“World Communion?”

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Oct. 4, 2020 Psalm 19:1-6 Philippians 3:4b-14   Throughout my 16 years of serving Methodist churches “World Communion Sunday” was something of a thing.  While we never went overboard with it, we took the opportunity to highlight the grace of the sacrament and acknowledge a practice and a kind of kinship that we shared with […]

“Is the Lord with Us or Not?”

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Sept. 27, 2020 Exodus 17:1-7 Philippians 2:1-13 Matthew 21:23-32   I file today’s gospel passage under the “Jesus is smarter than you” category of stories.  It’s like the passage about the lawfulness of paying taxes to the oppressive Roman Empire.  Jesus says, “look whose image in on that coin.  Give to Caesar what is his […]

“The Really Real.”

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Sept. 24, 2017 Matthew 20:1-16   I’m guessing that this parable is a familiar one. And I’m guessing that it is familiar because most of us on one level or another object to it.   Though the workers are hired at different times throughout the day the owner pays them all the same full daily […]

“Why Do You Judge?”

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Sept. 13, 2020 Romans 14:1-12 Matthew 18:21-35   I once disappointed Margaret Rose.  It was horrible.  She was the resident saint of my last church, a grandmotherly figure who even in the old photographs looked grandmotherly.  She had been at the church forever and had taught at the pre-school for just about as long.  Generations […]

“On Privilege and Loving One’s Neighbor.”

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August 30, 2020 Exodus 3:7-15 Romans 12:9-21 Matthew 16:21-28   One of the topics covered in the book we just read on Race is “privilege.”  To be sure, it is a lightening rod kind of a word, and honestly, I’m a bit concerned that in raising it now a portion of our gathering will lose […]

“The Role of Faith in Times of Crisis”.

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Sept. 6, 2020 Romans 13:8-14 Matthew 18:15-20   I think it is easy to feel lost in these times that we are living through now.  It is easy not to know what exactly to think or who to believe.  It is easy to feel hopeless about the direction we’re headed, angry while wishing we weren’t, […]

“Throwing Crumbs to Dogs”

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Aug. 16, 2020 Matthew 15:10-28   This gospel passage today is the subject of an ongoing dispute between preachers.  I experienced it again at my lectionary group on Tuesday mornings.  Half the group felt one way; the other half was summed up by a colleague who said, “Oh, I would never go there.”  He was […]

“Weeds and Wheat, Burning even Your Virtues Away”

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July 19, 2020 Genesis 28:10-19a Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43   I’m not a fan of the second half of this parable.  I don’t know anyone who is entirely wheat or entirely weed.  To see the world as black or white, good or evil, saved or unsaved just doesn’t seem right or accurate.  Life is complex, people […]

“Lament and Life in the Spirit”

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July 12, 2020 Psalm 119:105-112 Romans 8:1-11   I did my first Covid era funeral a couple of weeks ago. The whole service was held at the cemetery with a small, socially distanced, mask-wearing congregation of immediate family and close friends.  Covid19 was actually the second severe pandemic that Beatrice, the deceased, had lived through […]

“Trusting in God.”

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June 28, 2020 Genesis 22:1-14 Matthew 10:40-42   Last week, on Father’s Day nonetheless, Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her […]

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