Discipleship Foolishness – A sermon on Matthew 4:12-23 and 1 Corinthians 1:10-18

1 Corinthians 1:10-18
Matthew 4:12-23

I carry in one of my wallets a little 3×5 index card that has been folded in half and tucked away in every wallet I’ve had for almost 30 years. The crease is getting weak and the edges are tattered, so I don’t open it up too often anymore. But I know it’s there and many of the words written on it are seared in my memory. It’s a list I made in the 8th grade, a list of things to do before I die, a bucket list, written before the term bucket list existed.

It’s a strange mix of things I could actually accomplish by my own hard work, determination, and planning (achieve a certain score on the SAT, perform in the All-State32420341796_3c89318127 Orchestra, visit Africa, be a missionary) and things that are completely out of my control or are impossible to achieve (give birth to twins – out of my control; own a chimpanzee – impossible). One of the items has been staring at me this weekend from the list’s spot among a ridiculous collection of frequent flier membership cards. I know right where it appears on the card, “March for something important in Washington, DC.” Continue reading

In It Together: a sermon on Deuteronomy 6:1-9, Luke 18:15-17

Deuteronomy 6:1-9
Luke 18:15-17

https://www.podbean.com/media/player/52efh-64860b

At the playground once with my children, I saw a dad waiting with his son for some space to clear up on the jungle gym. The only parent in that area, while helping his son wait 10341608475_6d6a865355_mpatiently, he also helped some other children make their way safely to the top. Even after his little boy had reached the high platform he kept helping the others, spotting them so a potential fall wouldn’t be so dangerous, giving a hand to steady them if they got a little wobbly. Another dad came jogging up when he saw his daughter getting some assistance. He thanked the first dad and apologized for not being there, but the first dad simply smiled and shrugged, “Hey, we’re all in this together!” Continue reading

A Different Campaign – A sermon on Mark 11:1-11

Yep.  I did just read the story of Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

Wilhelm_Morgner_001

By Wilhelm Morgner – The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN 3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH., Public Domain

Nope.   I didn’t mix up the calendar.  Yes I did just read the story about Palm Sunday.  No, next week is not Easter.

Bear with me here for a little.

In our worship for a few years we have followed the Narrative Lectionary, a schedule of readings that brings us through the Bible chronologically even if that doesn’t always line up with the traditional celebrations of the church year.  Continue reading

The gospel is political.

KEEP CALM AND DON'T READ THE COMMENTS Poster
I read the comments.  I know they say, “Don’t read the comments,” but I read the comments, and now I feel like I need to respond.  The current comments that I read were on a Facebook post under a link to a Louisville, KY news station’s report about the response of the Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (USA) to a church asking for a review of Donald Trump’s membership in the PC(USA).  (Spoiler alert: Although he was baptized in a Presbyterian congregation, he’s not currently a member of a PC(USA) congregation, so there is no membership to review or, as the headlines are implying, revoke.)  Mulitple comments, however, didn’t even address this specific question.  Instead they made declarations like “…we as a church have no business in politics.” And that’s what fired me up.

PC(USA) Stated Clerk responds to questions on Trump’s membership.”Leaders at the Presbyterian headquarters in…

Posted by Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on Friday, December 11, 2015

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