Thoughts

Sermons, essays, first-person reports, thanks, requests and other bylined items reflecting the day-to-day workings of life in a parish community

Saturday in the Fifth Week of Lent

“You do not understand that it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed.” Caiaphas, the high priest, speaks. The religious leaders are profoundly threatened by Jesus’ raising Lazarus from the dead. They are frightened that his popularity will attract greater repression from the Roman occupiers. They are also afraid that… [ More → ]

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Friday in the Fifth Week of Lent

In the season of Lent, always looking forward in hope to the Easter miracle, I wrestle with my personal journey on the road to Jerusalem. It can be isolating, confusing, and sometimes even hopeless. In today’s lessons, Jeremiah and Jesus meet misunderstanding and hostility for their faith and witness, to the extent that their lives are endangered. [ More → ]

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Thursday in the Fifth Week of Lent

“Whoever keeps my word will never see death.” Jesus offends the religious leaders who hear this. To tell the truth, he offends me. I have known a lot of faithful people who died. As far as I know, we all will, eventually. What does he really mean? [ More → ]

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Wednesday in the Fifth Week of Lent

Today’s readings from Daniel and John reinforce one of the most basic tenets of our faith: Ye shall know the truth, and the truth will make you free. King Nebuchadnezzar learns the truth in the famous story of the fiery furnace. At first… [ More → ]

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Tuesday in the Fifth Week of Lent

This fantastic Old Testament story of poisonous snakes terrorizing the ungrateful Hebrews captures our attention. It has been the subject of numerous paintings, some of which still haunt me from Sunday School days. [ More → ]

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Monday in the Fifth Week of Lent

How interesting to look at the two readings in this time of #metoo and #timesup. In both Daniel 13 and in John 8, a woman is saved from death, even though each had been accused by high-status men. Daniel confronted the wicked judges directly… [ More → ]

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Sermon – March 31, 2019

Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. [ More → ]

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Saturday in the Fourth Week of Lent

If John were being sly, he might be telling us that Scripture can blind us to God just as easily as it can reveal God to us. Even John seems to take issue with that other book that starts “In the beginning….” [ More → ]

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Friday in the Fourth Week of Lent

Comparisons to other people lead nowhere good. “Ugh, Jessica is so much better at art and book displays than I am!” “Everyone else’s treats for coffee hour look professional next to my lumpy bread.” Watching people bustling to the gym, getting mad that I have been lazily blowing off yoga class. [ More → ]

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Thursday in the Fourth Week of Lent

In the times of bleakness, despair or desperation we may often wonder: Where, oh where, is God? We become anxious when we think Yahweh is not present. In the Exodus reading, this is what is going on with the people of Israel as they begin to query Moses’s whereabouts. [ More → ]

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