Love Archive

Epiphany +4 - To Love as God Loves

February 3, 2019 @ 4:39 pm

The scripture is 1 Corinthians 12: 31b through the end of 13.  

Gift and Fruit of Love.  Paul has been driving to this point in his letter and lays out his theology of Love.  To love, in a mature way, as God loves.  

Filed under Hilltop UMC, UMC, Jesus, Yes to the Possible, Fruitfulness, Faith, Love, Word and Sacrament, Scripture · Comments

Advent 3, Waiting in Joy!

February 2, 2019 @ 10:52 am

“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:31 (English Standard Version)

From my newsletter article (click to read):  Our theme for Advent will be: Waiting patiently in hope, peace, joy and love.  Each week will focus on one of those four ideas.  We want to honor Advent I think part of how we honor the season is cherishing and embracing waiting.  The Isaiah above is a theme for all who want to move quickly.  ‘Renew your strength:  wait.’ 

This week, we are somehow, waiting patiently … in joy … This is Gaudete Sunday – which is a 25 cent Ecclesiastical Latin word meaning Rejoice. 

The sermon will be drawn from the Philippians 4: 4-7 – Rejoice. 

Filed under Jesus, Yes to the Possible, All things are possible?, Advent, Love, Philosophy, Awe-full, Joy · Comments

November 25, 2018 — Christ the King!

February 2, 2019 @ 10:28 am

John 18: 33-37

 

We stand at the end of the church year.  It is New Year’s Eve in New York City and the ball has gone down and we are here to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.  Who is Jesus for us?  Really for us?  What is our no equivocation answer?  He is King? 

 

If not, why not?  I expect while the scriptures are NOT John 3: 15-17, I will get to John 3: 15-17, particularly 17.  We can live according to the cynical values of Pilate or …. the choice is ours. 

Filed under Hilltop UMC, Jesus, Yes to the Possible, Why?, Privilege, Love, Reconciliation, New Creation, remembrance, Call, Scripture, Tradition, Wisdom · Comments

Season of Pentecost — James — Avoiding the Stain of the World

September 19, 2018 @ 5:08 pm

Pentecost 15:  18.09.09

Sunday Two of Five Straight RCL Sundays on James

The verse immediately before this passage got my attention -- it had to do with avoiding the stain of the world.  That was the lens by which I explored this passage.  

James 2:1-10, (11-13), 14-17

1 My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? 2 For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, 3 and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, "Have a seat here, please," while to the one who is poor you say, "Stand there," or, "Sit at my feet," 4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court? 7 Is it not they who blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over you?

8 You do well if you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 9 But if you show partiality, you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. 11 For the one who said, "You shall not commit adultery," also said, "You shall not murder." Now if you do not commit adultery but if you murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For judgment will be without mercy to anyone who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill," and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? 17 So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.

 

Filed under Hilltop UMC, Jesus, Involvement, All things are possible?, Courage, Grace, Love, Lost and Found, Philosophy · Comments

Unafraid — Fear of the Other

January 25, 2018 @ 7:24 pm

 

This was a look at Fear of the Other.  Connect with each other.  Quite a bit of reference back to the music we sang this day.  The reprise I used was a little play off an acronym of FEAR -- Face Everything and Rise with some words from Dr. King on moving from fear to knowing and meeting.

Question is "how often do we let our fear of the stranger drive us to not connect."

Some continuation of the previous week's theme of connectedness, but here the connectedness is getting past the dikes that hold us in our own flood of fear of the other.  Dikes of courage (among other things) are needed (a quote i thought about using, but didn't.)

I am currently listening to Isaac Asimov Robots of Dawn and wonder how much of this might be helpful ... if you are not familiar with the book, do not worry.  If you are, the conversation Daneel and Elijah in Chapter 2 is what I am thinking.  Elijah has to see Robots differently on Aurora than on Earth.  On Earth, they are an object of scorn and subservience.  On Aurora (a fictitious planet) they are near equals, if not precisely equals.  Elijah has to be taught this, as it does not come naturaly to him.  Yes? 

Quotes from Dr. King: 

  • "People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don't know each other; they don't know each other because they have not communicated with each other."
  • "We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear."

― Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Filed under Hilltop UMC, Involvement, All things are possible?, Courage, Pain, Grace, Trust, Faith, Love, Reconciliation, Fear Factor, Philosophy, anticipation, Music, Unafraid · Comments

Unafraid - We Need Community

January 25, 2018 @ 7:16 pm

Question is "what keeps you from getting connected with others?"

But two prong:  we ourselves must open ourselves up to others but others must also look at us and be willing to attempt to connect with us.  Not an either/or but both/and. 

Music focusing on community (invite the stranger) but also recognizing the need for solitude.  Mixed. A balance.  Not exclusively hang out with others all day/every day.  We need to be together, in fact, we are made to be in community but on the other hand, it is natural, and biblical to seek moments alone. 

Filed under Hilltop UMC, All things are possible?, Courage, Pain, Trust, Faith, Love, Fear Factor, Philosophy, Unafraid · Comments

Unafraid — Setting the Stage

January 25, 2018 @ 5:44 pm

This series springs from the well dug by the Reverend Adam Hamilton, Church of the Resurrection, Leawood, Kansas. 

This is getting started with the idea of Unafraid.  We actually live in a time of borderline irrational fear.  The numbers are good.  We are healthy, wealthy, and longest lived people and for some reason, we are more and more afraid.  

Sermon draws from Isaiah 41: 1-10, Psalm 56: 3-4 and Philippians 4: 6-7.  

This starts a six week series on Fear.  The first sermon is on how much of fear is more imaginary than real.  Question is "what are you afraid of".  I know FDR is not Jesus but "the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself" is part of the idea if not the message. 

FEAR can at times be False Events Appearing Real.  At times we live in a world where smoke detectors are going off but it is because their batteries are low, not because there is anything to really fear.  Topical sermon so form will roughly be:  The element of the human condition we are going to look at (Unnecessary Fear), exegete that element of the HC, what does scripture say about it (the Isaiah, Psalm, Philippians and of course Jesus (sermon on the mount)), and then application. 

We do live in times where Auden's "Age of Anxiety" is incomplete and for whatever reason we live in an "Age of High Anxiety."  Real? 

Filed under Hilltop UMC, Unity, Yes to the Possible, All things are possible?, Courage, Hospitality, Grace, Nurture, Faith, Love, Philosophy, Unafraid · Comments

Christ the King Sunday

December 20, 2017 @ 7:15 pm

 

Christ the King Sunday.  The last Sunday in the Church Year.  

Filed under Jesus, Yes to the Possible, Love, New Creation, remembrance · Comments

Community Christmas Celebration — Hilltop — December 10th, 2017

December 20, 2017 @ 6:25 pm

 

My thoughts to our Community Celebration with Crescent Ridge Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (LDS).

I am indebted to this article HERE for some of my thoughts.  Plus a conversation with Roberta Shimensky and a wonderful eNote I received from a Choir Member.    

I do say 13th Century when I really meant 14th Century but ... 

Filed under Hilltop UMC, Hospitality, Grace, Advent, Love, Music · Comments

Bishop Karen — To Love Like Jesus

October 23, 2017 @ 9:26 am

 

Bishop Karen Oliveto was at Hilltop for the Rocky Mountain Conference United Methodist Women, and we ask her to stay over an extra day, and she graciously consented.  This sermon is drawn from John 15 and the command to love each other.  Let me know if you have trouble with hearing  Bishop Karen uses a wide range of vocal dynamics, and parts may need a little bit of an electronic boost in Garage Band, which is what I use to create this.  

We also sang after the Sermon -- "Draw the Circle Wide" -- which is what Bishop Karen is addressing in her benediction.  

Filed under Hilltop UMC, Forgiveness, Jesus, Discipleship, Yes to the Possible, Courage, Grace, Love, Reconciliation, Celebration, Call · Comments

Various Thoughts from Dennis Shaw
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