Going Somewhere Good – August 11, 2019

Scripture: Colossians 3: 1-11

Therefore, if you were raised with Christ, look for the things that are above where Christ is sitting at God’s right side. Think about the things above and not things on earth. You died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory. (Colossians 3: 1-4)

If Christ is “in us”, what is the end goal for the cosmos in its entirety?  Where are we going with all this?The first public word of record out of Jesus’ mouth was the Greek imperative verb metabolite, which literally translates as “change your mind” or “go beyond your mind.” Changing our worldview is the point of the gospel, and going somewhere good teams having to go through and with the bad, and being unable to hold ourselves above it or apart from it. We never stop growing toward a more inclusive love when we are following Christ.

Revealed in Us—as Us – August 4, 2019

Scripture: Colossians 2: 6-19

So live in Christ Jesus the Lord in the same way as you received him. Be rooted and built up in him, be established in faith, and overflow with thanksgiving just as you were taught. See to it that nobody enslaves you with philosophy and foolish deception, which conform to human traditions and the way the world thinks and acts rather than Christ. All the fullness of deity lives in Christ’s body. And you have been filled by him, who is the head of every ruler and authority. (Colossians 2: 6-10)

Paul knew that the Christ must first of all be acknowledged within before he can be recognized without as Lord and Master. God must reveal Godself in you before God can fully reveal Godself to you. We are participating members of the universal body of Christ and Christ is in us!

Another Name for Everything – July 28, 2019

Another Name for Everything – July 28, 2019

Scripture: Colossians 1: 15-28

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the one who is first over all creation. Because all things were created by him: both in the heavens and on the earth, the things that are visible and the things that are invisible. Whether they are thrones or powers, or rulers or authorities, all things were created through him and for him.  (Colossians 1: 15-16)

This understanding of the nature of Jesus Christ is Christianity’s unique contribution among the world’s religions: that everything visible, without exception, is the outpouring of God. Christ, Logos, the blueprint for being fully human is the Christ-mystery we are called to live into as human beings. When Christ is everything, how I walk through the world changes.

What We Already Know – July 21, 2019

Scripture: Colossians 1: 1-14 

You have this faith and love because of the hope reserved for you in heaven. You previously heard about this hope through the true message, the good news, which has come to you. This message has been bearing fruit and growing among you since the day you heard and truly understood God’s grace, in the same way that it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world. (Colossians 1: 5-6)

The opening to the letter to the Colossians expresses gratitude for the faith, love, and hope possessed by the followers of Jesus there. We will look at the way they, and we, have participated in the Christ story in the past, and what our continuing growth along that trajectory looks like.

The Traveler – July 14, 2019

Scripture: Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

“‘Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you.’” (Luke 10:3-6)

The traveler is always an outsider, visiting new places and adjusting to customs and cultures outside their own experience. Jesus warns the disciples that not everyone will welcome them on their journey. We too, will suffer rejection on our journey as Jesus’ followers. Jesus wants us to make the most of the places we are welcomed and not worry so much about the places that turn us away. It is the places of welcome where an outsider becomes an insider. Embrace them, find them and create them for others.

The Homeless – July 7, 2019

Scripture: Luke 9:51-62

“And Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’” (Luke 9:58)

There are homeless people all around us, some are without a physical home and others without a spiritual home. This passage reminds us that even Jesus was homeless. Even Jesus was cast out and turned away. Whether we are welcoming those without a physical home or confronting our own need to find a spiritual home in Christ, this week we claim the reality of a new home as followers of Jesus. To claim our home in the Kingdom requires us to let go of our former home and look toward our home with God.

The Tormented – June 30, 2019

“As he stepped out on land, a man of the city who had demons met him. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he did not live in a house but in the tombs…. Then the demons came out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.” (Luke 8:26-39)

The scripture story describes a man whose demons forced him to live on the outside of community. The story is not only an ancient tale. So many struggle with demons that hold our spirits captive. The stigma of this torment keeps us separated, holding life at arm’s length. Transformation and healing is possible but it may need to start with the work of compassion and truth-telling. How can we stay in conversation, not running and hiding from the reality and pain of mental illness in our communities and be the healing salve of Jesus’ presence?

The Humble – June 23, 2019

“‘…You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.’ Then he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’” (Luke 7: 36-8:30)

So often, we find ourselves judging the sinners among us, forgetting our own sin and failures. The woman who comes to Jesus in today’s passage presents herself humbly at his feet, perhaps the most vulnerable position possible. Her love and humility open the door to a relationship with Jesus, one of forgiveness and grace. No matter our sins, no matter the sins of others, Jesus forgives those who come with humility and love, removing their outsider identity.

The Lonely – June 16, 2019

Rev. Ed Bonneau

“As he approached the gate of the town, a man who had died was being carried out. He was his mother’s only son, and she was a widow; and with her was a large crowd from the town. When the Lord saw her, he had compassion for her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then he came forward and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, rise!” (Luke 7:11-17)

Have you ever felt utterly alone? Even for just a moment? Imagine the widow who has lost both husband and son. The pain must be almost unbearable and yet, Jesus says “do not weep.” Loneliness happens for many reasons and can create feelings of isolation, even in the midst of a crowd. Jesus knows this pain and raises us up to be comfort for one another. How are we called to rise up and comfort the lonely?

The Worthy – June 9, 2019

“And Jesus went with them, but when he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to say to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; therefore I did not presume to come to you. But only speak the word, and let my servant be healed…. When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd that  followed him, he said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” (Luke 7:1-10)

Who is worthy of the love—of the grace—of God? Too often people in or out of the church live with the belief, “I am not worthy.” They may be referring to their absence of faith, their life choices, or have even started to believe what “society” has declared about their identity. This week Jesus proclaims that what makes us worthy is not whether we are “in” or “out.”