Speaking Openly

Speaking Openly   Rev. Robert Hoch, Ph.D. First & Franklin Presbyterian Church Baltimore, Maryland February 25, 2018   Mark 8:27-38   Then Jesus began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days […]

Very Embarrassing

Very Embarrassing   Robert Hoch Ash Wednesday February 14, 2018   Psalm 51:1-17   Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is […]

Seeing with New Eyes

Seeing with New Eyes Isaiah 61:10-11; 62:1-4, 11-12 Luke 2:22-40 Lately, I’ve noticed that my eyesight isn’t as good as it used to be – I try to read at night, and it’s a matter of adjusting my arm and the book, to get to the distance where I can actually read the print. It […]

Eat Your Veg!

Eat Your Veg! 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22   “Eat your veg.”   “Say please and thank you.”   “Look both ways before you cross the street.”   “Don’t hit your sister.”   “Always tell the truth.”   Or my favorite: “Sit up straight — like a Christian!”[i]   That’s what Rebecca’s grandfather said to her when […]

Ready for Christmas?

Luke 2:1-20 by Robert Hoch Are you ready for Christmas? Are we ready for Christmas, America? I’m not sure we are. When Donald Trump promised to make America great again, we put him in the White House. But when Jesus came proclaiming good news to the poor, freedom to the captive, light for those who […]

Bricks and Mortar

One afternoon, not long ago, I stood outside our church, on Madison Avenue, watching as workers in a lift assessed the integrity of the spires. They had gathered quite a pile of rubble. It did not bring me great joy, as you can probably imagine. Quite the opposite. Something in me, surprising almost, felt grief. […]

Pledging Allegiance

Pledging Allegiance  Robert Hoch Exodus 20 1 Peter 2:9 Do you think our scripture from the book of Exodus, the Ten Commandments (which is sometimes called the Decalogue) is a “pledge-of-allegiance” sort of text? A place your right hand over your heart kind of text? It might be. It doesn’t seem to countenance much in […]

Rock Formations

  Rock Formations Robert P. Hoch Exodus 17:1-7 Hebrews 11:1-3 Our narrator tells us that there, in a place called Rephidim, the people thirsted. Wilderness surrounded them — and it wasn’t the wilderness you might find on a postcard or in an Ansel Adams photograph. My mother lived through the earthquake of 1964 in Alaska.It […]

Mostly Healthy

Mostly Healthy Psalm 31:16 & Acts 7:55-60       First & Franklin Presbyterian Church Baltimore, MD May 14, 2017  — Fifth Sunday of Easter Our psalmist is in a sorry state this morning. He hears whispers of terror all around. A net, he tells us, has been set for him. Our singer cries easily, […]

Sailing Lessons

Sailing Lessons Acts 1:3-14 Robert Hoch First & Franklin Presbyterian Church Baltimore, MD May 28, 2017  — Seventh Sunday of Easter Our scripture reading says that Jesus appeared to the disciples after his suffering and death; he presented himself alive; and for forty days, Jesus instructed them about himself and God’s kingdom, using “many convincing […]