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Twenty-third Sunday in Pentecost 11.17.19

There are beginnings and there are endings. We LIKE beginnings – a new baby – a new job. Endings as we know, can be difficult. The END of a job with no idea of what to do next. The END of a relationship, with no idea how to go on.

Chances are that many of you sitting here have weathered these personal storms: endings that were very, very, difficult. The death of a loved one. Today’s text, difficult though it is, is for you. Continue reading “Twenty-third Sunday in Pentecost 11.17.19”

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Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost 11.10.19

Trick questions. Pop quizzes. Mind games. Today, the Sadducees give Jesus a trick question about marriage and life after death. The Sadducees KNEW the law: they have the first five books of the Torah.

When Moses received the law from God on Mt. Sinai it was a KINDNESS. The law showed this ragtag bunch of former slaves how to live. In the beginning, they didn’t have a CLUE on how to live. The law was a CLUE for the CLUELESS. Their laws built them as a nation. Every self-respecting nation had LAWS, and LAWS gave this group of renegade slaves, respectability. Continue reading “Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost 11.10.19”

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All Saints Sunday 11.3.19

Who do you admire? If we’re church people, we admire the saints. We admire those people who DO give the shirt off their back for someone. It’s an amazing spectacle to see that. We admire people who put others first. The question is, do we want to BE those people? OR do we just want to stand back and admire, and not have to put thought or effort in being not just a follower of Christ.

Perhaps we think saints have some mysterious X-factor going on that we don’t have.

What could it be? What is that mysterious X-factor? There is even a definition for the term, X-FACTOR. It means “a quality that you cannot describe that makes someone very special.”[1] I’m sure we’d agree that saints have that X-factor. Continue reading “All Saints Sunday 11.3.19”

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Eighteenth Sunday in Pentecost 10.13.19

 If there was a scale where you could measure your level of gratitude on a scale of 1 to 10 – what number value would you give yourself? Are you an 8? Really grateful for God’s grace? Or are you maybe a three? Not so grateful. Keep the number to yourself.

Our gratitude keeps us buoyant during difficult times.

I would say that today’s story where Jesus heals a leper, that leper’s gratitude is off the charts! Continue reading “Eighteenth Sunday in Pentecost 10.13.19”

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Seventeenth Sunday in Pentecost – 10.6.19

When I was young, there were days when I’d come home from school and – the furniture would be rearranged! The couch would be in a new spot. The armchair in the corner. The table and lamp somewhere else. It was a little disorienting, but in a good way. I enjoyed sitting on the couch and having a different perspective of the room. It would happen at the dinner table, too. We’d be assigned different seats, and I enjoyed that, too. Continue reading “Seventeenth Sunday in Pentecost – 10.6.19”

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Sixteenth Sunday in Pentecost – 9.29.19

Do you have a favorite book of the bible? Many people love the book of psalms. Or the Acts of the Apostles. Many people pick the book of Revelation. It has so many iconic scenes: the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, the woman giving birth, a dragon ready to devour her child, the triumphant Lamb, the new heaven and the new earth. The tree which has leaves for the healing of the nations. Continue reading “Sixteenth Sunday in Pentecost – 9.29.19”