Esther: For Just Such a Time as This

Esther 4:10-17 Can a beauty queen become a national hero and have a book in the Bible named after her?  Can God call a reluctant royal to be God’s instrument of deliverance?  That’s the story of Esther.  Every year, our Jewish siblings celebrate Purim.  It is a time of celebration, feasting, and rejoicing.  People reach out to the poor […]

Ruth: Not Just a Hallmark Love Story

Ruth 1:1-8, 15-17; 4:13-17 It has been said that good things come in small packages.  The same applies to speeches and books.  Abraham Lincoln didn’t think his 272 word Gettysburg Address would be remembered, and yet we recite “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, […]

Feet Planted On Earth with Hopes for Heaven

Romans 8:37-39 I became a theologian at age five.  My parents had gone away for the weekend to a church conference and left my brother Bill and me for the weekend with a kindly church lady, Bertha Orr.  I had never spent much time with a dog before, but that weekend I was inseparable from Taffy, her […]

Beginning and Ending the Day

Philippians 4:4-9 When I was a child growing up in the Baptist church, one summer my mother insisted that my brother Bill and I memorize a Bible verse each day.  We typically chose quick and easy ones like “Jesus wept” or “Judas hung himself”  Or more humorous ones like “Balaam said to his ass, ‘Because you have […]

A More Perfect Union

Amos 5:24 On this Independence Day Weekend, we need to ponder what it means to be a follower of Jesus in 21st century America.  I realize there are many good responses, but given our congregational history of concern for the well-being of our community and beyond, it is appropriate that I share my images of what it […]

A Quest for Greatness

Genesis 21:8-21 Matthew 10:29-31, 39 Do you remember  the wise words of Forrest Gump’s mother, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get!”  That’s how I feel when I look up the lectionary readings for each week.  Sometimes you get Godivas, other times lemons.  Today’s Old Testament reading has a lemony quality, […]

Surprising Hospitality

Genesis 18:1-15 Romans 5:1-8 Over the past few months, we haven’t had any persons outside the family visit our home other than our housemate Darlene Zerbe and a few workmen.  Perhaps you’ve practiced the same care about relationships in this time of pandemic! We keep our distance, shout at neighbors over the fence, and some of […]

Evolving Trinity

Genesis 1:1-3, 26-27, Psalm 8:1-9. Matthew 28:16-20 It’s difficult to read the book of  Genesis, especially the first two chapters without getting into a fight with someone. These verses are on the front line of what some have called the  battle for the bible or the culture wars between faith and science.  The conflict between those who take […]

PENTECOST IN A TIME OF PANDEMIC

Acts 2:1-21 It’s May 31 and we’re still holding zoom services.  It’s likely we will continue these zoom services long after we will have returned to our sanctuary or the church lawn just to ensure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to worship. We want to be back in our sanctuary, singing hymns, […]

Don’t Look Up, Look Around

Acts 2:1-11 The Ascension stories give us pause in a world where the earth is no  longer seen as the center of the universe and where we don’t typically see heaven in the sky, geographically located, and hell in the core of the earth. According to Acts of the Apostles, the Risen Jesus dwells with his […]