Straight from the Heart – April 26, 2020

Straight from the Heart – April 26, 2020

Scripture: Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart. (I Peter 1:22)

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:30-32)

Jesus’ table ministry was a preeminent way that he showed and shared the depth of love unseen in his time. He ate and spent time with those considered unworthy of his attention. Even in his post-resurrection appearances, it was in the breaking of bread that he was “recognized.” Whenever we gather around his Table, we remember that, at the heart, his message was unconditional love.

With Glad Hearts – April 19, 2020

Scripture: I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh will live in hope. . . (Acts 2:25-26)

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I keep the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also rests secure. (Psalm 16:7-9)

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” ~ John 20:19

To live as “Easter people” is to live knowing that death is not the final world. What would we do differently if we really believed that we are loved beyond all endings? That there was nothing to fear? Today we imagine Jesus at our “right hand,” counseling us throughout our days, “peace be with you,” as we look together at how we interact with one another…despite our differences…simply because we love.

A Matter of Heart – April 12, 2020

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Invitation to Journey with Jesus – April 5, 2020

Scripture: Matthew 21: 1-11; 26:14 – 27: 66

And when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up. “Who is this?” they asked. The crowds answered, “It’s the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.” (Matthew 21: 10-11)
Holy Week begins with the recognition of Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth and moves toward betrayal and death before the truth emerges about life that will change everything. This was Jesus’ story. It is now OUR story. Palm/Passion Sunday takes us through Jesus’ journey, a journey that mirrors our own.

Falling Upward – March 29, 2020

Scripture: John 11: 1-45 

When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” (John 11: 43)

Most of us tend to think of the second half of life as largely about getting old, dealing with health issues, and letting go of our physical life, but instead, we discover Jesus calling us, like he did Lazarus, to “come out.” We discover ways of living life to its fullest, embracing all its nuances, ups and downs. We join Lazarus on our second journey in life…after dying to self, we are raised to follow Christ.

Shadowlands – March 22, 2020

Scripture: Psalm 23; Ephesians 5:8-14 

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff – they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

By the second half of life, we learn to positively ignore and withdraw our energy from evil or stupid things rather than fight them directly, or dwell on them incessantly. We get in contact with our shadow self, understand our darkest valleys, and trust that God will see us through. We let go of our false personas, and let ourselves be who we truly are. Our cups learn to overflow with goodness and love.

Amnesia and the Big Picture – March 15, 2020

Scripture: Exodus 17:1-7

But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?” So Moses cried out to the LORD, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” (Exodus 17: 3-4)

St. Irenaeus once wrote, “God wanted to give human beings their fullness right from the beginning, but they were incapable of receiving it, because they were still little children.” Like the children of Israel, we, too, suffer from a giant case of amnesia, where our identity as children of God is often hidden from us because we have not been trained to look in the right places. It is religion’s job to teach us about our true identity…so we go on that journey together.

Stumbling Over the Stumbling Stone – March 8, 2020

Scripture: John 3:1-17

Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” (John 3:4)

Sooner or later, if we are on a spiritual journey, everything that we think we know will come into question. We will have to lose at something, change our views about the way we think, and and let go of things we have held dear. We cannot plan our own enlightenment, or simply trust that others will tell us how to believe and what to do. We must be born anew, into an understanding of grace and love and light. We must learn to be human.


The Hero and Heroine’s Journey – March 2, 2020

The Hero and Heroine’s Journey – March 2, 2020

Scripture: Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7 ; Matthew 4:1-11

The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.” (Genesis 2: 15-17)

All of us are on a journey, and the aging process is an important part of that journey. When we look at ourselves on the hero/heroine’s journey, we begin to see, as we grow older, that we are being awakened to deep, simple, and mysterious things we simply could not see when we were younger. We need not be afraid of that journey, nor of the temptations that come our way.


It’s All About Christ: Going on to Perfection – February 23, 2020

Scripture: Matthew 17: 1-9 

While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” (Matthew 17:5)

While transfiguration is attributed to Jesus, transformation is available to us all. John Wesley believed we are all going on to perfection as we seek to follow Christ faithfully. He was also open to a wide variety of ways of living out that journey, so the recent slogan “open hearts, open minds, and open doors” reflects the genius of Wesley and the early methodists who believed all of creation is beloved of God and part of God’s plan of salvation.