John 15:7-11 On the first day of 2017, I want to wish you happiness. You are entitled to it. Don’t take my word for it. listen to Jesus: “I have said these things to you so that my joymay be in you and that your joy may be complete.” That is the wish of Jesus […]
Luke 2:1-20 On this Christmas Sunday, the innkeeper of Bethlehem explains his actions on that night of nights.
Isaiah 7:10-16; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; Matt. 1:1-25 The Christmas story from Matthew, the first one that appears in our New Testament, doesn’t begin in a barnyard in Bethlehem. Before the birth of Jesus, Matthew takes us through the family cemetery. From the cemetery to the cradle – the opposite of our usual cradle to the […]
Matthew 11:1-11, Isaiah 35:1-10 Confidence can be a fragile gift. Confidence is a come-and-go affair. john the Baptist is in jail, and he has heard some gossip about Jesus and it has cost him his confidence. Isn’t it amazing how fragile confidence can be? A few words, a bit of gossip, one bad review, and […]
Isaiah 11:1-10; Matthew 3:1-11 Malcolm Gladwell has a book called Blink – Go with your instinct. I don’t think that is really the way we should live. Let’s ask, “Am I living a useful life?” Gladwell also wrote Outliers. Success, he says, is more a product of circumstances, even luck. I would expand that to […]
Isaiah 2:1-5 We welcomed Rev. Dr. Adrian Lamkin, from American Baptist Churches Great Rivers Region.
Luke 1:68-79 Colossians 1:11-20 An angel (another name for a poet) named Gabriel is sent by God to a priest named Zechariah. His message: the old couple would have a baby and he would prepare the way for the promised king. Zechariah, keeper of the poems of Israel, should have known, but through long years […]
Isaiah 65:17-25, 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13, Luke 21:5-19 Our readings from Isaiah and Luke are apocalyptic texts – the most complex of all biblical texts. The word refers to “revelation,” the unveiling of truth through the use of symbolic language. The usual church usage of this language is to use it to predict the future. In […]
Ephesians 1:11-23, Luke 6:20-31 In Luke we are troubled once again with words from Jesus known as beatitudes. The word sounds so sweet. After all, it smacks of blessing and beauty. Instead, we learn that this is the Manifesto of Jesus. These are not some sweet words that we get to read and shrug our […]
Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4; Luke 19:1-9 Prophets can say outrageous things, especially after what appears to be the end of the world. What are we to make of prophets? God is creating a new heaven and a new earth. We get a world of abundance and no more the fear of scarcity. We are getting a […]