Showing posts from March, 2012

Poured Out into Holy Week

Click here to Mark 14:1-11 We are inching closer to Holy Week and hearing again what is often called the Passion Narrative. The first week in April we will read again the chapters that record Jesus’ betrayal, arrest, trial, crucifixion and resurrection. Thanks to Mel Gibson’s film a few years ago, the word Passion brings to mind negative thoughts of blaming Jewish people for Jesus’ death and a glorification (even fixation) of violence. To be sure, what we will read over the coming days is violent. It is a violence that is echoed every night in our news: whether it is a gunman in France or racial tension between police and different ethnicity or the YouTube video on Uganda’s Kony being viewed over 84 million times. And because violence is around us, we sometimes prefer for the church to be a sanctuary; a place set apart where for at least a few fleeting moments we don’t have to face the brokenness or violence of the world. For a few minutes we can rest. For a few mi

What's Money Got to Do with It?

Read Mark 12:38-44 One of the common complaints against the church is that we talk too much about money. It’s true. Every Sunday we pass an offering plate. Every month we make a push for one mission outside our church doors. Every month we put grocery bags out. Right now we are fundraising for new chairs. In spite of how much we ask for money, we rarely talk about money in the church. We skirt around it during Stewardship season and budget conversations. But the reality is that very rarely do we actually have discussions about money outside of our immediate families. I know in my life, even with my closest friends the topic is taboo. I have no idea how much they make. And unless the person is a church member and looks at an Annual Report, most of my friends don’t know how much I make in a year. Yet, we hint at money all the time. We make comments on Facebook. Or we post pictures of our last trip to some place. Or we pull up in a new car. Or we

Waste of time

Psalm 29 Ascribe to the Lord , O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. 2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name; worship the Lord in holy splendor. 3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord , over mighty waters. 4 The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty. 5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon. 6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox. 7 The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire. 8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. 9 The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl, and strips the forest bare; and in his temple all say, “Glory!” 10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever. 11 May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace! Marva Dawn begins her book,

Just Doing My Job Reprise

Yesterday at the Lenten services, I preaching about what it means to 'do my job'. The thoughts below reprise that sermon and offer a few additional thoughts. What we do for a living and how we see ourselves is often intricately intertwined. One reason for that is the sheer volume of our time spent at work. Another reason is our work has become a socially acceptable topic to discuss in mixed company. And so often the stories we tell about ourselves are based on experiences we have doing things at work or out in the community. So, what you do gets wrapped up in who you are and how you see yourself. When we talk about our ‘job’ our minds drift to thinking about those activities for which we are paid as well as increasingly those activities for which we have responsibility and accountability. So, my ‘job’ might be both a pastor and a father. My work is both inside the church and also what I do around the house. I might be paid for my work as a pastor, but I certa