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A Risen Founder

Scripture - Romans 8:6-11 We find ourselves amid the COVID-19 pandemic. First, the President announced a travel ban on flights from Europe, & since then, every single day, if not moment by moment, has revealed new restrictions on our movement. These new restrictions have dictated the physical distance we have to keep from one another. At the same time, it is most fitting that these restrictions have come during the season of Lent. It is to both contexts that the richness of Paul’s words in this passage to the Romans provide hope. Paul presents 2 distinct possibilities for human existence in our reading: 1) an attitude of selfishness or 2) an attitude that comes from the Spirit. An attit

Wanting the Blessing – Maybe!

Scripture - John 9:1-25 Recently the Chamber of Commerce in a little town in northeast Colorado ran some magazine ads. The little town was very comfortable & settled in, it wasn’t growing, wasn’t losing, & was doing fine when suddenly it found itself sitting on top of rich deposits of coal, oil & gas. It’s now a boomtown. The population has quadrupled, with people coming in day & night. They live in tents & trailers. They’re living upstairs, downstairs, in basements & whatever they can get. It is truly a boomtown. The Chamber of Commerce, not wanting the town to be overwhelmed, trying to bring some order & stability to the community, has created an advertisement making a strange reques

The Shame That Binds Us

Scripture: John 4:1-18, 27-30 The story of the woman at the well is Jesus’ longest conversation with one person in all of the Gospels. In this story, the woman erects barriers. She finds numerous things that get between her & Jesus. Let’s look at the barriers that she erected & see if they are not ones that we also lean on. First, this woman erected a barrier of prejudice. Jews & Samaritans held deep animosity against one another. They had long standing hatreds. The woman said, Why do you, a Jewish man, ask for something to drink from me, a Samaritan woman? The animosity she expressed was characteristic of the relationships between Jews & Samaritans. Expressing this hatred, she crea

Recall the Call

Scripture - Genesis 12:1-4 How appropriate that this text is assigned to the season of Lent. During this season, we embark on a journey of faith, following Jesus to the cross. Our Old Testament lesson for this second Sunday in Lent is the classic journey of faith – the summons to Abram to leave (another possible translation: relinquish) his homeland & his family to journey with God to a land of promise & newness of life. For context, it is important to emphasize just how settled Abram was in his old life. Abram’s place of origin was Ur of the Chaldees (the eastern end of the Fertile Crescent). But Abram’s father, Terah, took his son Abram, his grandson Lot (son of Haran), & his son Abram’

Surviving Eden

Scripture - Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7 Every family has its stories – how grandmother met grandfather, how they courted & wed. How the first house burned to the ground & all was lost; how the neighbors showed up the next day with timber & nails & hope was rebuilt. How the children fought & grew; how Uncle Billy never did grow up, living at home until he died an old man, as sweet & simple as the day he was born. One family I know worked on their family history, calling up distant relatives & filling in missing branches on the family tree. And then one day the telephone rang. “Bad news,” the mother said. “Moonshiners. Potato farmers. A chain gang boss. All I can find out about one guy is t

 

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