This week I was trying to get a feel for what the disciples were thinking and seeing as they walked through the great Temple in Jerusalem. Through the power of the web I was able to find out a great deal about the size and layout of the Second Temple, which had been renovated by … Continue reading Luke 21:5-19 “Not a Stone Left”
February 22, 2015 Mark 1:9-15 Wilderness, in the Bible, is a vast, empty space where life is harsh if not impossible. We may think of wilderness where Lewis and Clark trekked, across forest, river and mountains of space with little human contact. But the Sinai is more empty, bleak, with almost no visual changes to … Continue reading The Wilderness Temptation
(This image is a German painting of the Tree of Jesse from Wurzberg from 1240 to 1250.) When times get tough, people are inclined to hope in a greater power outside themselves to come and rescue them. Some people hope that a good relationship with save them, that a knight in shining armor will … Continue reading Isaiah 11:1-10 “The Tree of Jesse”
I am not a pacifist; I believe that we must pursue justice. Yet a Christian history stained by anti-Semitism—holding an entire people responsible for the actions of a few—teaches us the terrible consequences of not following Jesus' way. We dare not do to Muslims what we have, to our shame, done to Jews. Philip Yancey, … Continue reading How Evangelical Leaders Have Changed Since 9/11 | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction
Here's are a few of my thoughts as I prepare to preach this month, with some news items, preaching ideas, and links to past sermons. Please comment and share your thoughts on the month as well. We are in the middle section of Mark's Gospel throughout the month, where Jesus demonstrates the nature of his … Continue reading September 2018 Preaching Themes
This weekend's news of the White Supremacist rally in Charlottesville once again brought the nation's conflicts and news cycle into our Sunday. It is always challenging to decide which events to preach about, because the current turmoil brings us a new topic every week. Each week I try to balance the experience of worship, the … Continue reading This again?
A shepherd’s job is to care for the sheep. Psalm 23 gives us a good idea of the job description. “He maketh me lie down in green pastures, He leadeth me beside still waters.” Sheep need food and a place to graze. Sheep need plenty of good clean water to survive. So a shepherd pays … Continue reading What Makes the Shepherd Good?
Two weeks ago, while leading a workshop at Super Saturday, and I noticed someone from my past. “Beverly?” She didn’t recognize me, which is not surprising since I was 26 at the time and looked 18, and she must now be 90. “You taught me how to do funerals,” I plunged ahead. My first funeral, … Continue reading John 11:17-44 “Where Have You Been, Jesus”
I began the week knowing that I would be preaching on love your neighbor, love your enemies, and turn the other cheek. Since Gandhi and Martin Luther King saw our Gospel text as a strategy for nonviolent resistance to injustice, I watched for examples. Last Saturday our Church Vision and Organization meeting moved because the … Continue reading Are There Exceptions to the Golden Rule?
Jesus said we are to be the salt of the earth. Salt is one of the essential things for life that is often taken for granted and forgotten. You probably did not think much about salt this week, but consider how often you unknowingly use and need it. Salt is more than a condiment to … Continue reading Matthew 5:13-20 “Life Outside the Salt Shaker”