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 […]
Joel 2:23-32, Luke 18:9-14 Prophets can say outrageous things, especially what appears to be the end of the world. We are not truly convinced that we want to hear the message of prophets. We usually kill prophets or ignore them. In Joel, there’s been a locust invasion and it looks like the end of the […]
Psalm 119:97-104; 2 Timothy 3:14:4-5; Luke 18:1-8 “Your word, O Lord, is sweeter than honey,” says the Psalmist. But not in our world. In our world, words are not sweet. Sometimes it is necessary for us to use words that cry out against injustice — fighting words. “I still believe that standing up for the […]
Luke 17:11-21, 2 Kings 5:1-14 Keep your eyes on Jesus because Jesus did not come to spread smugness, but to seek and to save. Where is Jesus? He is walking along the border – an area infested with social deviants. Along come ten lepers, shuffling along the border, loud, dirty, unclean. Nine of the lepers […]
2 Timothy 4:1-8 The dictionary defines valedictory as a farewell address or oration. Rev. Middleton looks back over his 69 years of preaching and shares some of his feelings about his observations.