November 8, 2020/2 Samuel 5:1-5; 6:1-5 In a country that prides itself on its democratic government, we would do well to recognize that even the best governments – and leaders – are often quirky and difficult and downright messy. If we had any doubts, if we were under the illusion that the “perfect” candidate was… Read More Come with Joy
Luke 17:11-19 Preached October 16, 2022, at Westminster Presbyterian, Westminster, SC Back in the spring of 2018 a group of sociologists reported the results of a study they had conducted on gratitude. The authors of the study were curious about how often people expressed gratitude when someone provided them with a product or service. What… Read More Giving Thanks
June 26, 2022/I Thessalonians 5:11b-25, 28 What does it mean for us to be the church? Indeed, why do we bother to wrestle with the demands and idiosyncrasies of other folk, trying to bring different views and opinions together and mold them into a cohesive body professing one faith, one belief, one God above all?… Read More Always and Without Ceasing
June 19, 2022/Ephesians 4:1-16 In early May, Presbyterian Outlook published an article titled “Small but steady witness: Big lessons from little churches.” The writer, a Presbyterian minister who had served for five years in a small, rural congregation, noted that small churches are often dismissed as inconsequential because they are small – “When churches are… Read More One
June 5, 2022/Acts 2:1-21 Over the years, we’ve grown comfortable with Pentecost. We’ve bleached the color and drama from the original day and replaced it with bland birthday cake and innocuous hymns. We’ve pushed the meaning of Pentecost into the past, trapping it in the verses from Acts 2 and acting as though it has… Read More What Does This Mean?
May 22, 2022/John 5:1-9 He had been ill for thirty-eight years. John doesn’t say what was wrong with the man, just that he had been ill for thirty-eight years. Ill, and lying near the pool with other invalids – blind, lame, and paralyzed, John writes. So maybe this man also was blind, or lame, or… Read More Do You Want to Be Made Well?
May 15, 2022/John 17:6-19 Have you noticed the new trend on Facebook? People are posting pictures – lots and lots of pictures. But these aren’t the kinds of pictures we see during the rest of the year. No, these pictures are unique to this season of the year, this late-May-to-early-June period of time during which… Read More Ready, Set, Go!
May 8, 2022/Psalm 23 On any given Sunday during the course of worship, we find ourselves repeating ancient words that have been inscribed on our hearts through years of church-going, study, and prayer. The Apostles’ Creed. The Lord’s Prayer. The laudatory, thanks-filled words of the Doxology and the Gloria Patri. Providence Presbyterian’s own covenants. We… Read More Hearing the Familiar for the First Time
May 1, 2022/John 21:1-19 I distinctly remember the one New Year’s Eve that Jeff and I did anything other than fall asleep in front of the TV well before the midnight hour. We had won an overnight stay at a bed-and-breakfast inn in Tryon, and we decided to cash in our award the last day… Read More Called Again
April 17, 2022/Easter Sunday – Luke 24:1-12 We arrive in this place on Easter morning with only a dim recollection of the events of the preceding week lingering in our minds. We’ve moved on, gotten past that bittersweet last supper, tried to block the betrayals from our memories, closed our eyes to the brutal torture… Read More Dim Easter Light
April 15, 2022/Maundy Thursday John 13:1-17, 31b-35 It was the normal chit-chat between people who don’t know each other beyond offering a non-personal greeting or comment on the weather. We were waiting outside the group exercise studio for the earlier class to end. I don’t think she would have asked the question she did if… Read More Ugly Feet