Showing posts from October, 2013


On Halloween we see children running around in costumes, and it seems like everywhere you turn you are confronted by skeletons and tombstones. Death, and all that is associated with its mysteriousness, is brought to our minds. We see caricatures of the dead in various forms- vampires, zombies, Frankenstein’s monster, ghosts, and skulls. Along with these ghouls come every creepy and crawly thing that might keep company with such creatures. It is a time when we are confronted with the mystery of death.             However, this season is also playful. The skeletons dance. The monsters are cartoons. The coffins are full of candy, and the tombstones have comedic sayings like “Here lies the body of Jonathan Blake; Stepped on the gas instead of the brake”.             Perhaps we laugh because we are uncomfortable. Perhaps we make the skeleton dance so that we don’t have to feel the loss of those we know and love who have died. Perhaps we fill the coffin with candy because we don’t want t…

contempt and humility- Luke 18

Luke 18
Hear the sermon here
  A friend of mine who lives out west on the coast was picking up her daughter from school in the middle of winter. It was a really cold day, and she had 2 small children in the van with her, one of them was a young baby. So as she was waiting she had her car idling to keep the car warm. It’s one of those things parents can be a bit paranoid about in the winter, especially since babies can't tell you if they are getting cold.   So as she's waiting outside the school she has the van running.             A very angry man came up to her and knocked on her window and started to lecture her about how she shouldn't be letting the car idol because it puts more carbon into the atmosphere. She explained to him that she had a baby in the car who would get cold if she turned it off, but he wouldn't hear any of it. When she wouldn't turn off her vehicle he went and stood in the exhaust behind her minivan and started coughing loudly to get his point a…

The Church as a Hospital

Click here to learn more about st. Luke Hear the sermon here
Today we remember Saint Luke. Saint Paul refers to him in his letters as “the beloved physician”, which is why he is connected to healing. We know him best for his early biography of Jesus in the “Gospel of Luke”, and the second half of that work, which is the “Acts of the Apostles”” where Luke describes the early growth of the church.  Being a physician, and being the author of texts that contain the teachings of Christ do not contradict. They are both aiming at health and restoration.               It has been said that the church is not a museum of saints, but a hospital for sinners. The church is concerned about the ultimate and eternal health of human beings. The Church is not primarily concerned with making people behave morally, though that is a part of what happens as we are healed. The church is not primarily a philosophy club where those with similar ideas and worldviews gather together. The church does have a way of …

Thankfulness- Deut 26

Deuteronomy 26:1-11 Hear the sermon here

It is not an uncommon experience to be shocked by the ingratitude of people as we read through the Bible. We read about God rescuing the people from slavery in Egypt because God hears their cries and suffering. Then, as soon as they are miraculously rescued through the parted sea they start complaining and wishing they were back in slavery. They complain about being hungry … and God provides them with manna to eat. They complain about not having meat…  and God rains quail on them. He brings them into the Promised Land … and they complain that they don’t have a king. When they are in the Promised Land they even turn and worship other gods, basically rejecting the God who rescued their ancestors from slavery and brought them to a land of abundance. The Bible is not always about heroes who should be imitated. It is mostly about God interacting with a group of people who are very very human.           I have worked with teenagers for a long time. It s…

Feeling sloth-like? 2 Timothy

2 Timothy 1:1-14 Hear the sermon here

The pastor and writer FrederickBuechner once said, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”[1] … I think it is a profound statement. Our calling is where we use the gifts God has given us to serve God and our neighbor in the world. It means that God is calling us to where we will find our most profound happiness. … God has given us all a gift. That gift is to be used in our particular lives to bless the particular people in our lives. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world” (Matt 5:14).  I think this is what he was talking about. You are God’s person in your particular place. God has placed you were you are for a particular reason. If your light doesn’t shine in your place then it will be dark there. God has given us gifts so that we can be the lights of the world. We have to get away from this idea that we can only use our gifts to do religious stuff in the church. We have bought into …