Sermons & Other Thoughts from Rev. Brian Chenowith

Tag: James Luther Adams

The Corner of Fourth and Walnut

Our reading this Sunday came to us from the book, “Conjectures of a Guilty Bystanders,” by the Trappist monk, Thomas Merton, concerning his revelation at the corner of Fourth and Walnut in Louisville, KY.

There is something fantastic and yet mundane at the same time about the spiritual life. People have long thought about the depth of our inner world and how it relates to the grand scheme of life and all existence.

And yet, the greatest pieces of spiritual wisdom, in my opinion, are not the stories of saviors, creation, or Armageddon – but the simpler moments of routine living. Whether we ultimately identify those moments as spiritual or practical, I’ll leave that to the linguists.

But for me, as a minister, they are in the very least transcendent – teaching moments – unexpected – and harbingers of wisdom. I suspect we all long for those moments. We know what they are. Those unexpected glimpses of wonder with each passing day.

They come to us when we are stirring cream into our coffee, meet eyes with a stranger, or pause to behold the beauty of, yes, the world, but also the single moment we find ourselves in. I remember one such moment for myself. Read the rest of this entry »

Who Is The Prophet The World Needs Today?

NOTE: This was a multi-generational service that utilized several images during the sermon.  Most of the images were illustrating how UUCL kids answered the question:  “Who is the prophet the world needs today?”  Many of the images cannot be posted as they include the children themselves.

Our reading today comes to us from the Gospel of Mark.

…very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

Who is the prophet the world needs today? That’s quite a question for us to be asking here in this room on this day. Often this day is reserved for the celebration of Easter — the celebration of an ancient story about a man from Nazareth who preached a message of radical love and acceptance and a message of freedom and justice for the Israelites.

This message resounded throughout all of Israel — throughout all of the ancient world and now throughout all of the world today. It is something for us to gather here today and to remember the life of one man and the life of all his followers and the life of the community and the message that he created that spread throughout our world.

As Unitarian Universalists we come from the tradition of Jesus —though often walking into our churches today it may not even look like we come from the that tradition these days. Our symbols are different, our scriptures are broader and wider, our ideas of religion are far different than what they would have been if we were still a Christian religion. Read the rest of this entry »