“Can you drink the cup I drink?" Jesus asks, referring to his crucifixion

Who is the best? James and John wanted to know. They asked their question at a most inconvenient time. So, Jesus gave them back an inconvenient question.

For: 
October 17, 2021
Mark 10:35-45
Pentecost 24

Jesus says that it is easier for a camel to go through a needle than for rich people to sufficiently change their lifestyle so that they might understand the poor and join into the kingdom of heaven. He knew that people couldn’t change their political attitudes without first changing their spiritual attitudes. The way to change your spiritual attitude is to adopt a more compassionate lifestyle.

For: 
October 10, 2021
Mark 10:17-31
Pentecost 20
When I look at your heavens... what are human beings that you are mindful of us? - Psalm 8

The problem that the Biblical story of creation poses to our modern mind is not its impossibly short time frame for life on earth. No. Stop falling into the evolution versus creationism trap. Instead note what the Bible says about our current way of life.

For: 
June 27, 2021
Genesis 1
Psalm 8
Trinity Sunday
Pentecost 19
the law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul, and making wise the simple

I believe that the law of God is dynamic and constantly developing. God is speaking through modern figures such as Martin Luther King and those who are working to address climate change (our failure to excercise proper soveriegnty over creation).

For: 
September 26, 2021
Psalm 19
Matthew 5:17-48
Pentecost 21
“A capable wife, who can find?”

The thing I find most difficult about Proverbs 31:10-31 is its emphasis upon what the woman in question does. We are not human doings. We are human beings. It’s not our accomplishments that need praised, it’s our growth as compassionate people.

For: 
September 19, 2021
Proverbs 31:10-32
Pentecost 20
"How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?” - Proverbs

We ask our preachers to think for us, when we should be asking them to struggle with us in prayer and holy listening, so that together we might discover the truths we need to live wisely in our complicated world.

For: 
September 12, 2021
Proverbs 1:20-33
James 3:1-12
Pentecost 19
The rich and the poor have this in common: the LORD is their maker - Proverbs 22:2

Every human life is equally beloved and made by our creator. Rich and poor have the same Lord watching over them. Further, the Lord pleads the case of the poor and will not leave unpunished if we neglect them. 

For: 
September 5, 2021
Proverbs 22:1, 22-23
Pentecost 18
Let mutual love continue - Hebrews 13:1

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.

For: 
August 29, 2021
Hebrews 13:1-16
Pentecost 17
"For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread..." - Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:23

This is the second of three long blogs about the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.  You may read them in any order.  The first can be found at https://billkemp.info/content/what-i-know-about-communion-part-1

For: 
August 15, 2021
1 Corinthians 11:17-33
Pentecost 19

It’s holy incorporation. Jesus doesn’t just ask us to consider his teachings. He doesn’t want us to snack on a little dab of his philosophy. He wants us to be fully incorporated into him and he into us. “Incorporation” comes from the Latin word “corpus” which means body. In the business world, incorporation involves being so serious about the company that you no longer speak of individual workers, but of the body they form as they work together.

For: 
August 15, 2021
John 6:51 & 53
Pentecost 17

Jesus is meant, like bread, to be a daily and essential component of our lives. Breaking bread with us, Jesus leads us to participate in the Kingdom of God. It is easy to dismiss Jesus. It is easy to leave him burried in the past. When he is part of our daily lives, he becomes relevant, like bread.

For: 
August 8, 2021
John 6:35-51
Pentecost 14
Nathan said to David, "You are the man [who did a very bad thing]."

Good guilt is a funny thing. Like humor, it depends upon ambiguity. We all misbehave. We all hurt others and fail to live compassionately. But, we only hear the bad news that we have sinned, when our actions look differently from different viewpoints.

For: 
August 1, 2021
2 Samuel 11:26 - 12:13a
Pentecost 10
David ordered his messengers to get Bathsheba... - II Samuel 11:4

Every person, no matter what their role in life, needs to be aware of the temptation that power offers us. David was led astray, not by Bathsheba bathing on the roof-top, but by his desire to be a "real" king. Many Kings act like dictators. They expect to have any woman they want. Men in lesser possitions often do the same thing. Power corrupts.

For: 
July 25, 2021
2 Samuel 11
Philippians 2:6-7
Pentecost 12
Jesus said to them, "Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while."

Coming away isn’t easy. Jesus discovered that was true, even in the much simpler first century. In Mark chapter 6, Jesus spends about a page and a half trying to find a quiet space where he can just simply rest with his disciples. Both flexibility and routine are important when we are planning our rest times. 

For: 
July 18, 2021
Mark 6:30-56
Pentecost 11
[Salome] came in and danced. She pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, "Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it."

The lectionary places the story of Salome’s dance right next to the Old Testament lesson regarding King David’s dance before the Ark of the Covenant (II Samuel 6:12-19). David may have been as scantily dressed as Salome, but his motivations are pure.

For: 
July 11, 2021
Mark 6:14-29
2 Samuel 6:12-19
Pentecost 10

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