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Sunday
Dec202009

Here God Finds Me

This morning I want to spend a brief time simply enjoying the story of Mary and Elizabeth and what it might have to say to us in the living out of our days. I am relying on the writings of author Mary Redding who wrote a lovely book for the season of Advent called “While We Wait”, published in 2002. To begin – Let us consider Elizabeth, aunt to Mary, wife to the priest Zechariah, and mother to John the Baptist. According to the story she and her husband had waited a very, very long time for a child and by now had given up hope, but alas, miracle of miracles – she becomes pregnant with John. An older woman – what would that mean in those days, in her twenties perhaps? Elizabeth is six months along when the angel comes to visit young Mary. Now she is young – scholars suspect she is about 13 when she learns that she is pregnant with Jesus.

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Sunday
Dec062009

To Begin Again

Our reading from the Gospel of Luke begins with a list of political and religious leaders that were the big names at the time; it is the author’s way of placing the story of John the Baptist in history. It is his way of saying “this really happened and this is when it happened.” However, by the time the Gospel of Luke was actually written, all of these political and religious leaders are dead, while the stories of John the Baptist and Jesus persisted and even flourished. This would not be lost on Luke’s audience – it would be empowering. It would remind them that earthly powers pass away but divine power is eternal and life giving.

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Sunday
Nov292009

The Lord is Our Righteousness?

As Fall has turned to Winter, Americans everywhere gather at shopping malls and department stores around the country to celebrate spending and to shop until they drop. It’s as if shopping malls and department stores are our places of worship, and credit cards are the key to our righteousness as human beings. I’m not just saying this because I’m a minister. It’s a fact that Americans spend about one hour a week in a place of worship and about five hours a week shopping – And this doesn’t just mean high schoolers who hang out at the mall after school – don’t forget those hours we spend on eBay or Amazon.com or browsing through ads in our favorite magazines.

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Sunday
Nov222009

Speaking Truth to Power

Today we come to the close of the Christian year; next Sunday begins a new one with the First Sunday of Advent. Each year the lectionary scriptures focus on Jesus as King and how that stands in contrast (and as a threat) to the Roman Emperor with his wealth, military strength and hierarchy. In the gospel reading from John we have Pilate confronting Jesus. Pilate is the governor and main representative of the Emperor in the region known as Judea. And then there is Jesus.

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Sunday
Nov152009

We Pour Out our Souls to You

We all know that families can be a place of sanctuary and connection in a chaotic world or a place of manipulation and criticism that you can’t wait to get away from. Or of course it might be a little bit of both or something between those two extremes. Family life can be complicated as personalities can clash or members see themselves in competition with one another rather than members of a team; relationships change due to divorce or death, expectations are not fulfilled or circumstances cause family members to grow apart – etc. etc.

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