"By what authority are you doing these things," the religious leaders asked Jesus

When the coronavirus arrived, the authority of the medical experts, such as those working at the CDC and at the WHO, came into direct confrontation with the authority of the President of the United States. Who had higher status as an authority?

For: 
September 27, 2020
Matthew 21:23-32
Pentecost 17
Everyone complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness - Exodus 16:2

Most of us are detail-oriented. Yet, most soul growth is "big picture" in nature. We need a real awakening to switch lenses, to go from macro to wide-angle.

For: 
September 20, 2020
Exodus 16:2-15
Luke 10:25-37
Pentecost 16

Lift ev'ry voice and sing
'Til earth and heaven ring
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the list'ning skies
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea...

For: 
September 13, 2020
Exodus 14:19-31
"For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them" - Jesus

In Matthew 18, Jesus talks about the nature of community. Communities are built on mutual trust and respect. It’s okay to question the leader. Group discussion is encouraged. There is total transparency. Your family, your social club, your workplace, and especially your church, should never become a cult.

For: 
September 6, 2020
Matthew 18
Pentecost 14
Labor Day
“I will go over and see this strange sight..." - Moses

Moses at the burning bush became aware. Awareness is never optional. The pedestrian who is so glued to their iPhone that they step into traffic will one day be hit. God places these wake-up moments into our lives.

For: 
August 30, 2020
Exodus 3:1-15
Pentecost 13
Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.

But then a fool became Pharaoh. The ethical standards that Joseph taught were abandoned. The nation began to betray its allies. Economic systems were put in place that gave wealth to a few elites and impoverished the common citizen. Hebrews became slaves.

For: 
August 23, 2020
Exodus 1:8-2:10
Genesis 41:46-47
Pentecost 12
How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!

What have I learned in fifty years? There can be no unity without Justice — that is the free and fair access to housing, jobs, and equal protection under the law. There can be no unity without integration — we need to learn to live and worship with people who are different from us. There can be no unity without awareness.

For: 
August 16, 2020
Psalm 133
Pentecostt 11
When some Midianite traders passed by, the brothers drew Joseph up, lifting him out of the pit, and sold him for twenty pieces of silver.

I have come to believe that God is the God of change, history, and progressively expanding ethics. God nudges us forward. The moral code of one generation is meant to be superseded by the next.

For: 
August 9, 2020
Genesis 37
Pentecost 10
Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.

Jacob learns about faith the tough way. He gets into one scrape after another. Some of them are his own fault. God sees him through. But I think God also wants Jacob to learn to how to live compassionately.

For: 
August 2, 2020
Genesis 32:22-31
Pentecost 9
When morning came, it was Leah! And Jacob said to Laban, "What is this you have done to me?

When Jesus says that all the commandments hang upon loving God and our neighbor, I am reminded that both male and female were made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and that my closest neighbors are women. The story of Jacob and Leah (Genesis 29:15-28) demonstrates the inhumanity of blindly following the two ancient principles listed above while rejecting Jesus’ call to compassion.

For: 
July 26, 2020
Genesis 29:15-28
Pentecost 8
Surely the LORD is in this place--and I did not know it! - Jacob

No place is God-forsaken. When we feel far from any spiritual support for our new adventure, God is there. Angels descending around us, we just don’t see them.

For: 
July 19, 2020
Genesis 28:10-19
Pentecost 7
Listen! A sower went out to sow... - Jesus

We are now in the midst of summer and a pandemic. The very atmosphere seems to be saying, “take your time. Breathe slowly. Wear a mask. Stay at home. Read a book.” This should be good for our souls. But, it's not.

For: 
July 12, 2020
Matthew 13:1-9
Pentecost 6
We played the flute for you, and you did not dance... - Jesus

As we adapt to our personal misfortunes, we ought to gain wisdom to respond to the misfortunes of others. Our first response to a crisis may be to say, “why is this happening to me?” Religion offers another response: What can I learn?

For: 
July 5, 2020
Matthew 11:16-19
Pentecost 5

I once had a church member tell me that it was the preacher’s job to make her feel guilty. Is that what motivates your sacrifice today? Guilt? Religion can either be about putting things of greater and greater value upon the altar, or it can be about living with compassion, curiosity, and a willingness to go where the spirit leads us. 

For: 
June 28, 2020
Genesis 22:1-14
Pentecost 8
Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul - Jesus

Much like the serenity prayer, Jesus encourages us to change the political systems that we can change, to remain nonviolent, reluctantly accepting the limitations of human sin and political failure, and to pray for the wisdom to know the difference. If we do this well, we will be persecuted.

For: 
June 16, 2020
Matthew 10:24-39
Pentecost 3

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