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
Prophets are without honor when they come home - Jesus

I believe that our lord is more of a shepherd than a showman. He leads us forward at our own pace. As we are willing to accept them, miracles come into our lives.

For: 
July 4, 2021
Mark 6:1-6
Pentecost 9
"The LORD, who saved me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will save me from [the giant]" - David

When we face difficulties, we need to double down on our commitment to do our duty. The giants we face may be insurmountable. David tells Saul that when he goes out to keep the sheep by night, he prepares himself to do his duty, for he doesn’t know if he will face a lion or a bear. He has decided beforehand to be courageous.

For: 
June 27, 2021
I Samuel 16 - 17
Pentecost 8
The Philistines had a champion named Goliath, who was nine feet tall. - The problem

Faith isn’t a magical power that some people have, and others don’t. We all can have faith. No matter what situation we find ourselves in, simply do your duty.

For: 
June 20, 2021
1 Samuel 17:1-49
Pentecost 7
"...the birds of the air can make nests in [the church's] shade" - Jesus

Jesus’ point is that a seed can start out small, but like a weed, grow to takes over the garden. Why should our faith become so obvious? Because the kingdom of God is a matter of goodness, ministering to the needs of others, and social action.

For: 
June 13, 2021
Mark 4:30-34
Pentecost 6
Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD.

Psalm 130 is a very personal litany of prayers; each line the breath of the human soul. This is a good time to remind people that when illness interrupts our daily lives, there may be positive spiritual benefits. The story of the woman with the unstoppable hemorrhage also moves us to compassion. It moved the woman to seek Jesus.

For: 
June 6, 2021
Psalm 130
Mark 5:24
Pentecost 5
"All who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.” - Romans 8:14

This year, with the pandemic, has been particularly hard for those who struggle for their sobriety day by day.

For: 
May 30, 2021
Romans 8:12-14
Pentecost 2
"The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray..." - the Apostle Paul

Some say we should simply talk to God as if he is a friend. But, God is God. How do you talk to a being who lives outside of time and has never sinned? What do you know about God? Having glimpsed God down a long corridor, dimmed by your own inadequacies, how do you pray?

For: 
May 23, 2021
Romans 8:26-39
I Kings 3:5-12
Pentecost
"...And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you..." Jesus saying how his church remains "in the world"
In his extended prayer (John 17) Jesus reveals a key concept: just as God was present in the world through Jesus, so also, Jesus will continue to be present in the world through his Church. In John 17:13-17, Jesus says that his Church will be in the world, but not of it.
For: 
May 16, 2021
John 17:1-13
Eastertide 7
Ascension Sunday
"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

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