In the Dark

December 2, 2018/1st Sunday of Advent Luke 21:25-36 Every day, now, the light grows shorter and the night grows longer.  By the time we reach Christmas Eve, we will have sunk into the darkest of nights, into an inky blackness that matches much of the world around us. We’ll fight against it.  Already the stores… Read More In the Dark

Beware

November 18, 2018/Mark 13:1-8 Paradise lay nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas above Sacramento Valley.  Some 25,000 people called it home, enjoying its cool, clear air and its quiet atmosphere. A little over a week ago, all that changed. Paradise sat in the path of what is now considered the deadliest and most… Read More Beware

How to Love

November 4, 2018/Mark 12:28-34 We throw the word around so glibly, so … thoughtlessly.  I love you, we say to our husband or wife, son or daughter, friend or casual acquaintance.  I love you. If we thought a little more about that word, about what it means, what it calls for us to do and… Read More How to Love

Dust

October 28, 2018/Job 42:1-6, 10-17 Eugene Peterson died this week. Even if you’ve never heard of Eugene, he has touched you.  Maybe through his popular paraphrased version of the Bible, The Message.  Maybe through his influence on someone who stood here in this pulpit. It was early in my seminary studies that Eugene appeared in… Read More Dust

Are You Able?

October 21, 2018/Job 38:1-7 (34-41) When we left Job last week, he was suffering through the “comfort” of his friends.  Three of his contemporaries had dropped by, and for seven days they did everything right.  They hardly recognized him, so horrible were the sores that covered his body, the anguish that marked his face.  They… Read More Are You Able?

Where Is God?

October 14, 2018/Job 23:1-9, 16-17 Most folks have at least a passing knowledge of C.S. Lewis.  They know of him because they read – or read to their children – his Narnia tales.  They know of him because of his long friendship with J.R.R. Tolkien, another British professor and writer of fantasies – remember Lord… Read More Where Is God?

Blameless

October 7, 2018/Job 1:1; 2:1-10 “There was once a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job.” It’s the perfect set-up for a fairy tale, a “once-upon-a-time” sort of story.  We hear the opening words and we nod our heads – oh yes!  I remember that one.  We wait for the tale to… Read More Blameless

Cut It Off

September 30, 2018/Mark 9:38-50 I wonder if Jesus ever wanted to just throw his hands up and groan and walk away. The disciples in Mark’s gospel give him ample reason to turn his back on them.  Earlier in this chapter Jesus tells the disciples for the second time that he will be betrayed and killed… Read More Cut It Off

Far and Near

September 9, 2018/Mark 7:24-37 This morning’s gospel reading brings us not one but two miracle stories – two encounters that end with Jesus offering healing.  But there’s a third “healing” of sorts that takes place within these stories, and it is that healing that has the most to teach us. The story opens with Jesus… Read More Far and Near