The Rev. Carole Anderson
Luke 6:27-38
14 mins 40 secs
Views: 29
Last week in the Gospel of Luke, just after choosing the 12 disciples, Jesus began to teach them how to be apostles. In the Gospel for this Sunday we continue on to the second part of this teaching in Luke chapter 6:27-38. Our reading is part of what is called "Luke's sermon on the Plain", which parallels Matthew's Sermon on the Mount. Remember that the Beatitudes go deeper than material poverty and physical hunger, Jesus is telling them --and us-- that we need to hunger and thirst for righteousness and be poor in spirit. The verses following the Beatitudes are a point-by-point negative counterpart to the blessings described. But now Jesus' teaching takes a more personal turn as He describes how they --and we-- must love our enemies and not judge others. Here is a sample of what we will hear on Sunday: "But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. Love your enemies, and do good and lend, expecting nothing in return." How can we ever measure up to Jesus' standards? Well the answer is we cannot do it without the Holy Spirit. But thanks be to God! He has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 6:17-26
16 mins 45 secs
Views: 15
Some of us become Christians in quiet gradual ways, and many enter into various ministries in response to nudges from the Holy Spirit or reasonable alignment of skills and talents. However, our readings this week are about more dramatic moments of calling. Isaiah is so overwhelmed with an image of God’s glory and an understanding of his purpose, that he offers his life and voice to that mission. That decision shapes and defines the rest of his life; and that prophetic voice shapes the life of Israel and still speaks to us today. Peter is so overwhelmed by Jesus that he falls at his knees and answers Jesus’ call to become a fisher of men. And in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he calls them back from their spiritual ambitions to the core of the Gospel, and reminds them that Jesus called each of the disciples, apostles, and even Paul himself to carry on the mission of God. Our calling does not set us apart or above one another, but instead, God calls us uniquely and individually into a shared life and a common mission. How have you experienced God’s call? What ministry is He calling you into?
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 5:1-11
19 mins 9 secs
Views: 7
Some of us become Christians in quiet gradual ways, and many enter into various ministries in response to nudges from the Holy Spirit or reasonable alignment of skills and talents. However, our readings this week are about more dramatic moments of calling. Isaiah is so overwhelmed with an image of God’s glory and an understanding of his purpose, that he offers his life and voice to that mission. That decision shapes and defines the rest of his life; and that prophetic voice shapes the life of Israel and still speaks to us today. Peter is so overwhelmed by Jesus that he falls at his knees and answers Jesus’ call to become a fisher of men. And in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he calls them back from their spiritual ambitions to the core of the Gospel, and reminds them that Jesus called each of the disciples, apostles, and even Paul himself to carry on the mission of God. Our calling does not set us apart or above one another, but instead, God calls us uniquely and individually into a shared life and a common mission. How have you experienced God’s call? What ministry is He calling you into?
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 4:21-30
14 mins 34 secs
Views: 21
This week, we continue on in Luke following Jesus' return to His hometown after a year away traveling and teaching his disciples. (Luke 4:21-30) At first, it seems that the people are pleased to hear from Jesus. Verse 22 tells us, “all spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips.” The amazement doesn’t last long though, this is the hometown crowd, and they have grown up with him. Can you just imagine the eyebrows lifting as they turn to each other and say, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?" Jesus, hearing their reaction, says to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: Physician, heal yourself! Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum. I tell you the truth; no prophet is accepted in his hometown. I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed – only Naaman the Syrian.” Strong words for this Jewish, hometown, audience. These words made the people furious and they tried to take Jesus by force to the top of a hill nearby to throw him off, but He walked right through the crowd and went on his way. His time had not yet come. How do you see Jesus? Who is He to you? How do you react when convicted of your sin?
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 4:14-21
16 mins 22 secs
Views: 18
We do not like limits and laws. Our culture (and Disney) tells us that we can grow up to be and do whatever we want if we hold to our dreams. So we want all the good parts in the story we inhabit. We desire the highest positions, the best toys, the best spiritual gifts, the leading roles… but a roomful of Elsas is not how the story works; and a roomful of people jostling for the same gifts and position of leadership is not how the Body of Christ works. Instead, we are parts of a body, interdependent, distinct, and necessary. Likewise, our culture tells us that God’s law is out of date, restrictive, even hateful. But that is not how our scriptures this week describe the law. Instead it is a beautiful and glorious thing; perfect, reviving the soul, rejoicing the heart, and enlightening the eyes. It is in the hope of right application of the law, that the psalmist cries out those familiar words “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord my rock and my redeemer.” But even this law -this beautiful gift- is insufficient for us who are unwilling or unable to follow it. So, the Word of God made flesh is our salvation, and it is in Jesus, in whom that word, that law, and that promise is fulfilled… in our lives, in our church and in the world.
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
John 2:1-11
19 mins 8 secs
Views: 13
In our Gospel this week, Jesus has been baptized and tempted, gathered disciples and is attending a wedding in Cana. Apparently He is not quite ready to start His public ministry, but His mother is confident that He has the solution to the problem the host is facing, and we get to see the interplay of their conversation in this unexpected situation. Our Epistle reading is the first in series of seven readings from Paul’s letters to the Corinthians about life in the Spirit, life in the Body of Christ and the meaning of Christ’s resurrection. This week we are reminded that the variety of gifts, services and activities are all from one Holy Spirit. See you on Sunday!
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 3:15-17 & Luke 3:21-22
19 mins 12 secs
Views: 11
The ministry of John the Baptist was so impressive that the gathering crowds wondered if he might be the Messiah, but all the Gospel writers are careful to frame his ministry to keep the focus on Jesus. In our Gospel this week we read: “John answered all of them by saying, "I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming “I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Luke 3:16 As Christians we are baptized in water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and implicit in that is receiving this baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire. And then we have the privilege of living the rest of our lives , both here and in eternity, in the presence of that transforming love.
The Rev. Carole Anderson
Matthew 2:1-12
14 mins 59 secs
Views: 7
This Sunday, we celebrate the epiphany of our Lord. The visit of the magi begins the revelation of the Lord to the gentiles. God shows himself to the gentiles by the revelation of his son to the Magi. Join us as we take a deeper look at the characters of this reading from Matthew 2:1-12. Joseph, Mary's husband whose faith allowed him to act on the messages sent to him in dreams by God, and protected Mary, and the baby Jesus from harm. The Magi, who believed that the star announced the birth of a great ruler, and who upon finding Jesus, are overjoyed and bow in worship. Finally, Herod the Great, who only wants to destroy any competition to his throne, and tries to trick the Magi into revealing the whereabouts of the Baby Jesus. Isaiah 60:1-3 Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 2:41-52
14 mins 59 secs
Views: 4
This week our Gospel reading speaks of 12 year old Jesus in his Father’s house, and our Old Testament reading speaks of the boy Samuel serving in the temple. Our Psalm calls on everything and everyone in heaven and on earth to praise the Lord! But it is our Epistle reading written to the Colossians, describing how we are to live as the body of Christ that I find most compelling: As God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:12-17