What is a Homily, anyway?

Homilies are by no means lesser sermons.  Homilies are sermons getting out of the way.  It is a beautiful thing when a service is too full up of liturgy, music, ritual, or prayer for the minister’s voice to be the only attraction. Plus, homilies are a special art, for they must accomplish as much as a sermon theologically in a smaller amount of time.



Waiting For the Baby

mung bean sprouts





“But for now, we have to wait.  It’s not time yet.  It is in the midnight hour that we get in touch with the light.  Because this is a spacious, important time, when the mind stills, when our anticipation builds, and our imagination expands.  Now is the time to be awake in the depth midnight..setting intentions, as we wait to be called out into this world by the light.”


Watering the Fake Plants: The Gift of Ministry

(A shorter than normal homily)








“Soon enough, I noticed a pool of water snaking out from under the pot.  I ran and got paper towels, and rushed over to stop the flood.  I put my hand back in the pot, and, yep, it really was potted in dry grass, because the plant in the youth room is fake.

This congregation is a “teaching” congregation.  Where people like me try out the ministry.  Where we don the mantle of the clergy, and feel the yoke of responsibility for the first time.”