Susan Butterworth, M.A., M.Div, is a writer, teacher, singer, and lay minister. She leads Song & Stillness: Taizé @ MIT, a weekly ecumenical service of contemplative Taizé prayer at the interfaith chapel at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She teaches writing and literature to college undergraduates and writes book reviews, essays, and literary reference articles.
Sermons and Bible Studies
[RCL] Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4; Psalm 119:137-144; Luke 19:1-10; 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12 Trouble and distress have come upon me, yet your commandments are my delight. The righteousness of your decrees is everlasting; grant me understanding, that I may live. Amen. Today’s scripture lessons present a unified whole, in lovely, surprising connections. The prophet Habakkuk is […]
[RCL] Exodus 34:29-35; Psalm 99 or 99:5-9; 2 Peter 1:13-21; Luke 9:28-36 [God] spoke to them out of the pillar of cloud; they kept his testimonies and the decree that he gave them. O Lord our God, you answered them indeed (Psalm 99). Amen. The setting of today’s reading from Luke, the Transfiguration, is visually balanced, the […]
[RCL] Isaiah 62:1-5; Psalm 36:5-10; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11; John 2:1-11 “Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, and your faithfulness to the clouds… For with you is the well of life, and in your light we see light” (Psalm 36: 5, 9). In today’s reading from the Gospel of John, we encounter Jesus at […]
RCL: 1 Samuel 8:4-11, (12-15), 16-20, (11:14-15); Psalm 138; 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1; Mark 3:20-35 “We look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18) In the Gospel of Mark, the emphasis is on Jesus […]
RCL: Acts 10:34-43 or Isaiah 25:6-9; Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 or Acts 10:34-43; John 20:1-18 or Mark 16:1-8 Alleluia, Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia! In this account of the Resurrection from the Gospel of John, we encounter Mary Magdalene in an intimate moment of great loss. Three times in […]
The Paradox of Judas: ultimate betrayer or player in the cosmic drama of salvation? Today’s gospel passage begins, “After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared ‘Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.’” Looking back to what Jesus has just said, we hear these words, spoken after he has […]
[RCL]: Joel 2:1-2,12-17 or Isaiah 58:1-12; Psalm 103 or 103:8-14; 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10; Matthew 6:1-6,16-21 Dear People of God: I invite you to the observance of a holy Lent, a time to renew our repentance and faith, by prayer, fasting, and self-denial, and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word (paraphrased from the Book […]
Acts 11:1-18 The Acts of the Apostles depicts Jesus’ early followers as observant Jews and the beginnings of the church as rooted within Judaism, yet is concerned with the expansion of the church from those origins to a movement spread throughout the Roman Empire. In the first part of today’s passage, verses 1-3, Peter’s fellow […]
In today’s gospel passage, we encounter the Bethany family: siblings Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. We have met Martha and Mary before, in the well-known passage from Luke’s gospel (Luke 10:38-42) when Jesus and his disciples rest on the road to Jerusalem in the home of sisters Mary and Martha. Remember that Martha, doing all the […]
“After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.” – Luke 2:21 January 1, the Feast of the Holy Name, is a day when we encounter an interweaving of spiritual traditions: a mystical attachment […]
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord my strength and my redeemer. Today we have heard some of the most beautiful, painful, heart-wrenching passages of scripture, juxtaposed with one of the holiest, most beautiful, painful, heart-wrenching moments of the Christian story. Jesus, our […]
Come, Holy Spirit, let us go up to the mountain. Open our ears to hear God’s voice in the clouds. Open our eyes to see God’s glory shine through the veil. Open our hearts to trust that God is always with us on the journey, so that when we come down from the mountain, we […]
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