I would imagine that being good parents to Jesus could be challenging. Mary & Joseph probably felt they should pay attention to what Jesus was thinking, and guide him in learning their faith traditions. Jesus may have just celebrated his bar mitzvah, and this Passover pilgrimage would have piqued his curiosity, so if he was like the intelligent, inquisitive Middle School boys we have worshipped with in this congregation, I can picture him asking his folks a lot of questions, and maybe he even cracked some jokes!
Moses is leading the enslaved Israelites out of Egypt, the Lord parts the waters & they cross the sea ahead of Pharaoh’s army, which is then drowned. Then they set off across the desert, but within the first few days they are grumbling & complaining that they need food and water. Wait a minute! How is that possible? They didn’t know they were going to leave the empire to go to the Promised Land?
Grace & Peace to you this morning; Grace & Peace. In contrast to the reading from the Torah, the Gospel passage this morning contains one of the most familiar verses for modern Americans, John 3:16. Our problem may be that this verse is Too Familiar, too easily quoted without knowing what the context is for […]
May Hope, Joy, Peace & Love be with you this morning, and throughout the week. The Lectionary makes a transition now, as we move into Year B of the three-year rotation of scripture; the Gospel changes from Matthew to Luke. The Gospel of Luke is a literary masterpiece. This narrative declares that the life and […]
The gospel lesson for today follows the passage from last week, with the Pharisees still questioning Jesus in an attempt to set him up or trick him into saying something they could use against him. This time their question is, “Which is the greatest commandment?” According to the Pharisees at that time, all of the commandments were equally important, so asking which is the most important becomes a trick question. Jesus gives them two commandments, “Love God, and love your neighbor.” However, we quickly realize that we must clarify what it means for any person to love; is it just a warm fuzzy feeling, or an absence of hatred, or an absence of apathy, or does it imply some specific behaviors?
Grace to you this morning in abundance; grace and peace. The gospel lesson this morning from the 22nd chapter of Matthew describes an encounter between Jesus and some of the “good citizens of the community.” We are told at the beginning that this was a trap by the Pharisees in response to Jesus teaching a […]
Grace and peace be with you this morning. St. Paul has some funny advice for the new church in Rome, & for all of us: love one another, rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering. Hold on there just minute! Be patient in suffering? Where does that come from? Why is that supposed to be […]
People hear and understand in different ways, perhaps due to their unique circumstances and personalities. Jesus explains to his disciples that the seeds represent people, but their failure to understand is caused by Satan stealing the awareness from the person. Even those who hear the word with joy are sometimes unable to persevere, when persecution or trouble arises on account of the Word.
The author of the First Letter of Peter proclaims that we have been given a new birth into a living hope. We have become new people with a new future, which is more important than whatever sort of problems are currently making us feel stressed-out. That is what the Christ experience means; we are transformed by the love of Jesus and the renewal of our spirit through the Holy Spirit. So, what does that really mean?