Psalm 79 Litany for the 18th Sunday after Pentecost


I adapted this litany / call to worship from the lectionary psalm for this Sunday, 22 September 2013 (Proper 20 [25] in Year C). The lament makes a nice turn to praise at the very end, but—just as in the psalm—it has to be earned. No easy answers this Sunday. How long, O Lord?      […]

Christchurch Cathedral When disaster leaves the remains of a church, with what do you rebuild? This question faces more than just New Zealanders: Christians as a whole are struggling with the fabric of our legacy and the material of our mission. Stone, steel, or cardboard? What do you think remains? I want to hear your response […]


Do You Know What I Have Done To You? A Sermon

Rick Beerhorst "Holy Week" woodcut

This sermon was preached at First United Methodist Church, Orange, Texas, on Maundy Thursday 2011. The Scripture is John 13:1-17, 31b-35. The camera pans out, and we see our hero, paralyzed, perhaps strapped to a chair. No escape. The James Bond villain, or perhaps an antagonist from CSI or some other police or mystery drama […]


Signs, Wisdom, and the Cross: A Call to Worship


A Call to Worship based on the epistle reading from the lectionary this week, 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 (CEB). Feel free to use this in your church on Sunday; just remember, this piece of liturgy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Where is God? Show me a sign that God […]


At Table in Jerusalem: A Hymn for Maundy Thursday

As it is now Holy Week, I’d like to share a hymn text I wrote for Maundy Thursday 2008. During that 2007-08 year, I taught a course on worship at Wesley United Methodist Church in Beaumont and that small group grew quite close to each other. I wrote this hymn in honor of that “Passionate […]


Ash Wednesday: A Poem


I never come to Lent prepared. Like much of life, I want to be ready but the little sandy dirty bits slowly clog the well-intentioned machinery I’ve built in my desires. How funny it is when I enter the sanctuary and see the pretty pottery holding the ashes of last year’s hopes– cold and damp– […]


O Emmanuel (December 23)

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=freedom&iid=5067290″ src=”a/8/0/9/Woman_with_son_25c3.jpg?adImageId=8552829&imageId=5067290″ width=”234″ height=”186″ /]O EMMANUEL, our ruler and lawgiver, the expectation and savior of the nations: Come and set us free, O Lord our God. O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lowly exile here until the Son of God appear. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come […]


O Rex Gentium (December 22)

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=crowd&iid=5094860″ src=”a/7/c/3/Colorful_Peace_flag_4550.jpg?adImageId=8517622&imageId=5094860″ width=”234″ height=”351″ /]O RULER OF THE GENTILES, their treasure and the cornerstone that binds them in one: Come and save those whom you formed from the dust. O come, Desire of nations bind all peoples in one heart and mind. From dust thou brought us forth to life; deliver us […]


O Oriens (December 21)


O DAWN from on high, splendor of God’s light and sun of justice: Come and enlighten those who sit in darkness, in the shadow of death. O come, thou Dayspring, come and cheer our spirits by thy justice here; disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and death’s dark shadows put to flight. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel […]


O Clavis David (December 20)

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=prisoner&iid=307008″ src=”0303/0000303718.jpg?adImageId=8500191&imageId=307008″ width=”234″ height=”151″ /]O KEY OF DAVID and scepter of Israel: You open and no one shall shut; you shut and no one shall open. Come and release from the prison house those who sit in darkness, in the shadow of death. O come, thou Key of David, come, and open […]