Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost Luke 12:32-40

The land of Turkey was in the fourth century a stronghold of Christianity. Still visible from that era is a cemetery with readable headstones.  On one is carved, “Here sleeps the blessed Chi-one who has found Jerusalem for she prayed much.” Not another word is known of her.  But how lovely if it were known of one of us still after 16 centuries that we found Jerusalem because we prayed much.Continue Reading

Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost Luke 12: 13-21

The great pyramids were elaborately furnished by the Pharaohs for their trip beyond the grave. There is no record that those preparations had any value for the deceased. So I continue to appreciate Dr. Billy Graham’s remark that he has never seen a hearse towing a U-haul trailer! Continue Reading

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost Luke 11:1-13

A disciple said, “Lord, teach us to pray.” A lot of well-meaning people want to have a specifically Christian prayer before city council meetings, or before a collegiate ball game, or at the beginning of the public school day, or other such times.Continue Reading

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost Luke 10:38-42

Jesus disappointed her with his answer that Mary was right in listening to him, while Martha was giving her attention and concern to things of less importance. Now, let’s be clear: this story is not an insult to women who would rather fix a dish for a church supper than to attend worship. The story does not glorify a devotional life of prayer and meditation while excluding shopping and cooking and housecleaning. Continue Reading

Pastor Petrea’s tribute to Pastor Busch

We come now to a remembrance and thanksgiving for the life and witness of the Reverend Robert William Busch. His speech forever revealed that he was born and raised in Brooklyn.  His educational credits included Brooklyn Technical High School, the Cooper Union, and Wagner College in Staten Island.   He earned his Master of Divinity Degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.Continue Reading

Len Docimo tribute to Pastor Busch

For the last 10 years, Anne MacArthur and I have come to know Pastor Busch very well.  Anne worked with him 2-3 days a week, and he and I talked on the phone or at our house almost as often. We occasionally watched one of Jon’s soccer games on his TV. My wife Barbara and I are fortunate that we have had two Ministers who were also good friends. Busch was the 2nd.Continue Reading

Good Samaritan Luke 10:25-37

The parable is much more than a display of mindless meanness on one hand, and the milk of human kindness on the other. Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem, where he will not only call into question the whole religious institution, but he will then become the supreme example of service, leadership, obedience, and love for others.Continue Reading


Our family once had a neighbor who sometimes wanted to stay inside her home with peace and quiet for herself — unless there was a real emergency. She would put her three small children into the backyard, which had a good fence around it, and give a simple instruction.  “Don’t call me to the door unless you’re bleeding.”  She was serious.Continue Reading

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost Luke 9:51-62

Jesus is ready for the long walk to Jerusalem where he will risk rejection, defeat and death. But he will rely totally on God even when there is no hope. There will be no turning back. He will cast absolutely everything into the hands of God without knowing what God will do.  Jesus is about to make it obvious that following him has a price.  Who will go with him to Jerusalem?  Would we have said, “I’ll go?” The way will not be easy.  The Samaritans didn’t receive him because they were not prepared for his exclusive call.Continue Reading

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost Luke 8:26-39

The people at the nightclub in Orlando thought the party would never end. It was almost closing time, but they could continue elsewhere.  There would be another time, another place.  Little did they know.  Some people would judge them, saying they didn’t deserve to live because so many of them were sexually mixed-up, even deviants. Or their party had already lasted far too long.  If they intended to go to church, they should have left the party by midnight. Continue Reading