"If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!"
Jesus has a different definition of leadership. It is for him to work with others so that together good things happen. He has commitment to service. He can be the king of love without a crown of gold. Even his thorns and painful death remind us that life is not about the people we lord over but the humility we live under.
For: 
November 24, 2019
Luke 23:33-43
Pentecost 29
Jesus says, “By your endurance, you will gain your soul."

The Rock of Gibraltar for people in Jesus’s day was the temple in Jerusalem. Solomon had built the first temple and it lasted over 400 years. Jesus He says Herod’s temple won’t last 40 years.

For: 
November 17, 2019
Luke 21:5-19
James 4:13-14
Pentecost 23
"Take courage, all you people of the land. For I am with you," says the LORD of hosts.

In this modern era, it takes courage to speak about the reality of Heaven. Our bodies are mortal, from the moment of our birth we begin to die. Yet, our culture idealizes youth and riducules those who are content with the aging process. Often we are told that believing in heaven is silly, only a pie in the sky.

For: 
November 10, 2019
Haggai 1:15 to 2:9
Luke 20:27-38
Pentecost 22
"Today salvation has come to this house" --for Jesus came to save the lost

Being short – as in having less money than you need at the moment – and being up a tree, are expressions we use for those awkward or dangerous moments when our own stupidity is about the be rewarded. What about you? Are there personal potholes that you fall into? Traits that work against your desire to be on top of life?

For: 
October 6, 2019
Luke 19:1-10
Pentecost 21
"All who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted." -Jesus

In matters of religion, we should expect reversals. Those who start out well, don’t always end well. Getting into heaven is not a matter of joining the right church or developing the right theology or holding on to traditional values, whatever those might be.

For: 
October 27, 2019
Luke 18:9-14
Pentecost 20
God says, "I will put my law within my people, and I will write it on their hearts."

What kind of an inner voice has God set within your heart? When have you looked for your conscience to guide you and found it out of order?

For: 
October 20, 2019
Jeremiah 31:27-34
Pentecost 19
All he said to you was, 'Wash, and be clean.' - II Kings 5:13

So many stories teach simplicity. Jesus says, “Live the Gospel; heal, teach, love.” How about beginning with something as simple as praying with or for each person we know?

For: 
October 13, 2019
2 Kings 5:1-14
Luke 10:1-11
Pentecost 18

I think we have to value compassion, character, and the heart for justice as core biblical values. If we advocate for these things consistently, then entering into the political fray is both necessary and within the pastor’s role. We must support politicians who: 1)Have actually made things with their own hands, or brought healing to the sick, or acted against their own interests for justice to be done...

Unscrupulous people now invite us to believe that hidden cabal or deep state is conspiring to take away our guns, jobs, or daughters. Once we accept one lie it is easy to believe another. This death spiral has ruined the brilliant minds in the past and now may take ours.

If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you. - Jesus

Faith is Bilbo Baggins in Mirkwood Forrest or one of the servants in Downton Abbey trudging along but knowing that they have been placed on that path by a God who loves them and impowers them to go on.

For: 
October 6, 2019
Luke 17:5-10
Pentecost 17
World Communion Sunday
And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores... - Luke 16

For fun do this: take an empty chair and put it out in front of the congregation. Say, “Here sits the invisible man. Jesus tells us that his name is Lazarus, but none of his neighbors know that. He sits here hungry, but no one notices his situation. Lazarus is homeless, living in the street near the rich man. Since he lacks an address, the census doesn’t count him, he can’t vote, and his congressman doesn’t see him as a constituent, and his president considers him a loser... 

For: 
September 29, 2019
Luke 16:19-31
Pentecost 16

It outrages us when a company chooses profits over life. Yet most of us, in our day-to-day choices, will honor money above relationships. We will cut off the neighbor or family member who borrows from us and fails to return the money. We will balance our checkbooks to the last penny and yet do not find time for daily devotional reading or weekly worship.

For: 
September 22, 2019
Luke 16:1-13
Amos 8:4-7
Pentecost 15
"[Jesus] welcomes sinners and eats with them." - Luke 15:2

A young married couple find their money disappearing and their credit cards running amok, until they draw up a budget and measure where it’s all going to. So much in life doesn’t count unless you count it carefully.

For: 
September 15, 2019
Luke 15:1-10
Pentecost 14
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself” -Matthew 19:19

Today we see “good” church-going people supporting systems that lead to human bondage. Often, undocumented immigrants are held as slaves, that is not permitted to decide their own future or leave a certain location, or paid for their labor, whether it be at a farm, a chicken processing plant, as landscapers or maids, or in a sex trafficking ring. Slavery still shapes our neighborhoods, workplaces, and schools. Until recently, the banking and real-estate system of our country prevented people of color from owning certain homes, thus denying these families the opportunity to build equity. Segregation is a denial of freedom and unloving.

For: 
September 8, 2019
Philemon 1
Matthew 19:19
Pentecost 13
Week after Labor Day
"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it." -Hebrews 13:2

Jesus says that at the end of the world he will divide the nations according to how they treated the lowest and most marginalized among us. “I was a stranger and you welcomed me,” will be his greeting of those nations that show hospitality (Matthew 25:35). But, I have been wondering lately if our nation’s shift away from showing Christian hospitality towards refugees and immigrants didn’t begin in the church. Is your church intentional about hospitality? 

For: 
September 1, 2019
Hebrews 13:1-8
Luke 14:1-14
Pentecost 12

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