It’s time to bring more light into the world. Indeed, this is one of the key themes from today’s lectionary selection in John 1:1-13 and Ephesians 1:3-14. The Gospel according to John is a quite different account of Jesus’ life and ministry, and the opening verses are no exception. As with many biblical authors, we’re not sure who this John was that the text claims is the author. Tradition cites the author as one of Jesus’ apostles, the John who was a close friend and follower of Jesus. Regardless of the author, the insights we have from the text are worth exploring. “In the beginningRead More →

Christmas is over and we’ve just finished celebrating Jesus’ birth. Now, rather than dwelling upon the idyllic imagery of the nativity, we are invited to move forward as we realize that the baby Jesus didn’t stay long in that manger. An angel warned Mary and Joseph to take his family into Egypt while Herod, the evil king of Israel, plotted Jesus’ destruction. Herod’s paranoia got the best of him as he ordered the children around Bethlehem killed in his attempt to eradicate Jesus. Such vile brutality is regrettably unsurprising. Rulers past and present often grasp power at any cost, and innocents are murdered in aRead More →

Do you have a [spiritual] life? Christmas is the time where the religious focus is on birth, including the manger scene with the baby Jesus and all the pastoral trappings of that ancient first-family of faith. Even more so, God wants us to embrace the wonders of spiritual life that Jesus’ birth represents. Indeed, we are reminded that Jesus’ birth is not merely some passive, historical event that we indulge with rampant materialism and holiday dinners. The Christmas Spirit beckons us to overcome the glitter of distractions and the trappings of wrappings. God’s presence came and has remained in the world through the power andRead More →

Today’s message is drawn from two selections of the Revised Common Lectionary, Psalm 80:1-7,17-19 and Romans 1:1-7. In the Psalms passages we have an uplifting message of hope and restoration. How fitting! Advent is a magnificent time of potential for individuals and churches. Psalms offers us timeless encouragement which is as relevant and helpful now as it was thousands of years ago. Why? Because humanity’s fundamental problems haven’t changed all that much across the ages. Fear, hardship, discouragement and many more negativities remain entrenched in the human condition. And this is why we need constant building-up through the power of God. The psalmist’s plea forRead More →

Our discussion this past Tuesday continued the theme of how churches can be as healthy as possible. The article we circulated about church restructuring, renewal and re-engineering helped us sort out both problems and solutions. We know that many congregations are attempting to tap the creative energies of their people and do what they can to grow both spiritually and numerically. One growth option involves nurturing a new ministry within the existing church. The analogy is that of giving birth, wherein the mother church helps create life in the form of a new ministry. The gist is that the parent church recruits a team ofRead More →

Greetings friends! I trust that you had a blessed Thanksgiving. Things are going well at the church and we are having a special music Sunday on December 15th. This means that there won’t be the usual Message Supplement included in our Sunday bulletin (and also why there won’t be one included here). I’m working on the Message Supplement for December 22nd, which I’ll have posted soon. Meanwhile, let us continue to keep one another in our thoughts and prayers as we continue our journey through Advent and beyond.Read More →