A Life Worthy of God

I Thessalonians 2:9-13 Matthew 23:1-12  What does it mean to live a life worthy of God? For many people, religion is all about rules, do’s and don’ts, and communal norms that stifle the human spirit. Those who follow the rules are “one of us” but those who take a different path or have a different […]

The Reformation is Always Reforming

Deuteronomy 34:1-12 Matthew 22:34-39 On April 3, 1968, a group of citizens heard words that forever changed their lives. The speaker shared his heart: “Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t […]

It’s a Gift to be Simple

Today, I want to talk about one of my spiritual heroes, or shall I say heroines, Peace Pilgrim. Her real name was Mildred Lisette Norman. She was born in 1908, almost 110 years ago. You can see her photo on our bulletin today. I first met her when I was a sophomore in college – […]

Creation Season – The Sky and Air – The Sky Above, The Air We Breathe

Psalm 150 and John 20:20-21 A spiritual mentor of mine, psychiatrist Gerald May, regularly taught workshops on the theme of “Appreciation.”   Just as radical amazement was at the heart of Abraham Joshua Heschel’s spiritual vision, appreciation – a sense of gratitude, valuing, noticing, and treasuring is at the heart of all religious experience. So many […]

The Sea Around Us

Last week, we looked at our little planet suspended in space, and discovered that Earth care is about recognizing how precious everything is, how unique our planet is in all its diversity, and how our calling as God’s beloved is do something beautiful for God: to keep this earth beautiful, to be gardeners who add […]

The Gospel According to Winnie the Pooh

Mark 10:13-16 There is an African proverb that counsels, “It takes a village to raise a child.” I am sure of this, based on my son’s and grandchildren’s experience of caring adults, who took an interest in them, providing advice, guidance, mentoring, and in Matt’s case an introduction that opened doors to success. I think […]

Sabbath Rest

Genesis 2:1-4 Do any of you remember the good old days? Now, of course, the good old days weren’t always good, but back before the internet and 24/7 consumerism and cable television, life was different – Sundays were special. For many of us, Sunday was a day of rest. Only a few restaurants were open, […]

Is Change Possible?

Jonah 3:1-10; Romans 12:1-8 Today’s passages are two of my favorites from scripture – the story of Jonah preaching in Nineveh and Paul’s exhortation to the house church in Rome, “be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” These are provocative passages which beg the question, “Is change […]

Questions of God: Must Religion be Violent?

Joshua fit the battle of Jericho Jericho, Jericho Joshua fit the battle of Jericho And the walls came tumblin’ down… As a child, I loved that hymn. It was about bravery and soldiers and knights, and it reflected my own boyish interest in cowboys and Indians and the Cold War environment of my childhood. The […]

Do our Pets go to Heaven?

Genesis 6:18-19; Matthew 6:25-26 I first became a theologian, a person who studies about god, when I was five years old. My parents went away to a church convention and my brother Bill and I stayed with a pious Baptist lady, Bertha Orr. She had a little poodle, named Taffy, and I played with Taffy […]