“Sure, we who follow Christ will wind up in strange places and likely with scars of our own. But if the choice is between that and fear behind closed doors, I’m hitting the streets on a quest for real peace.” — Rev. Erick Olsen
"It is human nature to want to set conditions on the unconditional love of God." — Rev. Cheryl Anderson
"Hosanna means help. 'Save, we pray!'" — Rev. John Nelson
"The world needs us - our love, our courage, our passion, our striving for justice and our intellect." —Rev. Sidat Balgobin
"Don’t we all need to be reminded that God is with us and that we are loved?" — Rev. Kate VanDerzee-Glidden
"God is here with us, no matter what we feel we’re lacking or missing. " — Rev. Brenda Pelc-Faszcza
"God's gift leaves no room for exclusivity; color, nationality, sexual orientation, parental status, immigration status... all are blessed EQUALLY!" — Elivette (Elly) Mendez Angulo
"Somehow that small smudge on my forehead – the one I can't even see – never feels like enough." —Rev. Alison J. Buttrick Patton
"There's work to do, even while we wait." — Rev. Jonathan Chapman
"Jesus came to remind us that our citizenship is not primarily in this realm of power and bluster, wealth, and glamor." — Rev. Timothy Haut
"We are called to do no harm to those whom Christ loves. With God’s help, let it be so." —Rev. Jack Shackles
"WE WILL SURVIVE! God is on our side." — The Rev. Maritza de Gonzalez
"Sisters and brothers, now is the time to rise up!" —Rev. Donna Manocchio
"We are called to leave behind our skepticism, our world-wariness, and our cynicism." —Rev. Sara Ofner-Seals
"We kill our prophets by rescinding their gains on freedom and equality." - Rev. Damaris Whittaker
"At some point, all of us as human beings need to make some decisions about the direction of our lives." —Rev. Bob LaRochelle
"There is still more work to be done. Listen to God. Get up. Live the life of faith!" —Rev. Zackary Mabe
"Watch for it. Wait for it. It might just take your breath away…." —Rev. Jeff Gallagher
"This is why we will light the candle of Love. This is why we will celebrate once again the gift of God with us." - Rev. Sara Jane Munshower
"Life brings us to moments when we are the bearers of the light." - Rev. Lee Ireland
"...sharing in this journey is the only path toward healing and hope." -Rev. Mary Louise Howson
"No one knows what will happen this December – not the angels, not the Son, not any of us. But there could be a miracle." - Rev. Alison Buttrick J. Patton
"When we dare to pray, “Thank you God for being with me in this circumstance,” we may discover God’s strength and blessing when we need it most." - Rev. Dr. Susan Foster
“Regardless of the outcome of the election, the call of our faith is the same: to be co-creators with God and to nurture God’s realm into being.” - Rev. Jocelyn B. Gardner Spencer
"To be faithful is to participate in the broken and imperfect world of politics." - Rev. Shepard Parsons
"It's not a competition. Really, it's not." - the Rev. Rochelle Stackhouse
"The truth is that all of us can fall into that pattern of self-pride and self-congratulation very easily" - Rev. Gordon Bates
"There is a difference between "cure" and "healing." - Rev. Max Grant
Scripture: Luke 17: 5-10 (NRSV) The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!" The Lord replied, "If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you. "Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, 'Come here at once and take your place at the table'? Would you not rather say to him, 'Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I...
Scripture: Luke 16:19-31 There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man's table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far ...
Scripture: I Timothy 2:1-7 (CEV) First of all, I ask you to pray for everyone. Ask God to help and bless them all, and tell God how thankful you are for each of them. Pray for kings and others in power, so that we may live quiet and peaceful lives as we worship and honor God. Reflection: Sometimes it's overwhelming how many people we find we ought to pray for. Every Sunday we lift prayers in worship and then can't quite remember all those names by the time we get home. We meet someone in the ...
Scripture: Luke 15:1-10 (NRSV) Now all the tax-collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, 'This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.' So he told them this parable: 'Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes ...
Scripture: Luke 14:33 (NRSV) So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions. Reflection: I knew there'd be two or three hymns. I knew that "In the Bulb" would be one of them about every 5 weeks or so, despite my best efforts to keep the hymns fresh - it's just such a good and singable hymn. I knew the pause of silence just longer than comfortable that would arrive right before people started sharing the aches and pains on their hearts during the ...
Scripture: Jeremiah 2:4-6a (The Message) Hear GOD's Message, House of Jacob! Yes, you?House of Israel! GOD's Message: 'What did your ancestors find fault with in me that they drifted so far from me, took up with Sir Windbag and turned into windbags themselves? It never occurred to them to say, "Where's GOD, the God who got us out of Egypt, Who took care of us through thick and thin?"' Reflection: It is tempting to pounce on the use here of "Sir Windbag" as an opportunity, permission even to ...
Scripture: Jeremiah 1:4-10 (NRSV) Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.' Then I said, 'Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.' But the Lord said to me, 'Do not say, "I am only a boy"; for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver ...
Scripture: Luke 12:49-56 (NRSV) 'I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! From now on, five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided: father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and ...
Scripture: Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16 (NRSV) Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he stayed for a time in ...
Scripture: John 17:20-26(NRSV) 'I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have ...
Scripture: John 14:23-29 (NRSV) Jesus answered him, 'Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me. 'I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said ...
Scripture: Revelation 21:1-6 (NRSV) Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their ...
Scripture: Acts 9:36-43 (NRSV) Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was devoted to good works and acts of charity. At that time she became ill and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in a room upstairs. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, who heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the request, 'Please come to us without delay.' So Peter got up and went with them; and when he arrived, they took him to the room ...
Scripture: John 21:15-19 (NRSV) When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, 'Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?' He said to him, 'Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.' Jesus said to him, 'Feed my lambs.' A second time he said to him, 'Simon son of John, do you love me?' He said to him, 'Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.' Jesus said to him, 'Tend my sheep.' He said to him the third time, 'Simon son of John, do you love me?' Peter felt hurt because he said to ...
Scripture: John 20: 26-28 (NRSV) A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you.' Then he said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.' Thomas answered him, 'My Lord and my God!' REFLECTION: As I sat down to ponder what few hundred words I could say about Jesus' post resurrection appearance to ...
Scripture: John 24:16-17 (NRSV) Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabbouni!" (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, "Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" REFLECTION: This week, the stakes are high as we preachers get ready to welcome the largest crowds of the year into our sanctuaries to celebrate Easter. As always, ...
Scripture: Luke 18: 35-43 (NRSV) As he approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard a crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, 'Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.' Then he shouted, 'Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!' Those who were in front sternly ordered him to be quiet; but he shouted even more loudly, 'Son of David, have mercy on me!' Jesus stood still and ordered the man to be brought to him; and when he came near, he asked him, ...
Scripture: John 12:1-8 (NRSV) Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus' feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, 'Why was ...
Scripture: Luke 15:18-20 (The Message) I'm going back to my father. I'll say to him, Father, I've sinned against God, I've sinned before you; I don't deserve to be called your son. Take me on as a hired hand. He got right up and went home to his father. When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. REFLECTION: I learned as a human parent, no matter how many nights my sons kept me awake crying, or however many glasses of ...
Scripture: Luke 13:1-3 (NRSV) At that very time there were some present who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. He asked them, 'Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. REFLECTION: Ever notice how we blame others for our failures and take credit for our successes? OK, maybe that's just me. From where I ...
Scripture: Luke 9:33 (NRSV) Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. REFLECTION: Life is change, so it is said. Beyond change, 'transfiguring' means to change form, to take on a new shape, a new body; it is the outer expression of an inner transformation, it is the word become flesh claiming more body space. Transfiguring in scriptural imagining is a changing form toward the divine. The past several years have been a ...
Scripture: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-20 (NRSV) Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven. So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done ...