"I give you a new commandment, that you love one another."

In too many governments around the world, and perhaps even here, the competitive spirit of partisanship and winning overtakes the basic task of government, that is to be in a healthy and positive relationship with the people. In too many churches, perhaps your own, the routine of being churchy has buried the joy of being in fellowship with each other and in love with Christ.

For: 
May 9, 2021
John 15: 9-17
Easter 6

The story of Phillip really begins in Acts chapter six when he is given the job of administering the soup kitchen in Jerusalem. Then in the next chapter, his partner in this effort, Stephen, is arrested and executed. Those who believe in Jesus in Jerusalem are being persecuted. Phillip flees the city.

For: 
May 2, 2021
Acts 8
Easter 5

Use this link to get the handout of slides from Bill's "Managing Congregational Anxiety" Workshop -> Handout

" I am the good shepherd... I lay down my life..." - Jesus

This year, with the killing of George Floyd, the difference between a good police officer and a bad one has come to the forefront. 

For: 
April 20, 2021
John 10:11-18
Easter 4
"Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I..." - the Risen Lord
The Easter story is startling and news worthy. It changes everything.
For: 
April 19, 2015
Luke 24:36-48
Easter 3
Jesus said, "Peace [or shalom] be with you."

What was Jesus’ first word to his friends when he came to them the evening of Easter? It was Shalom. This is a word that means more than just peace. Wholeness, healing, living a life that has integrity and consistency. Shalom speaks of God’s providence. 

For: 
April 11, 2021
John 20:19-23
Easter 2
[Peter and John came to the tomb,] saw and believed. - John 20:8

Faith is a gift of the grace of God. We sometimes find the greatest faith at those moments when we have the least reason to trust in Jesus.

For: 
April 4, 2021
John 20:1-10
Easter
"Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!" - the crowd setting Jesus up to get arrested.

Palm Sunday begins the Passion story. Like all well-told stories, the plotline is complicated. I’ve written and directed several Easter Dramas/Passion Plays. There are a lot of moving parts. Some years Pontius Pilate steals the show and people go home feeling that if this man had been different – had better motives or been more principled – then the play would have ended differently.

For: 
March 28, 2021
Mark 11:1-11
Lent 6
Palm Sunday
"...unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone." - Jesus

To be in a body is to be in a particular body. We have as much choice over these things as a seed does in where it falls to earth. Do you believe God has a plan for your life? It sure beats the alternative. Gods plan is that you die to your seedy, individualized self.

For: 
March 21, 2021
John 12:20-33
Lent 5
God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world... - John 3:17

This is a good time to speak about our need for healing and the compassionate love of Jesus. The current global pandemic could make us wonder if God is testing us. Did the coronavirus come into our world to test our faith?

For: 
March 14, 2021
John 3:14-21
Numbers 21:4-9
Lent 4
Making a whip of cords, Jesus drove all of them out of the temple - John 2:15

Jesus doesn’t do church. He upsets the money changer’s tables. Kicks out the merchants with their sacrificial animals. He makes a mess of the 11 o’clock service. Why?

For: 
March 7, 2021
John 2:13-22
Lent 3
"Get behind me, Satan!" Jesus to his friend, Peter

Jesus speaks openly about his journey to the cross. He addresses his disciples as one adult telling other adults about what he sees ahead. Then Peter responds, “You can’t do that!” Peter is using his parental voice in reprimanding Jesus.

For: 
February 23, 2021
Mark 8:31-38
Lent 2
The Spirit immediately drove Jesus out into the wilderness. - Mark 1:12

When Jesus was baptized in the Jordan, the Holy Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness. Note that the verb drove does not mean that the gentle and mild spirit pulled up in an RV and waved Jesus into the air-conditioned cabin before heading off to an oasis with a pool and free Wi-Fi. No, the spirit drove him like a mighty wind away from everything familiar. Covid-19 has driven us into a similar wilderness. Life is, as Scott Peck reminds us, painful. We don’t become mature by avoiding pain. We become all that God calls us to be by allowing the spirit to drive us into the wilderness with Jesus.

For: 
February 21, 2021
Mark 1:9-15
Lent 1
Ash Wednesday
Jesus was transfigured before them... - Mark 9:2

Jesus has been doing things with his disciples. We read about his miracles. We try to make sense of what he taught. But Jesus knows what lies ahead. He is really at the mid-point of his mission. And at mid-points, it is good to pause, take stock, and reconnect with what matters for the journey. We tend to think that religion is about what we do; the songs that we sing, the offerings that we bring, and the words that the preacher says. Religion is really about the doorway, the emptiness, the wilderness, and the lonely mountaintop. 

For: 
February 14, 2021
Mark 9:2-9
Epiphany 8
Tranfiguration Sunday
And Jesus cured many who were sick with various diseases... Mark 1:34

Jesus charged nothing. We tend to say, “You get what you pay for.” That saying is nowhere in the Bible. It is a luxury to be able to pay more for something. Many people live on the edge of subsistence. We should be mindful of them as we line up for our vaccine or drive by the local food bank.

For: 
February 7, 2021
Mark 1:29-39
Epiphany 5

Pages