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Showing posts from June, 2012

What is Faith?

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Mark 4:35-41 Psalm 9:9-20 and 2 Corinthians 6:1-13

What is faith? Is it a feeling? Can you measure it? Can you make it or lose it?  How do you get it?   How do you know if you’ve got it?  How do you know if it is enough?
I once knew a family, with a 12 year old boy who was horribly injured two years before I met them in a freak sledding accident.  When I met them, he was in a wheelchair, paralyzed from neck down.  The family called themselves people of faith.  They prayed every day for this boy to be healed.  Faith meant that if they believed in it strong enough, if they prayed hard enough, and if enough other people prayed too, God would heal him. And the whole family and all their energy revolved around the impending healing of the boy.  Every day that he woke up still paralyzed was just an illustration of the weakness of their faith, and they applied themselves doubly hard the next day to believing God would heal him. In the meantime the girl had become a teenager, disillusioned and conf…

REST, expected and elusive

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This was shared at a worship service held at Westminster Presbyterian Church, as part of their "Everyday Holy" series.  This week's topic: Sabbath.

Exodus 20:6-11Leviticus 23:3, 25:3-5Deuteronomy 5:12-15 When I was in 5th Grade, we did a unit on “pop art”.Andy Warhol, the Marilyn Monroe print, you remember what I mean.We were to create a pop art item – something in life writ enormous, advertizing out of context or with odd color, or repetition. I made a watch. A huge watch that I could sit inside of.  The face of it was bigger than an extra large pizza, and the straps were twice as long as I was tall, and painted royal blue.  When it was nearly complete, I needed only to add hands, but couldn’t figure out what to make them from. 
I brought my dilemma to my dad, who both fancied himself a deep thinker, and also liked to expend as little unnecessary energy as possible, so instead of helping me come up with a material to design hands from, he flippantly suggested, ‘Why not…

The Story we belong to

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Romans 8:14-17, 22-27
Acts 2:1-21
To celebrate Pentecost we walked through the journey we've taken this year- from September through May through the Old Testament on a path that began outside and took us past symbols of all the stories and into the chancel, where we took a "family photo," gathered around the table for communion, and then settled in for a recap of our journey.

Normally, Pentecost is a great celebration of the Holy Spirit.  Which it is.  Or it is a birthday party for the church  - where it all began.  Or it is a recognition that the gospel is for all people and without bounds.  It is all of these things. But for us today, it is a chance to lift up the story – the whole story of God – because of Pentecost we, this little group of people – are part of it. Today is a day to stand in Pentecost and look back at the parts of the story we’ve told this year.
So let us begin at the beginning. In the beginning…we met God.  The delighted artist, who created, of all thin…