A Sermon on 1 Corinthians 7:1-11, 25-38 preached at the Covenant Network Conference, November 2, 2013: “It’s not that the text suggests something simple in the sense of something sentimental, that ‘all you need is love.’ No mention of love here in this chapter about marriage at all, in fact, not even from the man behind 1 Corinthians 13. No, the simple summary of Paul’s response to the swirling questions about marriage here, about celibacy and abstinence, about mutuality and submission, about complementarity and about sex, we might actually say, is: ‘All you need … is God.’”
A Sermon on Ruth 1:1-22 preached at the Covenant Network Conference, November 1, 2013: “What is married? We say it all the time at weddings, we say it to partners getting ready to marry, we say it to couples working hard to stay married: At its core, marriage is not about passion or emotion or physical attraction. It is not about feelings. At its core, marriage is about covenant, commitment. It is about shared hopes and shared struggles and shared life. At its very best, marriage is an embodiment of God’s hesed – God’s steadfast love and faithfulness.”
An Address to the 2013 Covenant Conference, November 1, 2013: “… I want to linger for a little while on appeals to creation that have resulted in damaging views of marriage, because they have been so pervasive and influential in Christian tradition. I want to make clear at the outset that these views of marriage have been destructive for all people, not just LGBT folks. The movement for marriage equality is an opportunity for Christians to go back and articulate a better theology of marriage for everyone. Why should Christians support marriage equality? It’s time…”
A sermon by the Rev. Brian D. Ellison at the ordination and installation of the Rev. Daniel Vigilante as Pastor, Grace Trinity Community Church, Minneapolis, and Associate Pastor, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Minneapolis, by the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area at Westminster Presbyterian Church, August 25, 2013.
A Sermon on 2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14, by the Rev. Brian D. Ellison, The First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York, Sunday, June 30, 2013: “You see, the dividing line—the Jordan River we all must cross—is not running on this Pride Sunday between LGBTQ on one side and straight on the other. Or between one group with problems and another. And it certainly isn’t between sinner and saint, for all would surely be on the same bank of the river then. The crossing over we are called to do—all of us—is from in here together to out there together. The Jordan of our lives is the threshold that so persistently separates us from Fifth Avenue and from the world. It is a line of demarcation between celebration and action, between faithful gratitude and trusting obedience. We carry with us all that happens in here, but then we cross over into the out there.”
A Sermon on Luke 7:1-10 by Brian Ellison, at Southminster Presbyterian Church, Boise, ID, June 2, 2013: “But this is the world. And this is where God is. When Jesus shows up we might like every story to be like a magic wand being waved. The leper is touched and the healing occurs. The mud is put on the eyes and sight is restored. But the world we live in is a Luke Chapter 7 world, and healing rarely happens that way. Justice is rarely a matter of a single spoken word. Every problem is not healed by each just action. The day you or I offer a cold cup of water to an overheated stranger, he will be better and a thousand more will still thirst. But the witness of the scriptures and the promise of the gospel is that it still matters. That, in fact, it couldn’t possibly matter any more. That this is the kingdom of God.”