On Freedom

Reading: Galatians 5:13-15

Christ has set us free.  Not only from keeping score and from what Nadia Bolz Webber calls “using Jesus to cosign on my own hang-ups” from seeing the world as “us” and “them”.  Christ has set us free so we may see that there is only us…there are no velvet ropes for people to get passed…and so on our call to serve is also a call to love…EVERYONE.

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Blessings and Curses

Blessings and Curses

Reading: Luke 6.39-49

Jesus is painting a picture of last things here and makes it pretty darn clear that he can be revealed both in what he blesses AND what he curses. We are called as Jesus-followers to imitate Christ…to embrace those whom he embraced and to condemn those who he condemns. As we read in Ecclesiastes, there IS a time for everything. The Christian way of life is not all about affirmation and sweetness and light. There IS a time for judgement. BUT…we have to be very careful about where our standard for judgment lies.

 

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The Best Laid Plans

The Best Laid Plans

Reading: Genesis 45.3-11,15 

The best laid plans…especially ones intending to do harm, God has something to do with too. While most of us think of our best laid plans as being either choice or chance, that line of thinking leaves no room for God…and God’s plans…for our welfare and not for harm.

 

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Who REALLY came up with “Facts of Life?”

Who REALLY came up with “Facts of Life?”

Reading: Luke 6:17-26

Jesus here in his sermon on a level place, levels the playing field in a way…and simply states the facts…the way things are…reality! And the facts go vividly against the perceived facts of what most of think are the facts of life.

 

 

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“Jesus Christ! Get out of Here!”

“Jesus Christ! Get out of Here!”

Reading: Isaiah 6.1-8  Luke 5.1-11 NRSV

And yet he doesn’t! Confronted with Peter’s “Leave me for I am a sinner” and Isaiah’s “I am a man of unclean lips,” and reaching across all of the sin that is reflected back to us in the face of the Messiah that merited those lines, God touches the lips of Isaiah and makes him a prophet…Jesus calls Peter to be a disciple, promising to teach him how to catch more than fish. “Once the living God gets his teeth into you, he doesn’t let go!”

 

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A Lost Apple Project?

A Lost Apple Project?

Reading: Luke 4.14-30 NRSV

Endangered apple varieties — even the sour ones — are being preserved for the good of all apples. Jesus knew the same thing about people: Every person is unique. Every person is valuable.
What might a ‘lost apple project’ look like for OHPC?

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Sometimes You Just Have to Party!

Sometimes You Just Have to Party!

Reading: Nehemiah 8.1-12 NRSV

While the Bible is full of sermons and suggestions for how worship should take place, it is pretty rare to find a picture of how worship actually takes place. Nehemiah, despite a miraculous re-building campaign, meets a congregation in tears. But in holding forth that great line: (v. 11) ‘the joy of the Lord is your strength,’ well, “the people dry their eyes, blow their noses and head home to celebrate with their choice meats and sweet drinks – and they didn’t forget to include those who couldn’t make it.” Sometimes you just have to party.

 

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It’s Not About the Water…OR the Wine. It’s About the Sign!

It’s Not About the Water…OR the Wine. It’s About the Sign!”

Reading: John 2.1-12 NRSV

We come to church to get close to God…or hope to. We come seeking self-esteem, or peace of mind or some help with the things coming up this week or coming at us from all directions. And all that may happen here. But it’s not the main event. The main event is that when we come hoping to be met God…God meets us.

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Take Heart: On Letting John in the Door

“Take Heart: On Letting John in the Door”

Reading: Luke 3,1-22 NLT

Who is this John the Baptist? Another handsome, caring Baptist sent to prepare the people for the coming of Christ? Far from it! Not remotely friendly. Yet all still asked John “What then should we do?” He told them in essence to be nice. It is very much like the classic book “Everything I need to know I learned in kindergarten”. If you haven’t read the book listen in and hear a taste of the books essence. If you have, listen in anyway. You’ll still be touched.

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Christmastide Service 2021

The Onondaga Hill Presbyterian Church will be closed on December 26th, 2021. The Synod of the North East has provided a wonderful service for us. This worship service includes choirs and musicians from across the Synod and a special message from our Transitional Synod Leaders. The best part is that you can enjoy this from the comfort of your homes. Hoping you all had a Blessed Holiday.

 

 

 

 

 

In case you’re wondering what the Synod is, I’ll share a brief synopsis of their function.

  • They Strengthen Presbyteries
  • Cultivate Leaders
  • Advocate for Social Justice
  • Fund Theological and Social Innovation and Opportunities for Reconciliation
  • Support Campus Ministry and the Presbyterian Youth Triennium
  • Build and sustain networks of people
  • Organize gatherings to share best practices

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