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Showing posts from August, 2011

Sermon for August 14, 2011


In the first century, the great question was one of boundaries. Where would the lines be drawn that would determine who should hear the gospel and who would not. It is a question the church has not yet answered. Marcus Borg writes about this in his book Meeting Jesus Again for the Very First Time. "The struggle between compassion and purity goes on in the churches today. In parts of the church there are groups that emphasize holiness and purity as the Christian way of life, and they draw their own sharp social boundaries between the righteous and sinners. It is a sad irony that these groups, many of which are seeking very earnestly to be faithful to Scripture, end up emphasizing those parts of Scripture that Jesus himself challenged and opposed. An interpretation of Scripture faithful to Jesus and the early Christian movement sees the Bible through the lens of compassion, not purity."

Perhaps this is what’s happening in our Scripture reading from Matthew 15:21-28. …

Thinking about Norway

As the month of Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins, I continue to think about the violence in Norway and how it exposes the continued friction between Western Christianity and Islam. We not only mourn with those who have lost so much, but we also find ways to think, once again, about love, tolerance, suffering, retribution, forgiveness, justice, and peace. None of these are easy topics to understand.

I found a couple of Web articles from UCC ministers that offer particular perspectives. You may find them useful, as I did.
Blogs, Faith and Norway: Terror and Responsibility by Church Currie.With Sighs Too Deep for Words by Gunnar A. Cerda With every new tragedy or act of violence, the call goes out to learn from these events and prevent their re-occurrences. I'm curious what you think. What have you learned as you reflect on violence and suffering? What have we, as a church, done to promote the law of love? Can we, as a congregation, do more to promote healthy relationship…