After Weeping and Ashes…Easter Joy

John 18:1-20                                                                            April 21, 2019 The earliest Easter artwork, in the 4th century of Christianity, shows two Roman soldiers keeping watch at the tomb, one is asleep and sees nothing, the other is awake and staring at the empty tomb.  I love the mystery in this artistic portrayal.  If you aren’t awake and aware, you … Continue reading After Weeping and Ashes…Easter Joy

Let’s Put Mary Back Into Christmas

Scripture:  Luke 1:39-57 When you think of Mary the Mother of Jesus, what is the first word that comes to your mind.  I’ll bet that many of you the word was “virgin.”  As Protestants we do not speak much of Mary, we feel awkward with all this blessed virgin language and she can seem lost … Continue reading Let’s Put Mary Back Into Christmas

You Are Not Far from the Kingdom of God

Mark 12:28-34                                                                                 November 4, 2018 What will we do with ourselves until election results come in on Tuesday night?  The campaigns are at the fever pitch of a World Wide Wrestling cage match.  The difference is we know pro wrestling is fake, whereas politics effects our real lives and live ammunition is often involved.  We have seen all the … Continue reading You Are Not Far from the Kingdom of God

Created for Community

Genesis 2:18-24                                                         October 7, 2018 Following the news cycle this week felt like being caught in traffic behind an accident.  When it is my turn to pass the carnage, it is hard to resist the urge to slow down and take it all in, no matter how much I want to get through the bottle neck … Continue reading Created for Community

The Last Shall be First (Mark 9:30-37)

The last shall be first, and the first shall be last. Service is the path to greatness. Welcome children, and people who are the most vulnerable and powerless.  It all makes you wonder what kind of hippie commune Jesus was raised in.  Do you really believe the last should be first, or do you just hope the … Continue reading The Last Shall be First (Mark 9:30-37)

Jesus in Three Hymns – Mark 8:28-37

Jesus asked, “Who do you say that I am?”  It’s a question of utmost importance, but also elusive.  We are trying to understand an historical person, reading ancient texts, translated from a different language, and sorting through sedimentary layers of previous generation of thought and belief.  I enjoy reading great biographers who seek to encapsulate … Continue reading Jesus in Three Hymns – Mark 8:28-37

Peter’s Rebuke

Mark 8:31-38     I have every sympathy with Peter in this text. He is caught up in a very exciting moment. Jesus just asked, “Who do you say that I am?”  Peter is the first to speak the truth. “You are the messiah, the Christ,” he answers Jesus. Peter senses the long-awaited moment when the … Continue reading Peter’s Rebuke

Even Jesus Struggled with Bias

Mark 7:24-30   I can’t believe this is what Jesus said!  Here is a woman in distress, who needs healing for her daughter, who is apparently demon-possessed.  (Aren’t you in sympathy with her already?)  Jesus helps people like this throughout Mark’s Gospel – Jesus heals blind Bartimaeus, ten lepers, a centurion’s daughter.  He heals a … Continue reading Even Jesus Struggled with Bias

“Overlooked and Under-Considered”

Have you ever had the experience of shaking hands with someone and they were already looking for someone else before they let your hand drop, as if you were obstructing their view?  I remember visiting a church on a vacation and as soon as the pastor found out that we were not prospective new members, … Continue reading “Overlooked and Under-Considered”

Jesus Confronts the Propagandists

Mark 3:20-35 Mark’s Gospel lesson today shows us how propaganda works.  Set the terms of a debate by labeling your opponent first, and attach them to something abhorrent.  Here is how Jesus’s opponents do it.  “You are in league with Beezlebul.”   You’re working for the devil, aren’t you, that is where your power comes from!  … Continue reading Jesus Confronts the Propagandists