Passing through Jesus

Unlike the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke in which Jesus teaches through parables, John’s Gospel doesn’t include any parables. Instead, Jesus reveals himself through his much-beloved “I AM” sayings: “I AM the bread of life.” “I AM the light of the world.” “I AM the resurrection and the life.” “I AM the way, theContinue reading “Passing through Jesus”

Seeing with Kingdom Eyes

The Lord’s persuasive invitations to discipleship are the common threads woven into our Scripture lessons over the past couple Sundays. Those gracious, open invitations to be counted among Jesus’s followers immediately compel a tax collector named Matthew to quit his lucrative job raking in big bucks for his Roman bosses and to join the communityContinue reading “Seeing with Kingdom Eyes”

Cross Training

We typically sing the rousing lyrics on a Sunday in Lent: “In the cross of Christ I glory, towering o’er the wrecks of time.” The idea of the cross towering over various “wrecks” across the ages became all-the-more poignant in the harrowing days of anger and grief after 9/11. That twisted, iron-girder cross rising fromContinue reading “Cross Training”

Collateral Beauty: A Pastoral Meditation for Memorial Day

It is a weekend for remembering. And for those of us whom God has claimed in Christ Jesus, the most important thing for us to remember is that there’s life even in death – “collateral beauty,” the odd-sounding term I’ve shared with you before. Believing in collateral beauty is to hold fast to the notionContinue reading “Collateral Beauty: A Pastoral Meditation for Memorial Day”

My Word Is Flexibility

The intimidating thought of being known for who you really and truly are as a person cuts like a double-edged sword of bane and blessing. On the one hand, 94 percent of respondents to a recent poll agreed with the statement, “Nobody really knows me.” While some folks might take clandestine comfort in such anonymity,Continue reading “My Word Is Flexibility”

Heart health

Old Testament prophets have miserable, unenviable jobs. God taps these individuals – mostly men but also a few women – to proclaim bracing messages of doom and gloom to wayward souls who’ve strayed far from the fold of God. Over the past few Sundays, in our exploration of the story of God with us, we’veContinue reading “Heart health”

The Power of Your Story

If you worship with us regularly, then you know that I always begin our Sunday services with a question: How has God been working in your life this past week? And I’m always grateful when a few brave souls share a story about a “God moment” that they experienced. I’m grateful because your stories ofContinue reading “The Power of Your Story”

Under Construction

Two Sundays ago, seven of our sons and daughters confirmed their faith, and two adults reaffirmed their baptismal vows. In the weeks leading up to that celebration, our Scripture lessons spoke to all of us about what it means to have faith and belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and how it isContinue reading “Under Construction”

All Wrapped Up in Jesus

Timing is everything! If it’s meant to happen, it will – at the right time and for the right reason. And so it goes with this morning’s Scripture lesson. Jesus is giving his followers some last-minute teaching, some 11th-hour instruction, because the day of his death on the cross is fast approaching. Jesus has givenContinue reading “All Wrapped Up in Jesus”

It’s Simple: Love One Another

Most of us have been baptized, and many of us have been confirmed. Those baptisms and confirmations were celebrated across the wide range of Christian belief and practice, with each tradition holding nuanced understandings of what baptism and confirmation are all about. Yet, I think all of us who follow God in Christ by theContinue reading “It’s Simple: Love One Another”