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Showing posts from June, 2014

Sermon for June 29, 2014

Laws for Living #2: Peace with Hardship
If the gods bring to you
a strange and frightening creature,
accept the gift
as if it were one you had chosen
from “Each Moment a White Bull Steps Shining Into the World” by Jane HirshfieldDear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:2-4 We are told each moment offers a gift. James seems to say this. He writes to first century Jewish converts to Christianity – people who know a little something about trouble and hardship. James writes, “Troubles are an opportunity for great joy.” In other words, “Each moment is a gift.”

Is this true? Is hardship a gift or is it a curse? What exactly do we call the wildness that thunders and storms into our lives – the sudden illness, the loss of a loved o…

Sermon for June 15. 2014

Laws for Living: #1 Peace with the Past

If we deny happiness, resist our satisfaction,
We lessen the importance of their deprivation.
We must risk delight. . .

~Jack Gilbert, "A Brief for the Defense"

One of the survivors of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil drill disaster made an escape that sounds like something from a Tom Cruise Summer blockbuster movie. While drilling the ocean floor, a geyser of mud, methane gas, and seawater erupted onto the rig, shooting 240 ft into the air. The methane ignited into a series of explosions and ultimately a firestorm. The initial blast sent a three-inch thick metal fire door slamming into a worker on the exploding rig. As soon as he was able to free himself, another explosion sent another door straight into him, pinning him to the wall again. By that point he was starting to get angry. After watching all their fire drills go to waste by the panic around him, the worker plunged two or three stories into the ocean which gave him a few seconds t…

Sermon for June 8, 2014 / Pentecost

God Give Us Power to Lift the People - in Memory of Richard Jaeggi

“And so it is that I, a man entering the last third of his life, continue to steer my life, for better or worse, according to the patterns set by this odd pantheon of heroes: a terrorist, a madman, and a religious fanatic.” Richard wrote those words in his Big Acorn column in 2005. He was referring to three heroes who formed his worldview. The terrorist was Robin Hood, an enemy of freedom— at least to those who define freedom as the right of the rich and the educated to freely exploit the poor and the ignorant. The Madman was Don Quixote, who determined that the only life worth living was one of uncompromising service to the highest ideals. Of course, the religious fanatic was Gandhi, who dedicated his life to the discovery of how power might be applied by ordinary men and women to right the great wrongs of the world.

Richard found a way to combine each of those qualities to become a spiritual activist. To some of you, that may sound like a strange word combination – sp…