"[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
"Shouldn't this woman be freed on the Sabbath?" Jesus asked.

The current moment is what matters most. The Pharisees were only asking that Jesus delay his healing of this woman for one day. What is the value of one day of suffering? How can we make the gospel immediate?

For: 
August 25, 2019
Luke13:10-17
Pentecost 11
By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had received the spies in peace. -Hebrews 11:31

The 11thchapter of Hebrews is a long catalogue of saints and what they did to earn our remembrance. David made the list, but Solomon did not. In fact, David is the only king mentioned, a grim reminder that for early Christians those with political power were always respected, but rarely considered righteous.

For: 
August 18, 2019
Hebrews 11:29-12:2
Genesis 19:1-17
Pentecost 10

Simplistic solutions rarely shift a culture away from violence once it gets headed down that path.

"Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (Hebrews 11:1)

What do we do if we lose our preacher, our organist, our choir? How will we go on if our church building is torn down, or worse yet, made into a beer hall? (which is what often happens in Pittsburgh) How can I worship God in without my holy stuff?

For: 
August 11, 2019
Hebrews 11:1-3
John 4:1-26
Pentecost 9

I looked up the word stubborn in the dictionary this week and found my picture next to the definition. In Hosea 11, God accuses his people of being like undisciplined teens – the more you love them the further they pull away. 

For: 
July 30, 2019
Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other. Ps 85:10

What do you need to get out of your worship experience? I think religion is all about living right and being at peace. Or to put it another way, doing day to day the things that prove us to be godly, principled, people of integrity – and, at the same time, having an inner peace.

For: 
July 28, 2019
Psalm 85
Pentecost 7
The end has come upon my people Israel

Amos is an important prophet in the Old Testament. Why? Because he speaks a timeless message about social justice. If social justice bothers you, then take a pair of scissors and chop out of the Bible the parts that you don’t like.

For: 
July 21, 2019
Amos 8:1-12
Pentecost 6
You shall love... your neighbor as yourself

Some people state a very simple rule, “What goes around comes around.” Jesus shows us an even simpler rule. Love. In being compassionate we become human. We see the whole world as our neighbor.

For: 
July 14, 2019
Luke 10:25-37
Pentecost 5

Funny thing. When it comes to life, we often expect what we harvest will be different from what we plant. What we really want are the fruits of the Spirit. If you grow a spiritual relationship with God, you will become both creative and compassionate.

For: 
July 7, 2019
Galatians 6:7-9
Pentecost 4
For freedom, Christ has set us free.

The Apostle Paul makes a bold statement at the beginning of his letter to the Galatians. He says, “For freedom, Christ has set us free.” In other words, a major reason for Jesus to come into our lives is to make us free. Paul means this first in terms of our inner spirit. The fruit of that freedom loving spirit is compassion.

For: 
June 30, 2019
Galatians 5:1, 13-25
Pentecost 3
Jesus commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man.

Jesus is always busy doing good, but he’s never in a hurry. Obstacles are placed in his way, but he remains calm. He also remains compassionate. The 8th chapter of Luke describes a really stress-packed week for Jesus. Yet Jesus isn't stressed.

For: 
June 23, 2019
Luke 8:26-39
Pentecost 2

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