In the 1997-1998 school year, I taught in an old two-story school building. K-12 in one building. And everyone ate lunch together. All the little children ate with their older brothers and sisters and cousins. It was really a beautiful experience. And 6-man football playing on a 50-yard field with all the trucks parked around … Continue reading Who Are You?
In some church denominations, this coming Sunday, November 21, is Christ the King Sunday. This day is significant in the lifecycle of the church community for several reasons, but there is an historic foundation to its inception. I’d like to tell you about it. In 1925, the world was in significant turmoil. While World War … Continue reading Christ, the King
I remember when I was in college I wanted to be a counselor. Differences in how people respond to situations fascinated me, and I particularly enjoyed abnormal psychology. I also enjoyed child psychology, nature versus nurture, and how children reacted during different circumstances and to various types of people. And, how situations in childhood could … Continue reading Why do you stay?
There is a poem by Portia Nelson that tells the story of self-discovery. It goes something like this: I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost... I am helpless. It isn't my fault. It takes forever to find a way out. I walk down … Continue reading What should we do now?
There’s a story written by a brilliant, moral fiber of our American South. An author of significant renown who, upon hearing about the death of a neighbor, said, “I did not attend his funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying that I approved of it.” This witty man of significant depth of character, two … Continue reading What should I ask for?
Thomas Wolfe wrote an incredible story about a man named George Webber. George, our protagonist of the story, writes a scandalous yet, from his perspective, accurate reflection of his experiences growing up in deep-south Libya Hill. Initially, when news of a hometown boy’s story gets published, the town is overjoyed that one of their own … Continue reading Who does he think he is?
Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote: “Below the thunders of the upper deep; Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea, His ancient, dreamless, uninvited sleep The Kraken sleeps: faintest sunlights flee About his shadowy sides: above him swell Huge sponges of millennial growth and height; And far away into the sickly light, From many a wondrous grot … Continue reading When is this ever going to get easier?
"Once there was a tree.... and she loved a little boy. And everyday the boy would come and he would gather her leaves and make them into crowns and play king of the forest. He would climb up her trunk and swing from her branches and eat apples. And they would play hide-and-go-seek. And when … Continue reading Are you sure it’s me that you really need?
I’m not a joke teller. I couldn’t even tell a knock knock joke to save my life. I always get the punch line wrong or I forget to tell an important nugget of the story that is critical to making the joke actually work. So, if you ever hear me tell a complete and funny … Continue reading Did Jesus redefine what family actually is?
One of my favorites movies, probably in my top 5 favorites, is a movie called High Fidelity. It’s about a man, John Cusack, who owns a record store and measures the activities and reactions of his life to the lyrics of music. And everything is measured on a “top 5” scale. He has a conversation … Continue reading What?! Those People Too?
It’s Spring, and many of you are outside working in your gardens, gathering up the few piles of dried leaves, pulling weeds, and planting new flowers and bushes. The process of planting and nurturing and growing can be challenging and incredibly rewarding. Click here for a link to the lectionary reading for the day. When … Continue reading Are You a Liar?
What didn't make it into the sermon from Sunday? As I worked through the lectionary readings for Sunday's sermon, the most significant image that reverberated throughout the passages (click here for a link to the Lectionary Readings for the day) was that of the Shepherd. The Shepherd who was the chief cornerstone that the builders … Continue reading Who or What is this “Hired Man”?
Every once in a while, a ewe will give birth to a lamb and reject it. If the lamb is returned to the ewe, the mother may even kick the poor babe away. Once a ewe rejects one of her lambs, she will never change her mind. These little lambs will hang their heads so … Continue reading Who is the Bummer Sheep?
To say that 2020 has been tension-filled is an understatement! But, as we continue in our Advent Season, we are reminded even more acutely the push/pull dynamic that exists both within and without us! Our passage from the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55) encourages, "He has cast down the mighty..., and haslifted up the lowly...He has filled the hungry...and the rich … Continue reading Sermon Seeds: Advent 3
Lectionary Readings for Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 Often we focus our attention on the Gospel readings for Sundays and perhaps using the Epistle and Old Testament readings as periphery or context. As we all know and are probably tired or frustrated of hearing this: 2020 has been a challenging year. And, given the vast array … Continue reading Sermon Seeds: First Sunday of Advent
Gospel Reading We "title" this text as the parable of the talents, and we view it as the one worker who squanders his gift. But, I want to highlight a different player in the game: the landowner. The Gospel text tells us that the landowner was "a harsh man, reaping where [he] did not sow, … Continue reading It Doesn’t Matter What They Are Doing!
Lectionary Reading for Sunday, November 1, 2020 We celebrate All Saints Day remembering all those mighty prayer warriors and giants in the faith who have gone before us. As we pause for a moment a reflect on their lives, I pray that we dig deeply into what characteristics of their lives strikes us. Was it … Continue reading Sermon Seeds: Nov 1, 2020
Our passage in Deuteronomy informs us that God shares new information with Moses and Aaron. God has Moses climb to the peak of a hill and survey all the beautiful land below. As Moses views this vast land, God informs him that both he and Aaron will not enter into this land. And, while this … Continue reading Sermon Seeds: Oct. 25, 2020
We have one of the first examples of intercessory prayer as we see Moses appeal to God on behalf of the Israelite people. Moses implores God to "consider this nation as your people." God's promise to Abraham continues to be fulfilled as He protects and provides for the sojourning nation. As Paul begins his letter … Continue reading Sermon Seeds: Oct. 11, 2020
In Exodus, God is reminding the Israelites that His relationship with them has been established from the days of Abraham. He reinforces His faithfulness to them and underscores His name. This reinforcement comes in the form of the 10 Commandments. In Matthew, Jesus tells the Jewish church leaders that they will reject Him as He … Continue reading Sermon Seeds: Oct. 4, 2020
Sunday marked the highest holy day in the Jewish tradition: Yom Kippur. Historically, this was the day that Moses received the second set of the Ten Commandments. In practice, Yom Kippur is the day one searches deep in the heart and mind and seeks forgiveness of all wrongs done against neighbors and God and makes … Continue reading Sermon Seeds: Sept. 27, 2020
Sermon Seeds: Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020 It's not about me. As Moses and Aaron led the Israelites through the wilderness, the people cried out for food. They complained about the new troubles they faced from what they had become accustomed to in Egypt. Moses and Aaron understood that instead of the Israel nation complaining against … Continue reading Sermon Seeds: Sept. 20, 2020
Sermon Seeds: Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020 "Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds. Those who observe the day, observe it in honor of the Lord. Also those who eat, eat in honor of the Lord, since … Continue reading Romans 14:5-6