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Good Grief

Scripture - John 7:37-39 Breathe on us, breath of God, fill us & refresh us. We come to you on this Pentecost Sunday, ready to be filled with the Holy Spirit. We need to feel reinvigorated & refreshed. Amen. In the age of coronavirus, there has been LOTS of death in our community, nation & world. As of Thursday, May 28: 11 deaths in Davidson County 766 in NC; 100K in US; 297K worldwide By contrast, in 2018, coronavirus would be #7 cause of death Perhaps saddest: no funeral, no visitation, no physical support for loved ones Even before coronavirus, death was well known Death of friends & loved ones (despite modern medicine, the ratio remains 1:1) Death of traditions In & out of church Dea

5 Faithful Habits

Scripture: Acts 1:6-14 These are holy words – words that reveal God’s love, words that inspire our hope, & words that bring us joy. Listen for signs of love, hope, & joy in the reading of God’s holy word. The disciples’ lives had now changed forever. Jesus was gone. He was taken up into heaven before their very eyes! As Jesus was speaking, he was lifted up into the clouds & hidden from their sight. And while they stand there staring, 2 men in white robes (remember, these are the days before washing machines & Clorox) pretty much make fun of them for continuing to look for Jesus. Why are you standing here, looking toward heaven? What a silly question! They were looking for their leader

Lift High the Cross

Scripture - Acts 17:22-31 Do you like giving a speech? Most people do not. Psychologists say that fear of having to give a speech ranks only behind fear of illness & fear of death as making us most anxious. There is nothing more humiliating than standing before a group of people & having your joke fall flat, your main point fails to get across, or your punch line fail to be appreciated. Believe me – I know! Like the guy who told a golf joke at a reunion of coal miners. He got to the punch line & waited. Stone cold silence. No one laughed. He tapped the microphone to make sure it was working. The joke was a bust. Few – if any – of those coal miners or their children had been to a co

More Than Anything

Scripture - John 14:1-9 Lord, show us the Father; that will be enough for us. We do not know, of course, whether Philip whispered these words, hoping no one else would hear, or shouted them across the room. We don’t know if he spoke in a tear-filled voice or simply blurted out his request. We do not know if he realized the importance of what he asked. What we do know is that he spoke for all of us: to know God is a fundamental human longing, so deeply imbedded, in fact, it can rarely come to our lips. Why? Perhaps it is pride. One must swallow the pride of self-sufficiency in order to make this request. A man paces back & forth outside a church door before entering. This is strange t

Table Talk

Scripture - Acts 2:42-47 Our text today is one of my favorites in the Bible. It is one of the few times when the church got things right. Of course, it is the very beginning of the church, immediately after the Holy Spirit’s launching, but it describes the ideal church. These qualities are not new, Luke says, because they are the fulfillment of the promises of God to & for his people since the beginning of time. The place is Jerusalem, for the word of the Lord is to go forth to all people from Jerusalem. The time is Pentecost, a festival celebrating not just the early harvest but the giving of God’s commandments on Mt. Sinai. There are Jews present from every nation, for through them ar


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