A Little Guilt Might Be Good

It’s your lucky day, folks! You’re going to hear not one but two sermons this morning! Mine, of course, will come later, but the first comes in our Scripture lesson through the Old Testament voice of Samuel, the last of the great judges and the first of the great prophets. As we learned last Sunday,Continue reading “A Little Guilt Might Be Good”

Even in a Broken World

Our journey to Bethlehem and the birth of Jesus begins this first Sunday of Advent with the Gospel of Luke and the story of a faithful, long-serving priest named Zechariah and his wife, Elizabeth. For years, Zechariah prays anxiously for the birth of a son only to get back what he hears as a great-bigContinue reading “Even in a Broken World”

Thirsty for God

Last week found me living the bachelor life. My wife and sons were out at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake to attend Synod School, the annual educational and fellowship gathering of Midwest Presbyterians. Alone at home, I felt no need to prepare any meals from scratch. The refrigerator held scads of leftovers, so IContinue reading “Thirsty for God”

Every Which Way But Loose

Pound for pound, this morning’s Scripture lesson from the Gospel of Mark packs quite the punch. This strange story of a man who daily lives with the unraveling of his mind easily ranks right up there with the most bizarre stories in the Bible. A man named Legion is labeled demonical, and the town residentsContinue reading “Every Which Way But Loose”

Labor Day 2020: Do You Want My Job?

May you lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. ~ Colossians 1:10 COVID-19 mostly has brought bane, but for those with eyes to see, the pandemic has not been without blessing. Early on in ourContinue reading “Labor Day 2020: Do You Want My Job?”

Broken Dreams

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down;Yeah, we wept, when we remembered Zion.There the wicked carried us away in captivity,Required from us a song.Now how shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?– Boney M, Rivers of Babylon Indeed, how do we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land? TheContinue reading “Broken Dreams”

What’s It Going to Take?

Up until now, over the past few weeks, in our sharing of Bible stories that speak to God’s presence when human plans fall apart, God has been the One doing the unraveling. For always-good divine purposes, God has been the One tugging at loose threads in the fabric our lives and reweaving those stands intoContinue reading “What’s It Going to Take?”

Unraveled Salvation

When you mention the biblical name Zacchaeus, three descriptors of the character in Luke’s Gospel usually spring to mind: First, Zacchaeus is short – “a wee little man was he.” Second, he’s good at climbing trees – sycamores in particular. And third, nobody likes him. Most people neither welcome Zacchaeus nor want anything to doContinue reading “Unraveled Salvation”