Posted on: Monday, June 19th, 2017 in: Sermons

Luke 1:46-55 Isaac S. Villegas [Leipzig Service for the Shenandoah Bach Festival: June 18, 2017] Jesus must have learned his prophetic ministry from his mother. She was the one who said, “The Lord has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; God has filled the hungry with good things, and […]

a God who could dance

Posted on: Sunday, June 11th, 2017 in: Sermons

2 Corinthians 13:11-13; Psalm 8 June 11, 2017 (Trinity Sunday) Isaac Villegas “I would only believe in a god who could dance.” That’s a line from Friedrich Nietzsche. He couldn’t believe in the kind of God who looks like a bearded man, ancient, sitting in a throne above, aloof, far away from our lives, distant […]

He withdrew

Posted on: Sunday, May 28th, 2017 in: Sermons

Psalm 47, Luke 24:50-53 May 28, 2017—Ascension Day Isaac Villegas What did Jesus want? In thinking about this scene from the end of Luke’s Gospel, the ascension of Jesus, I’m wondering if this is what he wanted. This departure, this exit. “Lifting up his hands,” it says, “he blessed them. While he blessed them, he […]

A Contaminated Christ

Posted on: Monday, May 15th, 2017 in: Sermons

1 Corinthians 2:1-12 February 5, 2017 Sarah Jacoby In our New Testament reading for today, Paul is talking about the wisdom of God. It’s one of Paul’s homerun passages: the classic paradox of God choosing the weak and despised things of the world as the vehicles of wisdom. Throughout these beginning chapters of 1st Corinthians, […]

I am the gate

Posted on: Monday, May 15th, 2017 in: Sermons

John 10:1-10 May 7, 2017 Catherine Thiel Lee A few years ago I worked sporadically as a farmhand down the road in Efland. Most days I helped pick vegetables, gather eggs, and pitch in with whatever chores were on hand. Fickle Creek Farm is fairly small, with a wide variety of crops and livestock and […]

the burning within

Posted on: Sunday, April 30th, 2017 in: Sermons

Luke 24:13-35 April 30, 2017 Isaac Villegas “Stay with us” (Luke 24:32). That’s what Cleopas and the other disciple say to the stranger on the road—the stranger who they finally recognize as Jesus when he takes their bread, blesses it, breaks it, and feeds them in what appears to be a kind of Communion meal. […]


Posted on: Monday, April 24th, 2017 in: Sermons

April 23, 2017: Second Sunday of Easter John 20:19-31 Meghan Florian Last week, on Easter Sunday, Isaac talked about Mary, the first preacher, about Jesus’ noncoercive call, and about naming. I carried this message about the mother of our faith around with me this week as I thought about the message Mary brings to the […]

Mary Magdalene, mother of our Easter faith

Posted on: Sunday, April 16th, 2017 in: Sermons

John 20:1-18 Easter: April 16, 2017 Isaac Villegas John 20, verse 1: “Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark,” it says, “Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed.” It was still dark. The dark night of Good Friday lingered into Easter morning, […]


Posted on: Thursday, April 13th, 2017 in: Sermons

Holy Thursday, 2017 Isaac Villegas This morning, in the parking lot of La Superior grocery store in Durham, I washed feet as part of a service of solidarity for members of our immigrant community. There a young girl, maybe eight years old—I can’t remember how many times I washed her feet. She kept on getting […]

Who is this?

Posted on: Sunday, April 9th, 2017 in: Sermons

Matt 21:1-11 April 9, 2017 Isaac Villegas Matthew 21, verse 10: “When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, ‘Who is this?’” That’s what the people ask—the shopkeepers on the corner, the residents scurrying through the city on errands, pilgrims on their way to the Temple, children playing in the streets, servants […]