“Come over to Macedonia and help us...”

Wherever we can get people together to pray, study the Bible, and worship, we can do Church. We do well to remember that local churches are supposed to reproduce. They are supposed to send their best out into the field to help other people have a congregation of their own. Does your church have sufficient charity and spiritual passion to give away its best leaders and start new congregation elsewhere?

For: 
May 26, 2019
Acts 16:9-15
Easter 6
Lo, I am with you always

There are 3 and 1/2 ascension storys. Why? Jesus says good bye to each person he met on this earth in a different way. Each group of people, each church, might need to hear something different.

Acts 1:6-9
Matthew 28:16
Ascension Day
Easter 6
"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 19, 2019
John 13:31-35
Easter 5
She was devoted to good works and acts of charity.

Each of us have been blessed by people who day after day did "good works and acts of charity." Shall I name Margaret? Shall I name Suzy Q? These people live on in our memories. They also live, which is the point of the story of Dorcas, because of the power of Christ's resurrection over death.

For: 
May 12, 2019
Acts 9:36-43
Luke 10:38-42
Easter 4
Mother's Day
"...for you have drawn me up, and did not let my foes rejoice over me."

What does it mean to us? It means that Christ's resurrection was for everyone. Even those who are broken in the pit, can be drawn up.

For: 
May 5, 2019
Psalm 30
Easter 3
Holy Saturday vigil
The disciples said to Thomas, “We have seen the Lord.” John 20:25

We live in a era in which it is not proper to speak about the deep mystery of Easter. Okay, Jesus' resurrection gets one day. Why can't we be more like Mary and the disciples, who keep saying , “We have seen the Lord” until even Thomas believes it.

For: 
April 28, 2019
John 20:18-29
Easter 2
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Here is the story. God emptied himself and was born into our world. One Friday, God made himself weak and vulnerable. He was betrayed, put on trial, mocked, beaten, made to carry his cross throughout all the streets of Jerusalem, he stumbles three times under its weight (imagine that, God being weak), and then arriving at the place of the skull, he is nailed to this cross. It is dropped into a hole. He is made to hang between heaven and earth. In agony for three hours. Then he dies. God’s envoy to this planet dies. This is the story.

1 Corinthians 1:18, 2:1-2
Lent 1
Good Friday
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb...

We receive on Easter morning the blessing that Jesus spoke to Thomas, “Blessed are those who have not seen, but believe.” Reflect upon all that you see. Come to faith, like Peter, or Mary, or John. Just come to faith.

For: 
April 21, 2019
John 20:1-18
Easter Morning
“Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?” Jesus asked. “We can,” James and John answered.

Often times, preachers will preach sermons on how naive or selfish James and John were for asking for thrones next to Jesus in glory. But, I pray for myself and all of us here that we might have the courage of a James  or a John or a Mary Magdalene or a Mother Theresa. We often hear sermons on how frail and stupid the disciples were. Sure they weren't the quickest to catch on to Jesus' teaching. Still, everyone of those twelve, and many of the women with them, went up that road prepared to suffer and die.

Mark 10:32-40
Palm Sunday
Lent 6
As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice

Palm and Passion Sunday are not in opposition. They are Acts in the same drama. The story of Palm Sunday provides two of the five reasons for Jesus going to the cross.

For: 
April 14, 2019
Luke 19:28-40
Lent 6
Palm Sunday
But Judas Iscariot said,"Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?"

If you were a friend of Jesus in the first century, could you see yourself behaving any differently from Judas? If we value money, security, and always having ourselves come out on top, then we will betray Jesus. It is only a matter of time.

For: 
April 7, 2019
John 12:1-8
Lent 5

Young people grow into an ever-widening circle of people for whom they must show love and compassion. First it is their siblings and parents, then their playmates, then the people at school, especially those who are being bullied or ostracized. As we enter into adulthood, our calling to compassion must extend to those who are poor, or subject to abuse.

For: 
March 31, 2019
Luke 15:11-32
Psalm 32
Lent 4

Lent, is a process. A process is any series of sequential events that are guided by a master, in this case God, to take raw material, or people, from one way of being and transform them into a more useful end product. A process always involves some experiences that break down the raw material, or us.

For: 
March 10, 2019
Luke 4:1-13
Lent 1

The adopted Traditional Plan will force some members, congregations, and church leaders to leave because the United Methodist Church. Think of this exodus as three concentric circles. There are those clergy and laity who must leave because the church no longer recognizes the loving and covenantal relationships they have entered into, or because they are being asked to accept a gender identity which they feel is false. Surrounding this small inner circle of people who must leave, is a much larger circle of people who may choose to go...

Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray.

A beautiful vase is made mostly of space. Without the emptiness inside it, a tennis ball won't bounce. 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 meeting space, the doorway, the emptiness, the wilderness, and the mountaintop where people and God meet.

For: 
March 3, 2019
Luke 9:28-36
Transfiguration Sunday
Epiphany 8

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