Exploring Sabbath: Re-Orienting – July 1, 2018

Exploring Sabbath: Re-Orienting

One sabbath he was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?”And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food? He entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and he gave some to his companions.” Then he said to them, “The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.” (Mark 2:23-28)

We hear of many rules pertaining to Sabbath-keeping, but the Sabbath was created for far more than what not to do on a particular day. Mark helps us understand that we need to look more deeply into the meaning of Sabbath.

Exploring Sabbath: Relief Road – June 24, 2018

And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:41)

The first part of understanding Sabbath is knowing the one who created it…the one whom even the wind and sea obey. It is remembering and celebrating God in our midst.

Exploring Nature: Seeing the World Through God’s Eyes

So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Seeing the beauty of creation, including ourselves, from God’s eyes opens us up to the new and wonderful things God is doing in God’s world.

Exploring Nature: Do Not Lose Heart – June 10, 1018

So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal. (2 Corinthains 4: 16-18)

All around us things are changing…like the seasons, the waves on the sand, a mountain stream. All the changes in nature, as in life, prepare us for what is to come.

Exploring Nature: God’s Presence Everywhere – June 3, 2018

Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast.  (Psalm 139:7-10)

Wherever we look, God’s presence can be seen. God creates each of us with love and care, and we are uniquely wonderful.

Traveling Together: Exploring Nature: Earthly Things – May 27, 2018

If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? (John 3:12)

We begin to understand God’s will for our lives with earthly things, with the beauty of nature as a revelation of God… We learn about God from God’s creation.

Pentecost: Spirit Poured Out: Dare to Dance Again – May 20,2018

“I prophesied [to the bones] as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.” — Ezekiel 37:10

Ezekiel has a vision of a valley full of bones receiving life, breath, sinew and flesh after encountering the word of God. When they arise, they receive Spirit and they dance! As Easter people we celebrate the Spirit that continues to give life and breath to our dry bones. We dare to dance in the face of fear, in the face of cynicism, in the face of despair. We dare to dance “as long as we live” for we, like the early Christians, are the recipients of the Spirit of God which intercedes even when we think we can’t make it to the dance floor. In hope we are saved!

Dare to Dance Again: Gone Up with a Shout: Clap Your Hands – May 13, 2018

“Clap your hands, all you peoples; shout to God with loud songs of joy.” — Psalm 47:1

As Jesus prepares to leave the disciples, he opens their minds and blesses them. The result after he ascends is their return to Jerusalem with great joy and a desire for “continually” worshiping and blessing God in the temple. What happens when the “eyes of our hearts are enlightened?” We know the hope that we have been called to. As we wait for the Spirit with hope, we celebrate with abandon because we have no other ruler than the One who reigns with love and justice.

Dare to Dance Again: Who Can Withhold? Break Forth! – May 6, 2016

“For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace…” — Isaiah 55:12a

The scriptures for this Sunday describe everything in creation offering joyful noises to God. Our joy is complete because the joy of Christ resides within us. We cannot help but break forth. This joy is available to all, realizes the community in Acts. The Holy Spirit finds its way even and especially in what feels like unlikely people and places. Where do we see the Spirit at work and who can withhold the living water and our living praise? No one!

Dare to Dance Again: From You Comes My Praise: Guide My Steps – April 29, 2018

“How can I [understand], unless someone guides me?” — Acts 8:31

The Ethiopian says “How can I [understand], unless someone guides me?” So Philip begins to proclaim the good news of Jesus and the eunuch commands his chariot to stop so that he can go down to the water and be baptized. How has the testimony of the people in our lives and through the generations guided our steps into dances of praise at the good news that we are loved and blessed? What transformation is possible as we abide with God and “find our groove” of praise with the congregation?