God's Economy

Sirkka found the cutest holiday necklace: mini colored light bulbs, strung on a thread. They caught the light and looked just like a lit Christmas tree hanging around your neck. Sirkka got so many compliments on them that she went out and bought some for her friends. Then she thought, why not have a few extra in case someone new admires it? Sirkka started giving the necklace to complete strangers- the cashier at the grocery store, the woman at the bank whenever anyone said, I like your necklace, Sirkka gave them one. She said it was worth it just for the look on people’s faces when she gave them the necklace— at first surprise, and then joy. Isaiah presents an even more dramatic offer in our

The Greatest Love of All

A lot of people love Whitney Houston’s song, The Greatest Love of All: I believe the children are our future teach them well and let them lead the way show them all the beauty they possess inside… I always thought it was just a little on the cheesy side. Until one Sunday. I was sitting the First Baptist Church of Oberlin, my church during my college days, when Mrs. Phillips brought up her choir to sing the offeratory. Mrs. Phillips worked in the group home down the street— kids with mental and physical disabilities who needed special care. At least that’s how I thought of them. Actually, that’s how I was trained to think of them. I was raised at a time when kids who had learning differences

Give Up! For Lent

News flash: the R-S family now have two teenagers in the house. If I needed a reminder of the smart alecky beauty of teenagers, Stephanie said to me, “what should I give up for Lent… I know! I’m not giving up something for Lent, I’m just giving up!” She was making a joke, but I think there is truth in the statement. There are some things in my religion that I’d really like to give up. One of them occurred to me again when I heard that a Wheaton college professor Larycia Hawkins was placed on administrative leave and asked to resign after stating Christians worship the same God as Muslims. "I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the bo

I've Been To The Mountaintop

Mountains are a place of wonder and awe. I remember driving through the Blue Ridge Mountains as a teenager. We stopped in West Virginia at a small motel on the side of a mountain. I took my French horn with and hiked to the top of the mountain. I looked at the valley spread below me, with the highway and tiny cars on it winding its way through the forest and craggy cliffs I took out my horn and played the theme to Wagner’s Siegfried: (sing the melody) and I listened as it echoed throughout the valley below, an alpine horn player in a snow globe world. Across the cultures of the world, mountains have been a place to meet God. Of course there is Moses, mentioned today in our OT and Gospel less

“There is a Balm: Jesus’ Welcome for Those Living with Mental Illness.”

There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul. Carol used to be a middle school math teacher, a mother with two children. Something had gone wrong after her divorce, though; I never heard the story. I just knew that by the time I met Carol, she lived in a care facility in Waterbury estranged from her children and under psychiatric care. Carol was a devout Christian. It had been a long time since she had been active at the church where I served but she kept the flame alive on her own. She read her portals of prayer daily, and attended a bible study. She wrote poetry about her love for Jesus and read the Hallmark sounding stanzas to me.

Since some can not make it to church every Sunday, here's a glimpse into the sermons from recent worship services.  

                

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