Life-giving Transformation

Before Jesus begins his ministry, people from all over Judea go out to the wilderness to John the Baptist.  There they hear John’s message to “repent,” to turn toward a new direction, and receive a baptism for the forgiveness of sins (Matthew 3: 1- 6, Mark 1: 2 -6, Luke 3: 1-6, John 1: 19-23).  … Continue reading Life-giving Transformation

The One Voice that Matters

We Christians are a strange lot.  In my mail the other day, on top of the advertisements was one of an unhappy man and an unhappy woman sleeping in the same bed but turned away from one another. A friend of my husband's, shown this flyer, thought it was probably advertising a linen sale. Closer … Continue reading The One Voice that Matters

Pleasing to God

When the firm ground shifts, praise God. As I started to prepare for my next preaching assignment (North Long Beach Christian Church, January 22, 10:45), I turned to this week's lectionary texts--a set of readings used by many Christian churches across denominations.  They struck me with full force. "If riches increase, do not set your … Continue reading Pleasing to God

Able to Forgive

Jesus said to forgive not seven times, but seventy times seven.  I've come to understand this to mean that if you are seeking to live with God, you will have many opportunities to forgive. My friend Susan suggested that forgiveness is an English word that really should be two different words.  Perhaps she is right. … Continue reading Able to Forgive

Keeping Christ Alive

On Christmas Eve, for the first time in many years, I simply attended worship. As I sat waiting for the service to begin, I couldn't help but see the many servants who make worship happen. They unfolded chairs for the overflow crowd, hurried outside to make last minute preparations, and turned up the sound to … Continue reading Keeping Christ Alive

An Outsider’s Faith

When Jesus was born, we left behind the promised land.By that first Christmas day, something had happened to the temple--scripture tells us it was no longer a place of true worship.  It no longer led the heart, mind, and soul into the knowledge of the love of God.  Instead, it was a a place of … Continue reading An Outsider’s Faith

Waiting for God

When we spend so much of our lives battling, striving, and working as hard as we can, the image of waiting outside in the dark, hoping for the door to open, is one of the most challenging passages of scripture (Matthew 25, a traditional reading for Advent).  Matthew's ten virgins standing outside, waiting for the … Continue reading Waiting for God