Being the church means being in covenant, and seeing people how God sees them. The God who makes us free from Pharaoh and Egypt, free from Caesar and Rome, free from just being cogs in the marketplace. It means that the inherent worth, dignity, values, love for, hope for, and place in the people for whom Jesus lived, died and rose again, of each and every person is the same. Continue reading
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History is painful, so why revisit it? Whenever we hear someone say that we are past racism, it is a way of covering over our history as a nation, denying that systems and institutions have disadvantage large segments of society. What is desired is a pleasant fiction that the playing field is now level, and even, and we all start from here and move forward. Such an ahistorical view denies reality. Continue reading
You have been through the valley of the shadow of death. I know some of your stories. Some of you have walked through the valley of the dry bones of broken relationships, or loss of employment, or loss of health, or the death of a loved one, where your heart lies there on the dry and dusty valley floor, and you have cried to God, “Lord, can anything in this valley of dry bones live?”
And maybe some are still walking there today… Continue reading
In his book, Six Hours One Friday, Max Lucado tells the story of how he and his boat survived a hurricane. An old fisherman gave Max the advice to take his boat to deep water, drop four anchors off each … Continue reading
How can we get answers to a question that was never asked? I’m not saying that Google isn’t an option, but it never will give you any real substance. To get meaningful answers and actual help, you need to ask questions. We all need to ask questions. Continue reading
When Phil asked me last Sunday night to fill in for Dawn who was originally subbing for Phil, I was excited to have the opportunity to preach once again. In the cold light of Monday morning, with the realization that … Continue reading
Forgive us God, as we forgive those around us. Forgive us where we have failed, messed up, gotten it wrong, or hurt ourselves or someone else, as we forgive those who we feel have failed us, have messed up our stuff, have gotten it wrong and hurt us or those we love.
That little word “as” can get us in all sorts of trouble. Continue reading
There is a story I heard many years ago about a woman walking in Chicago in the winter time. She saw a homeless man walking along without a coat. She was struck by his plight and she turned around and took off her coat and gave it to him. And he said, “You really don’t know what I need, do you?”
Chances are, if we have not been in contact with people struggling with poverty, we don’t know what it is that they need. Things like food, and shelter and clothing, but also dignity and safety and rest. Continue reading
In Genesis, it is said that God planned on making human beings in God’s image and likeness, and giving humanity dominion over all the creatures and beasts and cattle and creeping things on earth. And the word “dominion” has cause no end of debate.
Are we to dominate and subdue the whole earth, using all of it for our own purposes, to meet our own needs, wants and desires? Or are we designed to be God’s lieutenants, taking care of creation on behalf of God?
There is a phrase used twice in our Gospel story this morning. And in storytelling, when a phrase gets used over and over, you know it is important. The angel says it. Then Jesus says it.
Do. Not. Be. Afraid. Continue reading