As I shared last week, we have a re-occuring sacred history as we understand it: God makes a covenant, a promise, an agreement with God's people. We, the people, break the covenant. God gets angry and punishes the people. We, the people, repent and return to God. God welcomes us home and creates another covenant… Continue reading History Repeats!
Jesus' journey continues! Jesus is on a literal journey to Jerusalem, where he will be executed on the cross. The Pharisees that are often depicted in conflict with Jesus the Christ actively warn him not to continue his journey to Jerusalem. Jerusalem, the Holy City of God, has a harsh yet deserved reputation… Continue reading The Journey Continues
I made a mistake last Sunday. I mentioned that the disciples had been arguing about who was the favorite and asking Christ to favor them, but last week the disciples seemed to "get it". Well, I thought we had already had this text. The asking Christ to place them in positions of favor is our… Continue reading Expectations Meeting the Counter-Cultural Jesus
We are continually surrounded by the news and the media of our world and our country in violent unrest. I am not a political person, especially as a pastor and a preacher. However, my heart breaks at the violence that we are bearing witness. My heart breaks with the polarization of our world and our… Continue reading Boundaries Destroyed by Divine Love
Our congregation participated in a joint Good Friday service. We, the clergy, shared the responsibility of brief meditations on the last 7 "words" of Jesus. I was responsible for the 1st, 4th, and final "word" The First Word: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" - Luke 23: 34a As I pondered… Continue reading Good Friday: A Few of Jesus’ Words on the Cross
Our narrative (Mark 16: 1 - 8) this morning is built upon and continues from that of last Sunday. On Palm/Passion Sunday, we recalled the final week of Jesus' life from his triumphant entry into Jerusalem to his arrest, passion, crucifixion, death, and him placed within the tomb. Yet, this morning we joyfully proclaim another mystery… Continue reading The Invitation: Pondering Mark’s Resurrection Account
This morning mirrors the over-whelming emotional & liturgical roller-coaster awaiting us, which cannot be fully embraced or experienced in one worship service. This morning we experience the best of humanity, processing in worship with palm branches remembering the triumphant shouts of joy welcoming our Messiah-King into the holy city of Jerusalem. Yet, we also experience the worst of humanity bearing witness… Continue reading Passion Sunday: Why did Jesus “Have” to Die?
(This is what I plan to preach tonight, 18 Feb. 2015; but I don't use a manuscript.) I have spent the last week or so, setting up and organizing my scrapbook or craft room. The concept is that the room itself would be decorated with mementos from High School, College, my travels, and general adventures… Continue reading Lent: A Pious Christian Display?
Text: Matthew 13: 1-9, 18-23 We are shifting our focus to Jesus' teaching moments. He seemed to enjoy teaching in parables. As I pondered on the gospel this week, I realized that I have never preached on a parable. Also, I am always learning new things about myself, for example I am not a fan of preaching on the parables. Let… Continue reading “Foolishly” Throwing the Seeds: the Parable of the Sower
Text: Matthew 11: 16-19, 25-30 A final recap of this discipleship "mini-series": Discipleship is our participation in the Triune God's dance. Discipleship has the unpleasant reality of risks, including opposition, isolation, and conflict. Discipleship demands that we feed, tend, and love the entire creation, including all people. This picture of discipleship is not glamorous and… Continue reading The Shared Burden of Discipleship