Rob Gieselmann

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Sermons and Bible Studies

The Modern Mantra, Trinity Sunday (C) – 2013

May 26, 2013

It’s the modern mantra. People chant it all the time: “I’m spiritual, but not religious. I’m spiritual, but not religious.” “Religion” has become a dirty word. Maybe it’s the nun who rapped your knuckles with a ruler when you were 8 years old. Maybe it is arcane morality, rules that do not suit the 21st […]

Crooked Little Heart, Lent 3 (C) – 2013

March 03, 2013

In the movie “The American President,” Annette Bening plays Sydney Ellen Wade, an environmental lobbyist. Her job is to convince the White House to advocate for higher automobile emission standards. During her first trip to the White House, she meets with A.J. MacInerney, the President’s Chief of Staff, played by Martin Sheen. During their meeting, […]

Complex Darkness, Advent 3 (C) – 2012

December 16, 2012

[RCL]: Zephaniah 3:14-20; Canticle 9; Philippians 4:4-7; Luke 3:7-18 Technically, Christmas lasts 12 days. It starts at sundown Christmas Eve and continues until January 6, the Epiphany. In the old days, Christians refrained from Christmas celebration until Christmas Eve. Not even the tree would go up before then, as people respected the holy anticipation of […]

We All Do What We Can, Epiphany 2 (B) – 2012

January 15, 2012

Hannah was barren. She could not have children. In the ancient times, this was a disgrace, but her husband loved her and did not care. Hannah cared. She stood deeply ashamed in the presence of other women. She was an underdog. Like so many of us who turn to the Lord when we need help, […]

God. Is Too Big For…, Trinity Sunday (A) – 2011

June 19, 2011

God. Is too big for your brain. You cannot capture nor contain God. In the movie “Three Weddings and Funeral,” the hapless priest repeatedly butchers the name of the Trinity: “In the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spicket,” he says at one wedding, and at another, “Father, Son, and Holy Goat.” Which reminds […]

Holy Dying, Good Friday – 2011

April 22, 2011

Holy dying. There is a truth about the phrase “holy dying,” which seems to come from the title of Jeremy Taylor’s work, The Exercises of Holy Living and Holy Dying, written in the 1600s. The truth is this: dying is often holy – from time to time, when dying becomes beautiful, when it is astonishingly […]

A Man Was Walking through the Mall…, Feast of the Epiphany – 2011

January 06, 2011

A man was walking through the mall. He came to an escalator and decided to go up a floor. As he approached, he noticed a warning sign: “Dogs must be carried on escalator.” The man grew anxious, desperate even, as he looked around, asking himself, “Where am I going to find a dog?” The star […]

Sometimes People Want…, Christ the King (C) – 2010

November 21, 2010

Sometimes, people want to know why, in the Gloria, we use the phrase “sin of the world,” singular, rather than “sins of the world,” plural. Good question. But first let’s start with today’s gospel reading. Jesus is mocked. He is on the cross, suffering the additional abuse of soldiers and criminals. “Some King you are! […]

The Promise of Pentecost…, Day of Pentecost (C) – 2010

May 23, 2010

[NOTE TO READER: In paragraph 22, the Hebrew word ruach is pronounced “ROO-ark.”] The promise of Pentecost is baptism. “The one coming after me,” the Baptist promised, “will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” This Pentecostal promise speaks not of some infantile christening, the dribbling of water across the crown, water wiped […]

Light Is Born, Christmas Eve – 2009

December 24, 2009

The stars in Africa shine brightly. Like when you were a child, and there was far less light pollution than there is now. The dark of a night without moon would ignite the stars as bright sparks. The stars in Africa are those sparks. If you look patiently, you can see the Milky Way, as […]

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Christopher Sikkema