As the World Turns

No, NOT the soap opera that ran on CBS for 54 years, but as the WORLD turns, and churns, actually, Jesus has something to say about it and give to it. There is a lot in that word WORLD in John 3:1! Good and bad alike…But God’s love covers it all…every bit of it… especially the bad… and that’s really what makes it turn.

Reading John 3:14-21

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What’s with the Whip

I used to think that this scene on Jesus “cleansing the temple” as it’s often referred to, gave us license to take the whip, so to speak, to overturn any number of injustices as we perceive them. But one right puts a whole different perspective on this for me. Paul Shupe says, “The text pushes us to imagine Jesus entering our own sanctuaries and overturning our own cherished rationalizations and driving us out in the name of God”. How appropriate that the season of Lent offers us the freedom to confront this reality of our own brokenness.

Reading John 2:13-22

 

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Love is not painless

There is something about the cross! It can be found in some fashion in almost every church. But it’s to be much more than a symbol. It’s a call to a way of life… the way of a Jesus follower. What does this way and look like? It actually looks like a man…hanging on one.

Reading Mark 8:31-38

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Where are our Angels?

Mark does everything quickly in his gospel. Indeed “immediately” is his favorite word. But then, the spirit to DROVE HIM out into the wilderness, and not just for a little camping trip but for 40 days of hard labor, so to speak. Things slowed down a little bit for him perhaps. The fact that Jesus was IN THE WILDERNESS… might help us to think about our wildernesses and where Jesus just might be when we are with wild beasts and tempted by Satan. You also might help us see where the angels are who wait on us as they did him.

Readings Mark 1:9-15

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A terrifyingly beautiful thing

Fear and terror are everywhere in this text! In fact, it was such a terrifying experience that it was not shared with anyone for some time. What influence might this have on our sharing of “God moments” outside (or even inside) our faith community in this day and time? I think it may present a challenge for us to share what our encounters with God look like regardless or even ESPECIALLY, those terrifying ones. And may there also be some implications here for how we might HEAR such stories?

Readings Mark 9:2-9

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Call and Response

Jesus’ call to discipleship — “Come! Come on! Follow!” — is as compelling today as it was then. Our response — “immediately” — is just as urgent, not just to follow but to embrace a new way of life, a new identity, as followers of Jesus.

Reading Mark 1:14-20

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Where There’s a Whale There’s a Way

This wonderful story is so rich with meaning but will attempt to limit our thinking this morning to the reality that one just cannot flee from the call… or the Grace of God. (We need to remember “The Lord PROVIDED the whale for Jonah!)

Reading- Jonah 3:1-10


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On Being “Possessed”

This passage is not fodder for a Hollywood film on demon-possession. The world view of the gospel is very different than ours. Still, if we’re honest with ourselves, there are things that we get possessed with… or maybe worse, things that possess us… like anger, jealousy or envy. This passage is ultimately about the authority Jesus has over any power that prevents our flourishing or the flourishing of others.

Reading- Mark 1:21-28


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Make a Beginning

God’s call to Samuel didn’t seem real. It wasn’t until he got confirmation from the Priest Eli  that he better answer the call. How do we know when God is calling us? Sometimes we don’t know until we take the 1st steps…or better ‘make a beginning’.

Reading- 1 Samuel 3:1-10


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An Ever Expanding Embrace

Epiphany was just yesterday… it’s a period of 5 Sunday’s in our liturgical calendar that culminates with the transfiguration of the Lord… and all the while, in all these weeks, we are reminded that God’s reach expands way beyond those smelly shepherds who were scared witless to the incense carrying kings from the East. It’s expanding STILL!!

Reading- Matthew 2: 2-12

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