What Love is NOT

While folks love this passage to be read at weddings it is not a passage about that kind of love…as good as it is! Paul was writing to a conflicted church and is holding up a Christian love that is not sentimentalized or romantic…and he says here in 1 Corinthians 13 that this love is like the love OF Christ…love embodied in his life…love that is not envious, boastful, proud, self-seeking…

Reading: 1 Corinthians 13: 1-14:1

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Timing is Everything!

It seems that in this story of water become wine, the timing of things is all wrong. (In that day and time, running out of wine at a wedding was not just a minor mistake, it was disastrous.) Mary knew that the time HAD come…for the first of ‘seven miracles.’ What does her sense of timing, and Jesus yielding to it say about the time in (and of) our lives?

John 2.1-11

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The Big Deal About Baptism

Synopsis – Someone has said that when the lectionary leaves out a few verses in between the ones it lists, those are the most important verses. So what do we learn in the verses left out? We learn that John is in prison, which begs the question: Who baptized Jesus? In Luke’s version the Holy Spirit does. Baptism then is essentially God’s work, through which Jesus (and we) are named…and claimed.

Readings – Luke 3: 15-18, 21-22

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Did We Miss Him?

Synopsis – The text says that Jesus came to the very earth he created and yet he was not recognized. In these last weeks, that began before Thanksgiving, Jesus has been seen by lots of folks, even those who were not necessarily looking for him… but did we recognize him? Did we receive him? Did we take his incarnation into our time and space seriously enough to realize that he changes everything? Everything!”
Probably not. What might things look like if we did?

Reading – John 1.1-18

 

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Seeing in a New Light

Jesus said he came to the be the light of the world.  He also says WE are light…what does all this light business mean…especially in the midst of so much darkness.

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3rd Advent “As Long as There’s Herod…”

King Herod vs columbine,Jeffrey Weiss Red lake Minnesota, New Town Connecticut…

 

Readings: Matthew 2:1-15

 

Synopsis:

We used to teach our kids: NEVER USE THE WORD HATE. They used it anyway…I just know they did. So did I…(I know but that’s another sermon!) And I need to use it now: I HATE KING HEROD…for what he did…the slaughter of so many innocent children…and the slaughter continues. Herod’s progeny continue to run rampant…and tears of mother still fall.

As long as there are Herods there will be the need for prayer and compassion. This morning we will share in a special time or remembrance…

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2nd Advent “Impossible Possibilities”

It’s scientifically impossible. It can’t happen to me. Or can it?

Readings: Luke 1.5-55    (yes probably all of it…)

Synopsis: If we are really honest with ourselves we spend most of our time on one side or the other of despair. As Brain McLaren puts it: “Our promising hopes miscarry.” The pregnancy stories that involve Elizabeth and Mary addresses this by suggesting that the seemingly impossible (which turns into despair) becomes possible. In those moments of doubt and despair I wonder how things might change is we said with Mary: “Let it be to me according to will.” We might find ourselves in the midst of a marvelous adventure!

 

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1st Advent “Dreams”

Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Younger Next Year. Riveting Books.

Synopsis:  Our advent series this year will be based on some thinking of Brian Mclaren in his book We Make the Road by Walking. Each week we will have an opportunity to engage in what I’d call ‘table talk’ (or “family circles”) that will be related to our readings and our thinking about them. As we walk the road towards the celebration of Christ’s birth we will make a joyful noise, in some fashion…together… as we share. This morning we will think together about the difference between wishing and thinking and the role that prophets play in that.

Readings:   Isaiah 40.1-11   Luke 1.67-79

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Did the others…SEE?

The 10th Leper came back. Why not the other 9?

Reading- Luke 17:11-19

Synopsis I wonder…the text says when the Samaritan SAW he was healed he gave thanks…yet Jesus healed 10 lepers! What gives with the other 9? Could they not see? DID THEY SEE WHERE HEALED? Where they? It doesn’t really matter I guess. What does matter is that ONE saw and gave thanks. May we be the one…always! So…what have WE seen in one another…in the world that we can give glory to God for this today and in this season of Thanksgiving?

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“Hey—You Never Know”

We welcome Sam Dance our guest speaker. 

 

Readings: Matthew 25.34- 40   Hebrews 13.1-2

 Synopsis

“Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels”.

What you see is “not” what you get. Jesus has a surprise for us when we show kindness. To coin a well known Lotto term, “Hey, You Never Know”. How is your kindness? Is your Faith “In Action”?

The passage before us says ;

“I was hungry, and you fed me…I was a stranger, and you invited me in…I was naked, and you gave me clothing…. I was sick, and you cared for me…I was in prison, and you visited me.”

Your perspectives are like the many layers of an onion. Is our hunger, spiritual, the stranger, someone you know, nakedness, actually heartache and imprisoned loneliness or abuse?

Listen while Sam peels back those layers to give a fresh perspective.

 

Other references made in this sermon are:

Richard Linklater’s, “Boyhood”

The case of the New Hartford church beating.

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