When Jesus preached his first sermon in his hometown, he initially received a very warm welcome.
But Jesus knew better than to fall into the trap of being a people pleaser. Jesus recognizes that their approval is only skin deep and they don’t fully comprehend his message. They’ve heard what they want to hear, not what they need to hear. His message is only for those who know that they are poor and wretched, those who know that they are sinners. His message requires not enthusiasm but repentance.
And so Jesus provokes them.
And when Jesus refuses to cater to their sense of entitlement, their approval quickly turns to murderous hostility Continue reading Moving Beyond Entitlement to Repentance: Two Reactions to Jesus’ Inaugural Sermon (Luke 4: 14-30)
When I was younger, I thought that trekking poles were silly and more of a fashion statement than of any use. But since I’ve begun using them, I have noticed three benefits. Continue reading Thy Rod and Thy Trekking Poles, They Comfort Me
You can never comprehend your parents love, until you have children of your own. Continue reading Love on a Backyard Swing
“We need to state honestly that [the narrative of election fraud] is radicalizing a portion of our population in the same way that Islamic extremists have radicalized people to become terrorists.” Continue reading January 6, 2021 — Sign of the Rose
My daughter was born two days before Christmas. Oddly the delivery room overlooked a cemetery, which seemed very inappropriate.
But the more I thought about it, the more it took on a deeper meaning. Since it was just two days before Christmas, there was an odd juxtaposition of the birth of my daughter, the birth of Jesus and the reminder of death. They were all woven together to create a beautiful cloth full of meaning. Continue reading Two Births at Christmas
“Never underestimate the ponderings of a mother… Mary is a thoughtful person. Nothing that is happening is getting past her attention. As such, her pondering, her treasuring, her keeping all of the words, should tell us something, something very important about our own responses and reactions to the life of Jesus.” Karoline Lewis Continue reading Pondering Jesus with Mary–A Sermon on Luke 2:41-52
Which time of day do you prefer: sunsets or sunrises?
Sunsets are a benediction, a revelation of God’s glory and holiness, a peaceful blessing that carries us into a grateful and restful sleep.
Simeon is a man who is caught between a sunset and a sunrise. On the one hand he is in the sunset of his life. But on the other hand he is privileged to witness the dawn of a new age in the coming of Jesus. Continue reading Simeon’s Story: A Beautiful Sunset and a New Dawn (Luke 2: 22-38)
Question: What do you give a God who has everything? The wisemen brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, but whta can we give him?
Answer: You give him your all. Continue reading What Do You Give a God Who Has Everything: A Christmas Day Meditation on Romans 12:1-8
“Fear” is the word that summarizes the year 2020. Even left unspoken, it’s in our minds! Much of what has happened this year has been fear based: fear of getting corona virus, fear of political changes, fear of isolation and abandonment, fear of financial losses, fear of racial injustice, fear of the future. And the list goes on.
And so on this Christmas Eve we are gathered here, bringing with us our fears and disappointments, to hear the word of the angel, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” (Luke 2:10, KJV) Continue reading Fear Not, A Christmas Eve Meditation on Luke 2: 10-11
A Sermon on Joel 2:12-13, 28-29 preached on the 2nd Sunday in Advent, December 6, 2020 at United Reformed Church … Continue reading Repentance and Hope