May 2016 Archives

Jesus healed the beloved servant of a gentile, breaking the Jewish norms, and inviting all to the table. In our confirmation, we become adult in the church, in service to all who are suffering.

Please listen to the sermon rather than read it.  The delivered sermon is often considerably different than the sermon notes which are included for convenience below.  

Sermon delivered at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Berkeley. 

May 29, 2016 - 2nd Sunday after Pentecost

"Confirmation and the Left Out".  Text is from Luke 7:1-10

Click here for sermon audio





Good morning to you my sisters and brothers, saints and sinners, disciples of Christ and children of God.

Our Gospel is about the faith of a Roman centurion, a citizen of the empire that has put the nation of Israel under their boot. This man is a gentile and probably has been a pagan for most of his life. And then he arrives in this city, Capernaum, which is a relatively minor village in Galilee, but a home for the primarily Jewish people, and it is one that he has come to love. 

And indeed, the people of Capernaum have come to love him as well, because they are the ones who reached out to find Jesus who they'd heard so much about, the man who heals the sick and has reputedly made other miracles happen. And although many view him as a rabbi or some other kind of Jewish Holy Man, the people of Capernaum have decided to take a chance and approach Jesus to help this man who they admire. This man who put the money forth so that they may study Torah and worship God with each other. 


The good work that we do is not just for people like us. 

This is an unrehearsed homily, so there is no accompanying text!  

Helmet_typ_Weissenau_01.jpg

Sermon delivered at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Berkeley. 

May 25, 2016 - 2nd Wednesday after Pentecost

"Second Wednesday after Pentecost".  Text is from Luke 7:1-10



holy trinity graphic.png

The Trinity is a doctrine that attempts to define what God is. What matters most however, is what God is to us.  

Please listen to the sermon rather than read it.  The delivered sermon is often considerably different than the sermon notes which are included for convenience below.  

Sermon delivered at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Berkeley. 

May 22, 2016 - Holy Trinity Sunday

"Ascended friend".  Text is from Luke 24:44-53

Click here for sermon audio





Good morning to you my sisters and brothers, saints and sinners, disciples of Christ and children of God.

Father, Son and Spirit.

God in three persons.

The trinity.  

Last Sunday we celebrated an evet in the life of the church, the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus Christ. Today we celebrate a doctrine that arises based on our imperfect understanding of who God is, based on the words we from the mouth of Jesus Christ as spoken through his disciples and through the writers of the gospels, handed down to us through the centuries.

And our reading today consists of four very short verses in John which come from the section of the gospel known as the Farewell Discourse, that incredibly rich and lengthy dialogue that took place during the Last Supper in which Jesus explains to his disciples what is about to occur and what shall occur after he is gone. As we know, their lives were not all sunshine and daffodils after Jesus rose, but there is certainly some comfort to be found along the course of this dialogue, found in the gospel of John, also known as the Gospel of Love. 

One of these days I will be getting around to posting about each and every one of my tattoos and explain the symbolism behind each and every one.  Although there are at least a couple that I got because I just wanted to get them, but have managed to create post-symbolism after the fact. It's all about symbolism is it not? 

But I had to post about the most recent one, in honor of my grandmother, Myrtle Spigner, who died last January 2015. I'd been long trying to figure out what it was that I was going to get in her honor, particularly given that she was not especially fond of tattoos. Nevertheless, she still wanted to see what I had on me just so she could shake her head about it.  

And yet, she was such an integral part of my formation and identity, particularly with respect to my call to ministry. 

Myrtle Spigner was a devout Christian all her life, with an unwavering faith of a quality that I have rarely seen even in church. And when she passed away last year at the age of 91, I felt a deep and abiding loss.

She did not live to see me ordained, although she knew it was the path I was heading to, as my ordination finally came seven months later on August 30. 

The tattoo that I got in her honor, prominent on my left forearm, is a cross surrounded by crépe myrtle flowers. I made the design via Photoshop by splicing a metal cross tattoo flash art with a botanical drawing of crépe myrtle, which I diced and sliced and printed. The tattoo itself was done by East Bay Shorty who is a tattoo artist living in Bozeman, Montana (see East Bay Shorty's facebook page here) in two sessions, the first in March at my home in Richmond, California and finished on a trip I took to Bozeman in May.  


Crepe Myrtle Cross tattoo left.jpgCrepe Myrtle Cross tattoo right.jpg
 I think Momma Myrtle would be okay with this.

What does the Ascension--and by extension, the Resurrection--mean for us today? One thing it means is that the one who is to judge us is well known as a friend to sinners. 

lease listen to the sermon rather than read it.  The delivered sermon is often considerably different than the sermon notes which are included for convenience below.  

Sermon delivered at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Berkeley. 

May 8, 2016 - Ascension Sunday

"Ascended friend".  Text is from Luke 24:44-53

Click here for sermon audio





Good morning to you my sisters and brothers, saints and sinners, disciples of Christ and children of God.

We have spent the last few Sundays preparing ourselves for the departure of Jesus from among his disciples. Indeed, since he returned from the dead, he's made quite a number of his appearances, and we've gone back to the farewell discourse so we could remind ourselves about what Jesus told his faithful apostles what the departure means to them.  We've felt their anxieties, held their hands with their questions to Jesus, been with them to understand what was this mystery, that Jesus meant, that he would not be among us any more, that he would physically be taken up into the midst of God, while leaving his Holy Spirit among us to keep us company.  

And now that time is here. We see that Jesus is to arise into his glory, with his final words on earth shared among the fortunate few that were witness to his time on earth. We remember what he's told them, and through them, us: "Stick together. Love one another as I have loved you. I have to go to the Father. If you loved me, you would be happy for me that I go to the Father." And while we want to be happy for him, to us there is a certain feeling of loss, the same kind of feeling when a good friend or loved sibling decides to find better opportunities in another city. It pulls at our hearts.

Jesus gifts us peace and love during is parting time. He also left us the Holy Spirit so we would not be alone. 

lease listen to the sermon rather than read it.  The delivered sermon is often considerably different than the sermon notes which are included for convenience below.  

Sermon delivered at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Berkeley. 

May 1, 2016 - Sixth Sunday in Easter

"Parting Gift".  Text is from John 14:23-29

Click here for sermon audio





Good morning to you my sisters and brothers, saints and sinners, disciples of Christ and children of God.

Jesus continues to answer questions of his disciples in what has come to be known as the Farewell Discourse in the gospel of John, those words that he offers to his disciples to let them know what is to become of him and what they are to do when he is no longer physically with them. And although we are in the season of resurrection, the Easter season, the time between when the empty tomb was discovered and the time when Jesus finally ascends into heaven, there are some very good reasons why we have gone back in John to hear Jesus's words about his leaving. Because in this text, we can finally reflect on what it must have certainly meant to the disciples to have Jesus the man be gone from their presence at last, and yet what it means to have him yet walking alongside them.  

The new heaven and the new earth hat God is offering to us in the end does not supplant the need to steward the earth now. 

a descent-of-new-jerusalem-patricia-wagner.jpg

 This is an unrehearsed homily, so there is no accompanying text!  

Sermon delivered at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Berkeley. 

April 27, 2016 - Fifth Wednesday in Easter

"Fifth Wednesday in Easter".  Text is from Revelation 21:10, 22--22:5


Powered by Movable Type 5.14-en

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from May 2016 listed from newest to oldest.

April 2016 is the previous archive.

June 2016 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

About the Author

I *am* Cary Bass-Deschenes
Written by Cary Bass-Deschenes
Website © Cary Bass-Deschenes, 2003-2014. All of the content on this website is available under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 license unless otherwise indicated.