Sermons by Rev. Dr. John Burton (Page 2)

Sermons by Rev. Dr. John Burton (Page 2)

Holy Spirit Hear Us

“He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” 2 He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father,[a] hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.[b] 3     Give us each day our daily bread.[c] 4     And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial.”[d] “Teach us to pray” the disciples asked.…

Too hurried to be a Samaritan

The story of the Good Samaritan may be one of the most familiar of all the stories in the Gospels. Certainly it is one that has made its way into our common cultural heritage. There are hospitals and schools and societies named for the anonymous person journeying through ancient Palestine that day. There is even a law in the United States named after him, a law that protects someone from potential liability if they give aid to a stranger in…

I saw Satan fall from the Sky like Lightening

Last week our text outlined the challenges that face those who follow Jesus. This week we continue reading in Luke’s gospel as he recounts Jesus’ instructions to the seventy followers he sends out. Jesus says there is a plentiful harvest, but does that mean that the people they meet are a crop to be picked, put in a basket and sold? I’m not sure.

The Sound of Silence

In the early 1960s an aspiring 20-year-old folk singer took his guitar into the bathroom of his parents’ home to practice because he liked the slight echo chamber effect he got. One night he turned off the light and tried out a few lines, “Hello darkness my old friend, I’ve come to talk to you again…”

On Foot

On foot Thomas Jefferson, the 3rd American President and arguably the most learned of all of them, believed that in the gospel stories, Jesus gave humankind the greatest moral code by which to live. The Bible, Jefferson believed, provided wisdom and guidance for human living,

Communion and the Hunger of the World

The late German/American theologian Monika Hellwig, wrote a little book that Heather and I read during our theological training, called Eucharist and the Hunger of the World. The book asked a question that has always stuck with me. Can we western, wealthy Christians truly experience the impact of communion, which is the gift of food that is life-saving, when very few of us have ever experienced real hunger?

Sabbath, Sabbatical, Jubilee

  Will you indulge me this morning? I would like everyone to take off their watch and turn it face down on the pew beside you. I’d also like you to turn off your cell phones, not just put them on vibrate, but turn them right off.

Let There Be Light

Psalm 27; Luke 13:31-35 Several weeks ago Jeff introduced the notion of ‘functional atheism,’ in his sermon. This label refers to the inclination many of us have to feel that all the work of the church is dependent on us and not God. Functional atheists may not give voice to this feeling directly but when you listen to the way they talk about the church it seems that their faith is summed up by saying, “If it is our efforts, our…

Our Circle of Empathy

Sojourners is an evangelical community based in Washington DC. It is a progressive and socially active community, contrary to the common perception of what it means to be an evangelical. Jim Wallis, who is the Executive Director of Sojourners, recently said that the scripture we heard read today from Matthew 25 is the “test” scripture for his community. When thinking about their position on issues or the actions they feel called to undertake, they always ask themselves if they are…