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Showing posts from January, 2010

Sermon for January 24, 2010

Jesus and the Golden Rule
Luke 6:27-36
January 24, 2010

It’s told that Mother Theresa once helped a man who was dying on the street. He had maggots eating at his open wounds. She brought him to the convent to clean him up. The whole time, the man complained and cursed her. One of the younger nuns asked her how she could stand to clean him when he was being so nasty. Mother Theresa said, “Oh that was just Jesus having a bad day.”

Mother Theresa was the embodiment of the Golden Rule. She saw God everywhere -- in all people, especially in those who were having a bad day. She saw God and treated people with the sort of sacred respect that most of us reserve for royalty.

We all have bad days, don’t we? You know it’s going to be a bad day when your twin sister forgets your birthday. You know it’s going to be a bad day when you wake up to realize your waterbed broke and then discover you don’t have a waterbed. You know it’s going to be a bad day when your birthday cake collapses from the weight …

Sermon for January 17, 2010

Jesus, Smasher of Stereotypes
January 17, 2010

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"And who is my neighbor?" In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.' Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell…

Sermon for January 10, 2010

Jesus, Breaker of Boundaries
Luke 4:14-21

Imagine what it might sound like if Moms wrote the laws of the Bible. Forget all this stuff about ritual purity and the dimensions of the fork used to stir sacrificial meat. Mom’s laws would be more practical. For instance, from “Mom’s Laws”: Do not scream; for it is as if you scream all the time. If you are given a plate on which two foods you do not wish to touch each other are touching each other, your voice rises up even to the ceiling, while you point to the offense with the finger of your right hand; but I say to you, scream not, only remonstrate gently with the server, that the server may correct the fault. Likewise if you receive a portion of fish from which every piece of herbal seasoning has not been scraped off, and the herbal seasoning is loathsome to you and steeped in vileness, again I say, refrain from screaming. Though the vileness overwhelm you, and cause you a faint unto death, make not that sound from within your throat, neit…

Sermon for Jan 3, 2010

Returning Our Gifts
1 Corinthians 12:1-11

As we are now well into the New Year, has the excitement and thrill of the Christmas season come to an end for you? Have you taken down your Christmas tree yet? Are your children and grandchildren already bored with their new Christmas gifts? Our joy in material things is not a lasting joy. Once the newness wears off we tend to push our gifts aside and find something else that captures our attention. So why not re-gift them? “Tacky,” you say? Actually, that’s what my wife says. Me? I have no qualms about re-gifting when done properly. My favorite re-gift is actually one I received. My grandmother once gave me a set of stemware that I had given her a few years before. She forgot about it, found it in her basement years later, thought of me, wrapped it up, and gave it to me for Christmas. Sometimes I give gifts that I hope will be re-gifted. This year I found something that was so wonderful and so terrifying, I had to get it for a few people: The …