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Showing posts from August, 2007

Sermon for August 12, 2007

Sometimes We Need Snakes
Numbers 21:4-9; John 3:14-21

Do you like snakes? Not many do. I can think of no other creature on the face of the planet that so universally brings forth a sense of revulsion and disgust. When we used to live near Boston there was a woman named “the Snake Lady” She adopted sick and crippled boa constrictors and brought them on tour to schools and other groups for education where she would cuddle them and tell the stories of their previous abuse. She came to one of our church picnics once, causing one of the older members of the church to have a panic attack. True or not, many think of snakes as slimy and nasty. And as our Old Testament lesson reminds, snakes can also be dangerous.

It seems that the children of Israel, in the midst of their wilderness wandering, stumbled to a location south of the Dead Sea that was infamous for its lethal snakes. “Big deal,” they no doubt thought. “Why should we expect anything different? This trip has been one big fiasco from …

Sermon for August 5, 2007

The Ark Builders
Genesis 7:11-8:5

You have never heard the story of Noah until you’ve heard it from biblically illiterate Junior Highers. While I was at camp last week, we talked about the story of Noah’s Ark. Sure, we know about the flood and the rainbow, but did you know that there were mermaids and unicorns? When I asked the kids why God flooded the earth, one Jr. High girl told the group, “OK, so there were these evil men who built their house on some sand, and they wouldn’t listen to God so God sent a flood and everyone who built their house on the sand died but everyone who like built their house on the rocks lived, except the flood came over the whole earth, so they died too.” Bet you didn’t know that part! We see pictures of the animals going into the ark two by two that we don’t always pay attention to the details of the story.

I wonder what Noah must have thought after the flood–when he looked back on the months of awesome and fearful events. God gave Noah a surprise announceme…

Sermon for July 22, 2007

The Life of Justice
Micah 6:6-8

Have you ever heard someone say something like this: “There’s so much pain out there. I suppose someone’s got to address it, but why should I have to do it? I mean, I’ve got my hands full right now, what with working 60 hours a week and my family and all. Besides, I’ve worked hard to get what I have. Why shouldn’t be able to enjoy it?” That’s what might be called the “I’ve Got Mine” theory of social justice: I’ve got mine; let someone else take care of the world’s problems. It’s not much of a social justice theory, but I hear it a lot.

How about this one as an alternative? “Yes, I know. The world is full of injustice and all. It needs to be corrected, but that will take a better person than I. It will take a Martin Luther King, Jr., a Gandhi, a Mother Theresa. Maybe all three rolled into one. I can’t to that; I’m just an ordinary sort of person” That’s the Great Healer Theory of social justice: It takes a few great people to make a difference, and since I’…