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Showing posts from February, 2017

Sermon for February 11, 2017

Orienteering100: Compassion is our Compass

 Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight.Psalm 119:77

Since the election, psychologists report that their treatment agenda now includes addressing a palpable and perpetual societal angst. The trend seems made up of sadness, grief, fear, anger, frustration, and pronounced worry about societal catastrophe. I’m there myself. I find it very easy to feel lost these days? As I watch the news, as I talk to friends and members in the community, I feel like the path ahead is overgrown and impossible to find. But what do we do? Do we sit down and accept our fate? Do we find a point of light that will always help us find our way?

When I saw a kid in the scouts, we used to do something called orienteering.  We were given a map and a compass, with a few reference points and clues, and we raced along unfamiliar terrain to reach a sequence of checkpoints. There was no path. It was entirely up to the team to find the way throu…

Sermon for February 5, 2017

Orienteering 100: Finding the Morningstar

I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this message for the churches. I am both the source of David and the heir to his throne. I am the bright morning star. Rev. 22:16

I can’t find my car anymore. It’s a new thing for me lately. I park somewhere in a large lot, like a mall, I go inside to shop, and when it’s time to go home, I can’t remember where I parked. I know the general vicinity where I parked, but it takes me a while to locate my car. The other night I was at the mall, and I could not find my way out of a department store. I knew about where my car was parked, but I could not find the door I entered the mall through. I ended up just going outside and walking the perimeter of the mall until I found where I parked. If it happened just once, I’d say it was a fluke. But, since it’s happened four or five times over the past two months, I think something is going on. I don’t think its dementia. I think it’s a crisis of awareness. Lately, m…

Sermon for January 15, 2017

Then Jesus Turned
The next day [John] saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, "Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, 'After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.' I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel." And John testified, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God."

The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, "Look, here is the Lamb of God!" The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following,…

Sermon for January 8. 2017

Ready for the Revolution?

Jesus then appeared, arriving at the Jordan River from Galilee. He wanted John to baptize him. John objected, “I’m the one who needs to be baptized, not you!”But Jesus insisted. “Do it. God’s work, putting things right all these centuries, is coming together right now in this baptism.” So John did it. The moment Jesus came up out of the baptismal waters, the skies opened up and he saw God’s Spirit—it looked like a dove—descending and landing on him. And along with the Spirit, a voice: “This is my Son, chosen and marked by my love, delight of my life.” Matthew 3:13-17, The Message

The waters of baptism are subversive waters.

To subvert something is to overthrow it, but by indirect means. Subversion is not a frontal assault; it's a stealth campaign. The prefix, sub, means "from below" and -vert comes from the Latin for "to turn." So to subvert something is to turn it from below; to churn; in other words, to twist things upside down.

The wate…