Sunday, May 27, 2012


Pentecost Sunday
Confirmation / New Members received
Memorial Day Weekend

Scripture readings today:
Acts 2:1-8 - The disciples receive the power of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost
Exodus 19:1-8 - The Israelites in the desert respond affirmatively to God's commands
John 14:15-17, 25-26 - Jesus says keep my commandments, promises the Holy Spirit

• Tradition has it that God gave the Israelites the Law fifty days after the exodus event. Thereafter the giving of the Law was celebrated with a harvest festival called Pentecost. No coincidence that the Law is connected to divine production (harvest). People of God do not exist merely to exist but to be involved in divine harvest.

Exodus 19. God is about to give the Law. 
God tells the people You are my Precious Possession. (I watched the movie "Courageous" in which a father gives his teenage daughter a precious ring as a reminder of how precious she is to him, and as a covenant between them). 

God tells the people You will be a Kingdom of Priests (priests offer sacrifices on behalf of others, and conduct others into divine presence). 

God tells the people You will be a Holy People (set aside for God).

And the people said We’re up for it. We will do everything the Lord says.

• At the first Pentecost after Jesus’ resurrection (and ascension) God again makes himself known to the people, this time through gift of the Holy Spirit and his power. Now at Pentecost Christians celebrate the birth of the church, the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise – Jesus had promised One to be with us as companion, guide, teacher.

• Human beings on our own are pretty lousy about keeping covenant, so God gives power.

• Where does power come from? Some kind of generator. How’s it get here? Wires. We don’t go to power store like grocery store and pick up a few bags of power. Ordinary metal wire conducts it, doesn’t hold on to it but conducts it.

That’s how we are to be with God’s power: conductors, not vessels. God flowing through us, bringing about reconciliation of world.

• What else is conductor? 
Musician who leads. 
Train guy who gets you there. 
Use of gifts and service.

• We are called to be conductors. To be obedient to God. To bear (conduct) God’s power to others. To bring others into presence of God.

Many have made vows of service to God. We renew today.
Many were baptized. We renew today.

(transition into Baptismal Covenant for new members) 
(Eight new members received)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Am I A Friend of God?

Sixth Sunday of Easter
Mother's Day

Scripture readings today:
1 John 5:1-6 - This is love: to keep the commandments of God
John 15:9-17 - Remain in my love

• I saw Hershey’s production of Godspell last night…
Classic and favorite, and malleable.
Telling of parables of Jesus, mostly from Gospel of Matthew.

At beginning there is chaos and disharmony, stress and dissociation. No relationships. And Jesus enters the scene and begins building… new relationships, new hope, kingdom. How? By interacting with people, engaging them where they are.

• Dovetail of relationships within Godspell and If you keep God’s commandments you are a friend of God. (1 John 5:3 This is the love of God: We keep God’s commandments.)

• There is no friendship with God without relationship with God.
Friendship is mutual trust, sharing.
Throughout Godspell, friendship built…
Throughout gospels, friendship built…
Are you a friend of God? How is your relationship built?

• Shared experience is important.
Benefit of friendship with Jesus?
Built community, wholeness, peace. Recovery. That the world may be one.

• Therefore Jesus invites shared experience of communion.
        Also Do This in Rememberance…. Keep relationship alive.

• right into Holy Communion. Then Hymn 510 Jesus Is All the World to Me

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Who is Jesus?

Fifth Sunday of Easter
Acts 4:5-12 and 1 John 3:16-24 (accidentally used Fourth Sunday lectionary texts)

• A Facebook friend of mine who apparently also rents property out said they noticed a new tenant's Olympic medal, and wondered who on Facebook had met Olympic winners.  Well, I was a childhood friend with Nelson Diebel, Olympic swimming champion, 1992 Olympics in Barcelona (look him up on wikipedia or google) and yeah, I've seen his medals.

Think of a "brush with celebrity" that you may have had, and tell someone about that event...

• How about your spouse or significant other? Tell someone about what is special about that person?  Or, who is someone you would like to meet, and why?

• Who is your #1 teacher… Why? Tell someone about this person and what makes them your favorite teacher.

• Last night at church there was a Mother/Daughter banquet... Tell someone something special about your mother.

• How do you feel about Jesus? What do you love about Jesus? 
Tell someone about this...

• I wonder if the world really knows Jesus. It doesn’t take much encouragement to get us to talk about the people we love, and we spend our lives getting to know the significant people in our lives better. In fact we know it can be dangerous to ask a new parent (or esp. a new grandparent) to tell about their baby because you might be there for a while!!
   We bump into a celebrity in the grocery store or see one on vacation and we go gaga…
   But the world doesn’t know Jesus. If they DID, oh think of the possibilities.

From scripture today... Jesus is:
• Healer, even when he's not around. Peter healed a lame beggar in Jesus' name. Jesus is healer, even absentee.

• Cornerstone, worthy of building upon. Basing life on. Trusting in.

• Savior. Imagine you're in a car wreck, an EMT saves you. Later, you meet. What do you tell people about the person who saved your life? How do you interact with that person? Jesus is savior!

• Jesus is love personified, perfect in love and action (1 John 3:16-18)

• Jesus Alone is worthy of praise. Jesus is worth telling about.                     And the world needs to hear about this Jesus.

• Hymn 454 Glorious Is Thy Name Most Holy

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

PK where are you?

Hello, both of you who read this :)

I'm filling in some of the gaps, but it's been since Valentine's Day that I posted last... I haven't preached every week since then, but I have preached some.

Let's see. There's been a Youth Sunday, the District Superintendent spoke one Sunday, the Bishop spoke another one, there were two Cantata Sundays, and at least one Sunday of a presentation by a missionary. So that's five out of the last ten Sundays or so.

Anyhoo. I'm filling in some of those gaps.

Next time I leave a gap, make some noise!