Showing posts from September, 2014

Fight, flight, sloth or still

LNPC is moving through the Old Testament via the Narrative Lectionary.   Last week's sermon was a retelling of the Joseph story (Genesis 37-50), interspersed with the personal stories of people in the congregation, as we pondered together, How do we hang on in times of darkness? How do we know God is hanging onto us?  What does faith look like in the midst of struggle? How does God meet us inside these experiences, and how do we learn to trust God? People's stories were gathered throughout the week and shared with the congregation with permission.  I will not be posting them online, however, to honor privacy, but I am so grateful to those who were brave and vulnerable enough to let their stories be shared in community, that we all might search for God in our own stories. Psalm 46: 8-11 , Exodus14:10-14, 21-31 Since the Joseph story, Jacob’s family – whose name was changed by God to “Israel,” so the Israelites- settled in Egypt and prospered.   But time goes by, a

To Live Blessed Lives

Genesis 12:1-9 My children and I have learned something about blessing from ARC Retreat Center .   Each meal there begins with a detailed description of every food item – Today’s lunch is a salad of fresh garden greens and ripe tomatoes picked this morning with a buttermilk herb dressing made with thyme and basil. Here we have homemade rosemary polenta hot out of the oven with the velvety tomato sauce from our cookbook.   And today’s tea and cookie pairing is vanilla rooibos tea with chewy almond cookies!” And everyone oohs and ahs in appreciation, and the whole thing is a kind of blessing, if you think about it.   Then together we share a spoken or sung blessing before we eat, and then another one after we’ve lingered with the flavors and conversation and food to end each meal.   And when you awaken, before you leave your room for good, you are asked to change your sheets and pray a blessing for the next guest who will be staying there after you. So we make the bed c

To never, ever give up

Genesis 6:16-22, 9:8-15 (and the stuff in between) In case this summer’s blockbuster film didn’t make it clear enough, Let me say this right off the bat: Noah and the Ark is NOT a children’s story. This is a really disturbing story of God destroying the whole entire world and everything in it, but saving one guy and his family to start over.   What on earth are we supposed to do with this thing? We have a choice to make. And we are going to be faced with this choice a lot as we begin journeying through scriptures from the Old Testament through the New in these next few months, so it’s important to face it now.   It seems to me our options are these: 11-     We could simply ignore it. We could stay with the stories we like, the ones that paint God in a nice way and let human beings off easy, and leave these kinds of texts in some category called, “Old Covenant” or “God’s judgment – it’s not like that anymore.” And then not really have