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Elizabeth’s Story: It’s Never Too Late

Luke 1:5-25    

One in Ten

Luke 17:11-19 In 2007 a journalist named A.J. Jacobs published a book called The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible. The author grew up in what he describes as a secular home, not a religious one—a Jew by birth but an agnostic by belief. He […]

Choose Again

Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25 We are surrounded by choices. We can go into the supermarket and buy cans of crushed pineapple—or tidbits, chunks, or slices, in heavy syrup or its own juices, and in at least two different brands. Plus we can go to the produce department and buy a whole pineapple or a fresh pineapple […]

Wings of Grace

Matthew 23:1-12 The scholars who created the lectionary—the three year cycle of readings we use to guide worship—were concerned about telling the major portions of our story in worship. They were concerned with choosing scriptures for ordinary time as well as for each holy season. They were not at all concerned with choosing scriptures to […]

Saved by the Fringe

Matthew 9:9-13, 18-26 The woman in our story had been hemorrhaging for twelve years. Imagine what her life was like. Women were considered unclean when they were menstruating. In fact, they were considered unclean for seven days after their cycle ended. And since her cycle never ended, she was never considered clean. During her monthly […]

Caesar’s or God’s

Matthew 22:15-22 This passage contains what some political figures would call “a gotcha question.” It is intended to trap Jesus because there is no safe answer. The people hated this tax . . . not just because nobody likes giving their money away, but because of all the taxes they paid, this one was particularly […]

Hurting God?

Exodus 32:1-14 I have a long habit of doing things the hard way. If I have a choice between carrying the grocery bags in two easy trips or one hard trip, I’ll pick the one hard trip every time. If I have to learn a lesson the easy way or the hard way, guess which […]

Remembering It All

    1 Corinthians 11:17-26 Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians is a letter to a church in conflict. He had started the house churches in Corinth a few years earlier, and they were experiencing serious growing pains. They argued over some central concepts of the church, including: the Holy Spirit, marital and sexual norms, […]

Memory Lane Is a Dead End Road

Exodus 17:1-7 If you have been in worship the last few weeks, you have probably noticed something about our journey with the Israelites through the wilderness: these people complain a lot. When the armies of Pharaoh pursued them by the Red Sea, they said to Moses, “What have you done to us, bringing us out […]

About Twenty Minutes

Exodus 16:2-15 I have often heard teachers say “There’s no such thing as a stupid question.” It is meant to encourage people not to be embarrassed about asking questions. The problem is: it’s just not true. There are stupid questions. Of course, what is a stupid question is varies according to age or stage. If […]

Standing at the Edge

Exodus 14:19-31 Up a creek without a paddle. Caught between a rock and a hard place. Between the devil and the deep blue sea. Any of these idioms could apply to the Israelites at this point in their story. Moses had gone to Pharaoh and demanded the release of the Israelites, but that hadn’t worked […]

Contagious Courage

Exodus 4:1-12 Last week we read the story frequently called “Moses and the Burning Bush.” We talked about God’s instructions for Moses to take off his shoes, for he was standing on holy ground. Today I’d like to talk about Moses’ response to the whole encounter. It starts, of course, with Moses seeing the angel […]

Barefoot with God

Exodus 3:1-15 At my service of installation last February, the friend I asked to give the Charge to the Pastor revealed one of my secrets to those in attendance that day. OK, so it isn’t a very well-kept secret, since it’s on display most Sundays from September through March. But here it is: I love […]

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 […]

  • A Christian Family: Loving, Welcoming, Serving

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