Showing posts from August, 2019

Sunday Homily - August 25, 2019 - Jesus and the Sabbath

Jesus Healing the Sick Icon I. If someone were to ask you what the Sabbath is,  what would you say? What do you think of when I say the word, "Sabbath?" Well, a common thing that comes up when we think about "Sabbath"  is a particular day of the week   when we aren't supposed to do any work.    And you would be right!     Because the word "Sabbath" literally means two things:     1 - it means "day of rest"      and 2 - it can more tersely be rendered "STOP."     [ Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the King James Version: "Sabbath"] But which day of the week is the Sabbath, anyway?  Oh right, it is Sunday, where we go to church, right? Some of you probably know this already,  but did you know that the Sabbath actually isn't Sunday? If any of you have Jewish friends,  you probably know that the actual Sabbath is from sundown on Friday   to sundown on Saturday.    And this is actually t

Sunday Homily - August 18, 2019 - The Martyr's Faith

The 21 Martyrs of Libya Icon I. If anyone knows what the balance between faith and division looks like,  it is a man Richard Wurmbrand,   a Lutheran pastor of Romanian descent during the 20th century. [The following is a biography of Richard Wurmbrand from the Voice of the Martyrs main website] ----- In 1945,  during the bloody conflict we remember as World War II,   Romania was a country caught in the vice of the Soviet Union to the north,    Nazi Germany to the west,     and Bulgaria to the south. And in 1945,  the Romanian government crumbled. When the Communists of the Soviet Union seized the country of Romania  and attempted to take control of the churches, Pastor Wurmbrand began an effective,   vigorous   “underground” ministry to oppressed believers    as well as to the Russian soldiers occupying his country. He was arrested in 1948,  along with his wife, Sabina, who was imprisoned as a slave-laborer for three

Sunday Homily - August 11th, 2019 - Journey of Faith

Holy and Righteous Abraham Icon I. Faith. That mysterious,  strange,   upside-down thing we call faith    can often seem so close and yet so far away at the same time. In the popular vernacular,  we use the word "faith" to refer to "confidence" or "reliability,"   such as "the public's faith in the government was damaged,"    or "I have faith that he will do the right thing"     "my faith in humanity is restored!" And that is a fine usage of the word faith,  as the word is a close synonym to words like "confidence" and "reliability." But, faith also has a deep spiritual meaning for us Christians  that transcends more utilitarian words like those. Rather, faith is a deep abiding "trust." And the words "faith" and "trust" are intimately intertwined within the passages of Scripture  we have read this morning. In our Genesis passage,  Abraham h

What About the Kids? - From a Parent

"Mississippi Immigration Raids Lead To Arrests Of Hundreds Of Workers" [] What About The Kids: From a Parent N.B. Please be courteous if you decide to comment on this post, as this is a live situation with multiple facets that are not easily separated into Democrat and Republican, conservative and liberal, or any other bifurcation that we can imagine. I have bias, for sure, but any perceived slight against any political party in this piece is purely the perception of the reader, and not of the intent of the author.I 100% claim these opinions as my own, but I also claim that my words are founded upon a deep concern for people and upon my baptism as a follower of Jesus. ----- What kind of world do we want to leave for our kids after we are gone? That question is one of the most basic questions of le

Sunday Homily - August 4th, 2019 - Ebenezer Scrooge and Jesus

Ebenezer Scrooge,  as portrayed by Michael Kane in The Muppet Christmas Carol I. "He was a tightfisted hand at the grindstone, that Scrooge:  a squeezing,   wrenching,    grasping,     clutching,      covetous old sinner."      [Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol ] This is how Charles Dickens  in his famous novel A Christmas Carol   describes Ebenezer Scrooge,    a miserly, miserable old man who runs a money-lending business. The story of the redemption of Ebenezer Scrooge is so famous  that I don't think I need to describe the plot of the book.   But, the point of Scrooge's story    and the redemption brought by the visitation of the three Ghosts of Christmas,     the past, present, and future,      is also intimately tied in with another character that instigates Scrooges redemption:       the ghost of Jacob Marley, Scrooge's old business partner. Jacob Marley, in life, was just as cruel and miserly as Scrooge became.  But when Ma