The distraction of many things and keeping our eyes on Jesus

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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 […]

The joy and pain of being pruned

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31 October 2017 Reformation Day, transferred to Sunday, 29 Oct 2017 Jeremiah 31:31-34 Psalm 46 Romans 3:19-28 John 15:1-5   My parents had a profoundly unhappy marriage. My father moved out a couple of weeks after I had moved out to attend university. He had told me that he was going to move out but […]

Finding a loving God in a violent world

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1 October 2017 Proper 23(28), Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost Exodus 32:1-14 Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23 Philippians 4:1-9 Matthew 22:1-14   There is an article in the current edition of The Christian Century entitled, “On Luther and his lies.”1 It is an allusion to Luther’s antisemitic diatribes, particularly his pamphlet “On the Jews and their lies”, written […]

Our small dreams and God’s big dream

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Sunday Sep 3 – Proper 17(22), Year A Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost Exodus 3:1-15 Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45b Romans 12:9-21 Matthew 16:21-28   Many of you know that my mom died last fall, a day before her 85th birthday. She still lived in the same house in which my brother and I were raised, and […]

Baptism, Vocation, Transformation

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Sunday Aug 27 – Proper 16 (21) Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost Exodus 1:8-2:10 Psalm 124 Romans 12:1-8 Matthew 16:13-20   “Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.” When I was in grade seven or eight, a few of my fellow students and I argued with our history teacher about the […]

Overcoming Rejection

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Sunday Aug 20 – Proper 15 (20) Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost Genesis 45:1-15 Psalm 133 Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32 Matthew 15:[10-20] 21-28   We needed a new car when Elias was born. There were now two in car seats and there needed to be room left for our eldest, and the Ford Escort Wagon we were […]

Freed to become human

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Sunday Aug 6 – Proper 13 (18) Ninth Sunday after Pentecost Genesis 32:22-31 Psalm 17:1-7, 15 Romans 9:1-5 Matthew 14:13-21   The Gospel of John is unlike the other three gospels, unlike what we call the Synoptic gospels. One thing that makes it different is that it begins at the beginning, at the very beginning. […]

Proper 12 (17), Year A, 30 July 2017

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Eighth Sunday after Pentecost Genesis 29:15-28 Psalm 105:1-11, 45b Romans 8:26-39 Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52   On Saturday I visited someone with advanced dementia. I believe that cognitive ability is great. It is a way to exercise control over one’s life which is why losing one’s cognitive abilities is such a scary thought for many. Exercising […]

Proper 11 (16), Year A, 23 July 2017

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Seventh Sunday after Pentecost Genesis 28:10-19a Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24 Romans 8:12-25 Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43   I was sitting together with another pastor last week. It was still early in the week and my colleague had decided to preach on the story of Jacob at Bethel. I love preaching on Genesis but I had made up […]