The voice of one crying out in the wilderness - how John the Baptist is described

The voice in the wilderness did not ask people to put their faith in him, nor did he expect them to double down. He called them to repent before God, and then return to their lives with the hope of being better people. Religion ought to be about seeking God, seeking to know ourselves, and seeking to  be more compassionate.

For: 
November 28, 2021
Luke 3:1-20
Advent 1
May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.

How do you say something thankful when asked at Thanksgiving? The clever child will use past memory to their current advantage. “I am thankful that I got a drumstick last year."

For: 
November 21, 2021
Psalm 126
Pentecost 26
Thanksgiving
"My heart exults in the LORD..." Line in common between Mary and Hannah's song

Hannah and Mary are women, living in what we would consider oppressive times. They are both unfairly treated. They both view their unexpected pregnancy as a sign from God, or perhaps even a rebuke of the men around them. Mary may have heard Hannah’s song being read and nodded at certain themes that are common to all women who find themselves judged on account of their body and reproductive experience. 

For: 
November 14, 2021
1 Samuel 2:1-10
Luke 1:46
Pentecost 25
Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.

We all think it is important to do important things. Most of us can remember some big thing in our lives that took all of our attention and made us anxious for night after night. I have the first half of Psalm 127 memorized (Unless the Lord builds the house...). It dogs me in those periods of my life when I have such great plans that I bulldozer things to the edge of hubris.  

For: 
November 7, 2021
Psalm 127
Pentecost 24
"The hand of the LORD has turned against me."- Naomi

The only way to explain Ruth’s behavior is to suppose that both God’s prevenient grace led her to believe that Moab was not her true home. She came to realize that there was a bigger plan for her life and a greater spiritual force for good in the world than the gods she knew of in Moab. 

For: 
October 31, 2021
Ruth 1:1-18
Pentecost 26
"Now my eyes have seen you." Job speaking of the God he found in solitude.

The God that we seek, is hard to find amidst the noise of public worship. The almighty doesn’t suddenly appear when we get alone, either. Spiritual seeking takes time. We must first accept the silence.

For: 
October 24, 2021
Psalm 27
Job 42
Pentecost 22
“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

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