the four gospels’ accounts of the resurrection of Jesus has quite a lot in common, naturally: they describe the same event! But each has, in addition, a unique perspective on that event; each lifts out for emphasis particular factual details, and these, in turn, lead to the...

March 9, 2008

It was many years ago now that a former minister of mine lost his son in a car accident. The son was in his early twenties. The pastor of course took the next Sunday off from the pulpit and drove the 150 miles to the city in which the son had lived and died. There the extended family gathered, they wept, they held the memorial service, and then had to return to their homes to try to pick up some kind of normalcy in their shattered lives. Many kind words were said...

February 20, 2008

What would you do if Jesus Christ himself came into the town where you live, was walking down the road – your street – and was looking for a place to rest himself and do some teaching, open up the gospels to people, answer all our questions of faith? It’s easy to say that we’d do just what Martha did – she ran out into the street. She said to him, “Lord, you are welcome in our house!” Maybe she took him by the elbow and said, “Right this way!” He had a crowd following him, as always. I...

February 17, 2008

As we all know, we are in the grip of election season. As the circus road show that is the primaries and caucuses moves from state to state, as big tents get erected the clowns come out for comic relief, donkeys and elephants parade around the ring, folks do verbal high-wire acts, tame lions (or get mauled by them!), fly through the air grasping for the next trapeze, then parade out of the ring to the applause and relief of the crowd. The ringmaster (a news anchor...

February 10, 2008

A number of years ago, at the beginning of Lent, I resolved to give up chocolate. This was a very significant decision for me – I love chocolate. I have some every day, in some form. I can go to an ice cream shop that has 300 flavors and I will only ever order chocolate. Or deep chocolate. Or triple chocolate fudge brownie – whatever is the most chocolaty. During this particular Lenten season so long ago I was an exchange student in London, enjoying my...