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An easy yoke?

Matthew 11:25-30 Raise your hand if you’re tired this morning. I’m a little tired this morning. Actually, I’m a little tired most mornings. I stay up too late, usually doing nothing of real importance. I always tell myself I only need six or seven hours of sleep. It’s actually not true. My body really prefers [...]

Joe’s Story: To Go On as Though Something HAS Happened

Isaiah 55:8-12; Matthew 10:5,7 Guest Preacher Rev. Jill Job Saxby Joe was on a mission. It was just an ordinary late afternoon, the skies darkening with the threat of rain. And here was Joe, age 78, climbing into his ten year old Chrysler, setting out with a sense of purpose, fueled in roughly equal parts [...]

Cast-outs and Covenants

Genesis 21:8-21 The story of Hagar and Ishmael is one of the more painful stories of the Old Testament. You may not be very familiar with it—it’s not a popular story—so I’ll give you the background before reading the scripture. God promised Abraham, then called Abram, “I will make of you a great nation.” Then [...]

Co-Creators

Luke 24:44-53 Genesis 1 As many of you know, my first career was in publishing. So to go back to my roots, we are starting today with a writing lesson. Let’s talk about verbs. A good verb goes a long way. If you have a good verb, the perfect verb for its context, you don’t [...]

I’ll Rise

Luke 24:44-53 Ascension Sunday is a strange day in the life of the church. First, it’s not really a Sunday; it’s a Thursday. Historically, the Day of Ascension (or in the Catholic Church, the Feast of Ascension) takes place forty days after Easter. This is because in the Book of Acts, we are told that [...]

Listening to the Dream

John 10:1-10 “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” The dictionary defines abundance as “plentiful: present in great quantities” and “well-supplied: providing a more than plentiful supply of something.” Synonyms include “copious, rich, profuse, and lavish.” We know how our society defines abundant life: as a life of abundance, with a [...]

God on the Road

Luke 24:13-35 Today is the third Sunday of Easter. Liturgically-speaking, we are a long way from today’s text. Good Friday was over two weeks ago. For Cleopas and his fellow traveler, it has been just a couple of days. It is Easter Sunday to them, only they don’t know it yet. It still feels like [...]

Learning to See

John 20:1-18 Last month ABC premiered a new show called Resurrection. “The series follows the residents of Arcadia, Missouri, whose lives are upended when their loved ones return from the dead, unaged since their deaths. Among the returned is Jacob Langston, an eight-year-old boy who drowned 32 years earlier.” [1] In the pilot episode, when his [...]

Do you see what I see?

Matthew 21:1-11 Two of my fellow students in seminary had cerebral palsy. They both used wheelchairs, but that was pretty much where their similarities ended. Ann Marie was tall; Sophia was small. Ann Marie was blonde; Sophia had dark hair. Ann Marie’s CP was more severe than Sophia’s, with greater limits on her speech and [...]

Dem Bones, Dem Bones

Ezekiel 37:1-14 I know a woman who, a number of years ago, was at a desperate place in life. She had just left an abusive marriage and still feared for her safety. She carried pepper spray on her keychain, and had a bottle by every door. She always looked over her shoulder, always checked the [...]

Surely Goodness & Mercy

Psalm 23 The 23rd psalm is not recognized and known only in the church. People who could not quote another scripture to save their lives can at least stumble their way through the 23rd Psalm, even if they don’t know it’s the 23rd. It has been called “An American secular icon.” But it is not [...]

Downpours and Outpouring

John 4:5-30, 39-42 When I was a child, I always loved it when my mom sang in church. One of her favorites was based on this story: Like the woman at the well, I was seeking for things that could not satisfy. And then I heard my savior speaking: Draw from my well, which never [...]

Greetings, Earthling!

Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7 Our text for today is an excerpt from a much longer narrative, of course; and in order to gain any understanding of it, we need to look at the whole picture. It starts with the creation of the earth and the heavens. Then God formed a creature “from the dust of the [...]

Sweet Temptation

March 9, 2014 Matthew 4:1-11 Have you ever been in a conversation about religion with someone whose response to every statement is “Yes, but the Bible says….” I always want to refer them to the story of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness because even the devil can quote scripture to his advantage! In fact, [...]

Words for the Journey

Matthew 17:1-9 When I began my time with you eighteen months ago, I preached about trusting that the Spirit would surely be our holy GPS along this transitional journey. The first Sunday after John McCall retired, I reminded us, using a midrash story about God, the angels and creation, that even in the time between [...]

You Are and Will Be

Isaiah 58:1-12 Matthew 5:13-16 One of the first questions I was asked in seminary, umpteen years ago, was “What is your canon within the canon?” This is, of course, “canon” with one “n” in the middle, not two, and refers to our sacred text. Another way of asking the question is “What is your Bible [...]

  • A Christian Family: Loving, Welcoming, Serving

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