Proper 25 (A): Maintaining Relationships on the Run

In many respects, an elevator filled with people is a microcosm of our world today: a large, impersonal institution where anonymity, isolation and independence are the uniform of the day. It shows we can be surrounded, yet not experience community. We can be a part of a company, a club or a church and not feel we belong or that we are accepted. We can share a carpool, an office, even a home and not have significant relationships.

Benefits from the Bible

August 30, 2009? Proper 17 James 1:17-27 Bibles are everywhere. You can find them in grocery stores, bookstores, motel rooms. Every year the Bible outsells every major bestseller. In America we are glutted with the Word of God on the airways, radio, TV, books, magazines. Yet millions of people still miss the benefit from the Bible.

Crossing the Line

?August 23, 2009 Proper 16 John 6:56-69 On Sunday, members of a house church in a city of the old Soviet Union arrived inconspicuously in small groups throughout the day so as not to arouse the suspicion of the KGB informers. By dusk they were all safely inside, windows closed and doors locked. They began singing a hymn quietly but with deep emotion. Suddenly, the door was pushed open and in walked two soldiers with automatic weapons, loaded and ready to fire. One shouted, "All right-everybody line up against the wall. If you wish to renounce your commitment to Jesus Christ, leave now!"

Doing God’s Will

?August 16, 2009 Proper 15 Ephesians 5:15-20 Everyone wants to know God's will. What if God has already given you His will? Many people get hung up on the 5-10 percent of God's will they do not know-like where to go to school, whom to marry, which job to take-which theologians refer to as the specific will of God. Sometimes, we forget about the 90-95 percent of God's will that we already know. (It is recorded in black and white in the Bible.) Theologians refer to this as God's general will because it applies to all believers.

Is the Curtain Rising?

November 16, 2008 Proper 28 (A) 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 Suppose you attend a play in a great theater. Before the play begins, noise, bustle, confusion and movement can be heard from behind the curtains. In the orchestra pit the sounds of instruments warming up emanate. Ushers seat latecomers; friends greet each other; others find their seats and study the program. Then the lights flicker on and off. The time is at hand. How much longer? No one can say exactly. Before long, the house lights go down, a hush falls, the conductor lifts his baton, the overture begins and the curtains slowly rise.

Hope in the Face of Death

November 9, 2008 Proper 27 (A) 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 Death is inevitable, a fact of life. The statistics on death are quite impressive: one out of one people dies. War does not increase death; traffic fatalities do not increase death; cancer and heart disease do not increase death; death is unavoidable and total in every generation. But death is not final. It is not the last hurrah. It is not the end.

Living Worthy of God’s Call

November 2, 2008 Proper 26 (A) 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13 As believers in Christ we have a responsibility to extend God's reputation in the world. People are watching us. How do we live lives worthy of the calling of God?