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Sunday, 28 February 2016
Passage: Luke 13:1-9
Duration: 20 mins 17 secs
It is no secret that I am easily distracted...look a squirrel! It is part of my personality type. But is also true that most people focus on that which is immediately before them even when something vastly more pressing requires attention. We can't see the forest for the trees. In this weeks Gospel, Jesus attempts to refocus people's attention from recent tragedies to their need of repentance. "Unless you repent, you will all perish". Repentance is a great gift and spectacular good news. We can repent. Our lives now can change for the good. We can be freed from destructive habits and enjoy peace in this life and look forward to eternal life. -Ed
Sunday, 21 February 2016
Passage: Luke 13:31-35
Duration: 15 mins 5 secs
"The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" God longs to gather us under his wings; to shelter us in the day of trouble; that we may fear nothing. But He won't force us to love him, he won't make us prisoners for the sake of security. Instead He longs, and we either respond or resist.
Sunday, 14 February 2016
Passage: & Luke 4:1-13
Duration: 10 mins 14 secs
The season of Lent begins with the story of Christ in the desert. It's a battle of cosmic importance. The Devil himself wages war against the Son of God. He tempts him with bread, honor, and self-importance. At each juncture our Savior remains victorious over the temptations he faces. This image is important for us to keep in mind as we begin Lent. We enter into a similar desert as Christ did, but the battle we wage we have already lost. Our sins are magnified in this season. Lent is not merely fasting, but it also repentance of our wrongs. As we enter into the desert, this passage from Luke reminds us that it is only by Christ's victory that we stand a chance at all. Join us this Sunday as we begin the journey to watch our Savior's march toward Easter.
Wednesday, 10 February 2016
Duration: 18 mins 17 secs
Do we really need Lent?
Sunday, 07 February 2016
I love that the season of great beauty and wonder immediately precedes the season of Lent. Epiphany is a season of great beauty. We may not often think of it in this way. I call it a season of great beauty as it is the season that focuses on the self revelation of God. We get glimpses of glory and are moved to wonder. Epiphany began with the adoration of the Magi, included Jesus’ Baptism and the voice of God, amazing wine at his first miracle at Cana of Galilee. This Sunday we celebrate the feast of the Transfiguration when Jesus is revealed in His glory. Such great beauty. On my recent trip to Israel I was stunned by the beauty of the Church of the Transfiguration. It is the most beautiful church I have ever prayed in. How appropriate. As I prepare for preaching this Sunday I am grateful that this season of beauty precedes a season of repentance. What better motivation for a change in heart and life direction than a vision of God’s beautiful love, life and desire for us? Please join me on Sunday as we respond to God’s love with our simple offering of praise and the turning of our hearts and minds. - Ed
Sunday, 31 January 2016
Passage: Luke 4:21-30
Duration: 16 mins 5 secs
The readings for this week are amazing, and I encourage you to read them before Sunday morning. A young Jeremiah is given a voice, Jesus is given a scroll, to proclaim to nations, kingdoms and hometowns. What's is our voice, to whom do we proclaim and what should we fear? Jeremiah 1:4-10; Psalm 71:1-6; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; Luke 4:21-30
Sunday, 24 January 2016
Passage: Luke 4:14-21
Duration: 13 mins 55 secs
Jesus delivers a 20 second sermon that changed the course of mankind. In Luke 4 the Gospel is revealed to us in a pithy, yet powerful way to illustrate the thrust of Jesus' mission. Namely, that He gives us freedom. But what does freedom in this sense mean? Jesus offers us something much more inclusive than our consumerist mindset might think. Freedom is more than a vote in an election, much more than a choice between double-stuffed Oreos and regular Oreos. Christian freedom is what makes us more human than we were before.
Sunday, 17 January 2016
Passage: John 2:1-11
Duration: 15 mins 4 secs
It is shockingly easy to underestimate God's love and gracious attitude. This week we will reflect on Jesus' first miracle. He turned water into wine at at wedding. Great wine in large quantities. For a wedding. Because Mary asked him to. There are many possible lessons here that we will touch on. All together they help us remember ourselves in the context of God's love. What He desires for us greatly exceeds our expectations, hopes, and dreams. When we get a glimpse of the overwhelming blessing God wills for us it brings us to our knees in prayers of thanksgiving and renews our worldview.
Sunday, 10 January 2016
Duration: 14 mins 47 secs
“But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” … “And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased." These two verses frame our readings this Sunday and they frame our understanding of the baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of our own baptism. In baptism we die to sin and die to self; we are washed clean, filled with the Holy Spirit and begin a new life. With small and stumbling steps we start becoming a new creation.
Sunday, 03 January 2016
Passage: John 1:1-18
Duration: 9 mins 49 secs
This Sunday we celebrate the Feast of The Epiphany. Wise men following a star come and rejoice with great joy, then offering gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh they worshiped Jesus. St. Augustine famously wrote "You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you". There is a moment in each of our journeys in God that our hearts rejoice with great joy and we too know the true rest that we experience in God. This rest is not to be confused with the affairs of this world as though it were a respite from our busy lives or a panacea for our pain. No it is like the peace that passes understanding that places all else into perspective. It happens in epiphany, when our deep places open to the truth of Jesus and we see him anew. Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
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