Living in the Spirit

When we listen to the story of Jesus’ baptism and think about our own baptism, we wonder where the practice of baptism came from and what it means. The better question is, “Where is the Spirit”? 

Balls of Gas Burning Billions of Miles Away

Remembering Pumbaa and Timon, lying on their backs, describing the stars as either “fireflies stuck in that blueish-black thing up there” or “burning balls of gas billions of miles away.” What’s missing is wonder. The story of the Magi offer us a chance to recover wonder as part of our way of encountering the stars.

We Are His Branches

Jesus said, “I am the vine and you are the branches!”  As we celebrate Christ’s birth, we contemplate what it means to be part of Jesus’ vine (His branches) and to be connected to women in Jesus’ lineage, like Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary.From these roots, we learn that God makes even the seemingly unworthy worthy.  With Christ, we bear fruit!

#herstory: Bathsheba and Power

In the last of our “From These Roots” series, focused on the four women identified in Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus, we hear the story of Bathsheba, whom Matthew doesn’t name. Bathsheba’s story is told terribly, it is remembered terribly, and it is terribly familiar.

#herstory: Ruth and Compassion

As we continue our Advent theme, “From These Roots,” and look at Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus, we see the name Ruth. Ruth choose compassion over economic stability, cultural norms, and personal benefit when she decided to accompany her mother-in-law to a foreign land.

#herstory: Rahab and Faith

Many readers are startled to see the name Rahab in Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus. Known in the New Testament and church history as “Rahab the Harlot,” we first meet Rahab in the book of Joshua, where she betrays her people and rescues Israel’s spies, because she could see what God was up to. That act of heroic faith is a challenge to us and is part of Jesus’ birth story.

#herstory: Tamar and Justice

For the Advent season, we are following the theme, “From These Roots,” as we trace the lineage given in the Gospel According to Matthew and especially listen to the #herstory of the four women who are listed there. Today’s sermon is about Tamar, a woman caught in a patriarchal system and betrayed by the one on whom she was dependent. Tamar struggles for justice and comes away victorious.

What to Do with Power

The last Sunday in many church calendars is called “Christ the King Sunday,” a fairly new celebration on the church’s calendar. We wonder if the symbolism of “king” is still meaningful today and how the confrontation between Jesus and Pontius Pilate shapes our understanding of what “king” means.

While Joyfully Giving Thanks to God!

Life deals us many blows, but God gives us the power not just endure our suffering, but the power to turn our suffering into glory!”This means we can live through the worst that life can do to us, “while joyfully giving thanks to God,” because not even death can defeat God’s power!
Colossians 1:11-20 is another good news reminder that we have the hope and life of Christ!

Echoing the Story

The sixth and final story in our series of “Following a Trail of Bread Crumbs” is Mark’s “feeding of the 4,000” story, an echo of the Manna story. To the disciples’ misguided question, “How can anyone feed these people in the desert?” Jesus offers a better question: “What do you have?” That may be the best response to all of our misguided questions.