Church Blog

Church Blog

The Sincerest Form of Flattery

When my oldest was about 3, he was my buddy.By buddy, I mean that he went everywhere that I went…I had to be careful I didn’t run him over if I was in a hurry in the house. If I was working in the yard, he was working in the yard.If I was working in the house, he was working in the house.If I liked broccoli, he liked broccoli.My buddy. Like the child’s doll jingle from the mid-eighties: “My buddy,…

The Unexpected Life

On Sunday,I spoke about how God works in unexpected ways. This was illustrated through the story of Joseph.· Sold by his brothers into slavery.· Sold into Potiphar’s house.· Falsely accused and sent to jail.· Languished in jail after helping his cell mates out.· Second in command to Pharaoh.· In the power position when his brothers are in need. And to this, Joseph proclaims to his brothers,“What you meant for harm, God meant for good.” That’s unexpected.Both in Joseph’s response (the…

The Continually Unexpected

Usually, the After Thoughts are about Sunday’s sermon. I feel like this week it is important to remember the entirety of Holy Week. In case you missed it, Unexpected was the general theme. Palm Sunday’s unexpected juxtaposition of the Triumphal Entry and the Crucifixion. Maundy Thursday’s unexpected hospitality from Jesus, the foot washer. Good Friday’s unexpected betrayal by Peter and Judas of their friend, Jesus. Holy Saturday’s unexpected new friends, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. The Vigil’s unexpected fear by…

Be the Unexpected

I want to dig deeper into something I said on Sunday during the sermon. If you recall, I spoke about the unexpected nature of the Gospel readings. On the one hand, we hear of the Triumphal Entry. On the other hand, we hear of the Crucifixion. This is unexpected. But, as I mentioned, it really isn’t for either Jesus or the Gospel. First Jesus. What about Jesus is expected? What about His birth is expected? He was born to a…

Unless a Grain of Wheat

John 12 The collect from Sunday has been the framework for my prayers for us this week. Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with…

What You See is What You Get

We worship what we know. And see. It is comforting. It is easy. But is God easy? Is worship easy? Is faith easy? From the readings this past Sunday, God tells Moses to build a pole with a serpent on it to deal with the effects of the snakebites impacting the Israelites. So he does. And the people are healed from their snake-induced infirmities. And as I brought up on Sunday, this makes me wonder why God would, essentially, command…

Who Do You Say I Am?

These words of Jesus resonate with me. They cut to the quick. They are unworried about other’s opinions. They are uncaring of the culture’s perspective. They are pointed and intentional. And they require an answer. An honest answer. Who do you say I am? And while many may have a perspective on this, This is what I believe. Jesus is Messiah He is the Promised One of long ago. A bearer of the love of God. The Holy One of…

Better Off Dead

Walking in faith is difficult. It requires, well, faith. Trust. Not in ourselves. Or the process. Or in others. But in God. Who could be working through others. Or us. Or the process. And, like I shared on Sunday, Walking in faith guarantees we will make mistakes. It happens. When God’s people step out in faith, Occasionally mistakes happen. Because we don’t understand, Or are confused. Or are arrogant in thinking we know, Or ignorant in not knowing that we…

Change

I had the joy of being with my good friend and colleague, the Reverend Matt Warren, for his installation at St. Stephen’s Orinda. Matt has a history at St. Stephen’s.

Born Again

On Sunday, I talked of the importance of knowing those with whom we share community. Paul shared two things that are key to doing this.

I Don’t Know

As I said on Sunday, knowledge is important. It is important to know things about the things in our lives. How things operate. What things are dangerous. What things can help save our lives. What steps to take when in certain situations. What things are helpful in our relationships. What things are damaging to a healthy community.

Living Like There is No Tomorrow

What would you do if you knew that today was the last day of your life? How about the last day before the end of the world? Would your priorities change? Would the things that are important to you now be as important?

Listen, See, Obey

These three words can be difficult to understand and difficult to follow. (Especially the obey part). But they are essential to the life of faith. Ears to hear. Eyes to see. A heart that’s willing to obey.