What it means to follow Jesus

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Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany / Proper 5, Year B 4 February 2018 Isaiah 40:21-31 Psalm 147:1-11, 20c 1 Corinthians 9:16-23 Mark 1:29-39 We always read the scriptures from our own perspective and, of course, we believe that God speaks to us through the scriptures and that God speaks into our own time and lives. […]

Loneliness, Community, and the Kingdom of God

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28 January 2018 Fourth Sunday after Epiphany Proper 4, Year B Deuteronomy 18:15-20 Psalm 111 1 Corinthians 8:1-13 Mark 1:21-28   Jesus enters a synagogue, as is customary for him. He encounters a man who has an unclean spirit. We moderns are not entirely sure today about what that means but what is clear is […]

Call, Community, and Transformation

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Third Sunday after Epiphany / Proper 3 21 January 2018 Jonah 3:1-5, 10 Psalm 62:5-12 1 Corinthians 7:29-31 Mark 1:14-20   Years ago I attended a funeral for the grandmother of our son’s girlfriend at the time. The grandma and her husband had been on a journey through a variety of conservative Christian denominations and […]

Nathanael and the Faith of Jesus

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14 January 2018 Second Sunday After Epiphany / Proper 2 1 Samuel 3:1-10 [11-20] Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 John 1:43-51   Before attending university, I spent a year with a Lutheran monastic community in Northern Germany. One of the brothers there once told of his conversion story. The part I remember is this […]

Crisis, corporate repentance, and the Holy Spirit

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Baptism of Our Lord 7 January 2018 Genesis 1:1-5 Psalm 29 Acts 19:1-7 Mark 1:4-11   Mark begins his Gospel by explaining that his writing is about Jesus the Christ who is God’s son. To introduce John the Baptizer he quotes Isaiah 40. This is probably important to establish that Jesus and John are indeed […]

God’s coming and God’s Presence

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Nativity of Our Lord – Christmas Day 25 December 2017 Isaiah 52:7-10 Psalm 98 Hebrews 1:1-4 [5-12] John 1:1-14   Stanley Hauerwas often says that we did not make up this stuff, the stuff we believe about God, the world, and us. He means to say that the Christian faith is not merely a philosophy, […]

Born into our midst, into our lives

Nativity of Our Lord – Christmas Eve 24 December 2017 Isaiah 9:2-7 Psalm 96 Titus 2:11-14 Luke 2:1-14 [15-20]   I have never been into angels. Now, you may say that I say this because I am a guy. And maybe that is true because men have different outlets. We did have an angel once, […]

The Imagination of Faith

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Fourth Sunday of Advent 24 December 2017 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16 Luke 1:46b-55 Romans 16:25-27 Luke 1:26-38   I never quite got into comic strips. Since my parents did not have any around when I was growing up, I never read them, and since I never read them, I never got them when I finally […]

Focus and Distraction

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12 November 2017 Proper 27(32), Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25 Psalm 78:1-7 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 Matthew 25:1-13   Just before the weather turned I hiked up Crown Mountain. It’s behind Grouse, you can see it from Richmond. It’s beautiful up there and it’s not far. About forty minutes into my hike a park […]

We don’t get saved alone

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Wednesday Nov 1 All Saints Day, transferred to Sunday, 5 Nov 2017 Revelation 7:9-17 Psalm 34:1-10, 22 (9) 1 John 3:1-3 Matthew 5:1-12   I have booked our flights. Right after worship on November 19 Jackie and I will fly to Germany to dissolve my mother’s household. My brother and his partner will be there […]