Narrative Lectionary — Called with Blessing in Mind!

September 18, 2017 @ 9:15 am

 

Two readings, 1 Kings 19 where Elijah is given a demonstration of God, and Genesis 11/12 with the Call of Abraham.  

Abraham is called to be a blessing.  Important.  Elijah has the advantage of history and knowledge of what God has done, but Abraham is starting out cold.  

We are like Abraham, called to be a blessing.  Often however we are like Elijah, the testimony of the "small, still voice" or "the sound of silence" is insufficent to move us from our own self-focus.  We need to keep remembering, God will Provide!  

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Narrative Lectionary — In Remembering, We Make a Faith Statement …

September 18, 2017 @ 9:07 am

This a mix of Genesis 1 and Psalm 8.  Both the choir and the praise band focused on the themes of creation and who are we?  My idea was to focus on the idea of through remembering, we are saying we believe.  I then moved to several "Continuity of God" ideas that connected our remembrance with anticipation ... 

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Communion Sunday — September 3, 2017

September 4, 2017 @ 3:23 pm

First Sunday back after nine weeks gone.  The sermon was from 1 Corinthians 11: 24-27 or so and focused on the "big idea" of communion itself.  Take, bless, break, give.  This is also the Sunday where Eugene Peterson (of The Message) meets Ned Flanders (of The Simpsons).  Little longer than I meant for it to be -- was shooting for more like ten to twelve minutes, but ... it takes a while to get the pace and feel back, right?  At least that is the story and I am sticking to it!  

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Practice Makes Perfect

August 28, 2017 @ 7:36 pm

Our Scritpure reading this morning came from the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:24-29). Jesus finishes this great sermon with a parable concerning two builders: One wise and the other foolish. Pastor Mario encoruaged us that it is possible to live like Jesus. Admittedly, putting Jesus words into action takes practice. We were challenged to consider what foundation we are currenlty building our lives on, to take heed to Jesus' teaches again in order to build our lives on a foundation that is sure to last. 

 

 

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August 20, 2017: No One Like Jesus

August 23, 2017 @ 10:12 pm

Our Scritpure reading this morning was from John 1:1-5. Pastor Mario discussed John's integration of philosophy and theology as he described Jesus as the eternal Logos (Word). We were encouraged to consider what it might look like if we understood Jesus to be a man of extraordinary ability, who is still as relevant to us today as he was to the people he touched during his earthly ministry 2,000 years ago. Pastor Mario concluded his sermon by sharing some thougths from Dr. S.M. Lockridge's famous, "That's My King." You can find a PDF of one of the variations of his famous sermon here. There is truly no one, quite like Jesus! 

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August 13, 2017: Seeing Like Jesus, Loving Like Jesus

August 15, 2017 @ 5:43 pm

Our Scripture reading was from 2 Corinthians 5:16-21. Pastor Mario connected this passage of Scripture back to our series on Luke 15. We looked at our high calling as ambassadors of Christ, and were encouraged to live and lean into the reality of new creation as we live out our ministry of reconciliation. We are comforted by this fact: While it may be hard to see others, ourselves and the world from the perspective of new creation, we can do it. Why? Paul reminds us: He who knew no sin became sin on our behalf so we can become the righteousness of God. We live in a world in need of reconciliation. How will we respond? 

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August 6, 2017, The Power of Our Story, The Power of Our Meal

August 7, 2017 @ 3:53 pm

Pastor Mario continued his journey into the heart of Luke's Gospel. Our Scritpure reading this morning was from Chapter 24, verses 25-35. As we prepared our hearts to receive from the Lord's Table this Communion Sunday, we journeyed back to Cleopas and his companion's walk from Jerusalem to Emmaus, where Jesus finds them in the midst of their disappoinment, bewilderment and unmet expectations. A fresh reading of Scripture and a sense of awe at the invitation to the Table, with the Spirit as our guide, is needed to point us to a fresh reality of who Jesus is. What better way to live into our sense of call to be a church with open hearts, open minds and open doors? For further reading, check out the UMC's document regarding The Lord's Table, entitled, This Holy Mystery. 

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July 30, 2017: Fear Factor

July 30, 2017 @ 9:22 pm

Our Scripture for today is from 1 Peter 3:13-16. We invite you to listen as Susan Dunlap encouraged us to face our fears and to live wholeheartedly as followers of Jesus. Our calling to live free from fear is a call to serve and love our world. Trust, pray and act! Thank you for this timely reminder, Susan. 

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July 23, 2017, Luke 15, Part IV, Our Prodigal Father

July 23, 2017 @ 10:14 pm

Pastor Mario concludes our 4-week series on Luke 15 by examining the encounter between the older son and his Father. While we often attribute the word prodigal to the younger son in this parable, it is the Father who gives sacrifically of himself on a lavish and generous scale. He loves both sons equally, they are both confronted with his unconditional love. The younger son is now enjoying the celebration the Father throws after receiving back 'safe and sound.' What will the older son do when his Father entreats (pleads) him to come, celebrate and join the party? 

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July 16, 2017, Luke 15 Part III, Jesus Sees Where You Are

July 16, 2017 @ 12:52 pm

Part III of Pastor Mario's series on Luke 15 gives us a closer look at the younger son and his Father. While the younger son thought he was better off without his Father, the Father patiently waits for him to come to his senses and return home. However, the return home is not without its cost as an unwelcoming ceremony awiaits the younger son. Instead of shame and suspicion, the Father receives his wayward son home by taking on the shame that belonged to his son and recieving him back, not as a hired hand, but as his son. The parable still speaks to us today and invites us all to come to our senses, return home and experience the love of Jesus, who sees us when we are still a long way off. 

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