Christmas 2016 John 1:1-18

Since early December, some of our neighbors have had light decorations in front of their house. Nothing glaring, except for a house where there are young children, but the sort that befit retired people who are not overly energetic. There are candles and holly wreaths or a string of lights around the front door.Continue Reading

Fourth Sunday in Advent Matthew 1:18-25

The village carpenter dreamed he would have an idyllic marriage — until he learned Mary was pregnant. How could she have allowed that?
Seldom are lost dreams seen more clearly than in the Christmas story. How many of us are like Joseph, have suddenly lost hope? Will Messiah still come? Will he come to save us from disaster?Continue Reading

Third Sunday of Advent Matthew 11:2-11

John was in prison because the governor had overlooked that he was not married to his brother’s wife. Out in the wilderness, John had said the governor ought to be ashamed.  But rather than repenting, the governor shut off John’s message by putting the messenger in prison.  John knew he was on God’s side in condemning sin in high places.  He called Jesus the Messiah, the Lamb of God.  So why didn’t God do something in his favor?  Where was God when John needed him?Continue Reading


Advent belongs to John the Baptist, the voice that cries in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of the Lord.” John pointed to Jesus and said, behold the Lamb of God.  His prophetic words announce the Christmas season, and we get ready to celebrate the birth in Bethlehem. John is the trumpet that parts the curtain on the stage of the world.  Now the savior of the world comes striding forth in glory, bearing salvation and opening heaven’s gates to all.Continue Reading

First Sunday in Advent Matthew 24:36-44

In the story of Jesus as told by Matthew, Mark and Luke, while Jesus was dying on the cross, darkness came over the whole world. Astronomers have agreed there was a total eclipse of the sun during the crucifixion. But even one candle on the Advent wreath gives us a symbol of hope for dealing with personal darkness. Most of us have sadly experienced a darkness that no light can overcome. Have there been times when we could not see where  our foot already raised had no obvious place to step?Continue Reading

Christ the King Luke 23:35-43

Do you remember their phone number? Do you remember where we went last year?  Do you remember his or her name?  Yes, or no, or sometimes.  But the word remember often has a much deeper meaning.   “I’ll remember you tomorrow during the funeral… or during your surgery.”  That’s praying for your comfort. Continue Reading

Twenty-sixth Sunday after Pentecost Luke 21:5-19

Jesus and his disciples were getting attention in Jerusalem. The important people were uneasy with his talk about the Kingdom of God, since he was talking trash about the religious leaders.  The disciples, mostly fishermen, were sightseers in Jerusalem.  At least they were unaccustomed to a city.  One of them remarked, “Look at how big these stones are, and how big these buildings are!”  Jesus had a different opinion. “These great buildings?  Not one of them will endure.  They will all be destroyed.”Continue Reading

All Saints Sunday Luke 6:20-31

Daniel’s dream conveys the message for All Saints Day.   The four beasts are four kings who will arise, from north, east, south and west, covering the earth.  But their great power, before which we rightly tremble, is of no value. Will they receive the kingdom and possess it forever?  No..  The holy ones of the Most High will. Little people, in other words, people like us, will receive the gift of the kingdom because, as Jesus said, it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.     Now see the power of a king whose domain is a quarter of the earth.    The saints of God will win the field and the kingdom forever.Continue Reading

Reformation Sunday

The necessity for leadership, for direction, is a fact of life all the way from politics to a party or a family reunion or even going thru the checkout line. Who is in charge?  Who is giving direction?  Revolutions come and go, and right will not always prevail. Who, then, is in charge of your life? Who gives you direction and leadership so that you can become the person you want to be?Continue Reading

Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost Luke 18: 9 – 14

The Pharisee prays silently because he is too well bred to pray aloud.  He starts with thanksgiving for all his many blessings…  And he is thankful that with all his wealth, he is certainly superior to that other man.  The Pharisee certainly out ranks him — just look at his clothes – patches and hand-me-downs. The Pharisee thinks he is superior to other men.  After all, he’s not a thief or adulterer – but God knows all that about him. He’s certainly more important to the world than that mere tax collector. The Pharisee looks absorbed in his prayer but he has a real attitude problem.  He is so superior to that other man. He mentions his tithing, his fasting and so forth.  He forgets what prayer is all about.  He thinks of his good qualities, but he is not praying.  Continue Reading