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Sunday
Feb072010

Unreasonable Expectations

I’m a big fan of bumper sticker theology. This week’s bumper sticker theology: “Jesus died to take away your sins, not your mind.” Part of learning how to be a person of mature faith is learning how to deal with disappointment: what to do when we fail; or when the world we know falls apart; or when catastrophe strikes; or when, like the Rolling Stones sing, you can’t always get what you want. We have language for misery and sorrow; what to do when God seems distant; books of the Bible; classes; seminars; psychologists; group counseling; on and on. All of these resources for coping with suffering are necessary and good.

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Sunday
Jan312010

Divine Love

This well known reading from I Corinthians 13 on LOVE no doubt brings up memories of weddings and memorial services for most of us though Paul shared these words to express how a Jesus-following community was to live in their life together. Paul knew all too well how human beings so easily lose their center and fall prey to competition, judgment, indifference or many other distractions. This happens in the church and outside of it. It can happen wherever people gather.

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Sunday
Jan242010

Proclaiming Our Mission

On Wednesday of this week I got to put on my parent hat in the afternoon and go over to Shorewood High School to listen to our kid’s senior culminating exhibitions as well as some of their peers. These exhibitions included highlights of their four years in high school and extra-curricular activities, and how these have influenced their next steps after graduation. Along with our own two teens I heard how science and history projects, reflection papers, athletics, jobs outside of school, near failures and happy successes, relationships with teachers and mentors, summer camps and the death of a parent - all molded and shaped the hearts, minds and futures of these wonderful people

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Sunday
Jan172010

Water Into Wine

The Gospel of John 2 and Isaiah 62, the assigned scripture readings for today are celebratory in their nature. We are given images of great abundance, unity and rejoicing. Weddings, brides and bridegrooms and ultimately, an abundance of wine are meant to be symbolic of the bigger picture of God’s relationship with humanity. We are in relationship with one another – and when that relationship is at its best, there is an abundance of possibility, healing and joy. These are lovely scriptures to follow the one from last week of Jesus’ baptism and the reaffirmation of our own. Last week the word was “beloved” by God – this week we hear that we are God’s delight and that God rejoices over us! The story from the Gospel of John is a fun one to work with. It is found only in this Gospel, a Gospel whose writer loved metaphor and symbol. The writer includes a story such as this one as an affirmation – a sign of how God is working through Jesus, with the sole purpose of bringing people to believe in him as Emmanuel, God with us.

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Sunday
Jan102010

Keeping Connected

The baptism of Jesus in the waters of the Jordan is no minor occurrence in the ongoing story of God’s activity in creation. It is joined to many other stories in the Bible about God and water – the parting of the waters of creation, Noah and the flood, the parting of water for Israel to cross over, etc. Water is central to scripture, as central to scripture as it is to our bodies.

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