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Showing posts from August, 2019

Set Free

As some of you know, our family used to live in the South. Some people think I have a Southern accent. I tell them that’s just because practically everything in the USA is south of Vermont.
They have a different way of life down South, as you may have encountered at one time or another, maybe while you were driving through on your way to Florida. Did you know that true Southerners say that Florida is as far north as you can go in the United States?
Well, one time when we were living in South Carolina I went to our local Piggly Wiggly on a Sunday. That’s a grocery store just in case you didn’t know. 
I tried to buy a bottle of wine only to find out when I got to the checkout counter that I could not make the purchase because it was Sunday. Piggly Wiggly was open on Sunday. They had wine on their shelves. But I could not purchase it because it was Sunday.
That’s called a Blue Law. And all the time we lived in the South, I never figured out why Blue Laws were blue.
Now to me, that’s an exampl…

Things We Wish Jesus Hadn't Said

The passage we are going to read today from Luke 12:49-56 is, according to New Testament scholar N. T. Wright, “high on the list of Things We Would Rather Jesus Hadn’t Said. It’s not gentle, it’s not meek and mild; it’s not even nice. Parents and children at loggerheads, in-laws getting across one another—what can Jesus have had in mind?”
Well, the only way to find out is to read the passage and explore it a bit. Listen for God’s word to you from Luke 12:49-56…
“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 daughter against mother,
mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
    and daughte…

How to Prepare for Jesus' Return

John Donne, the seventeenthcentury poet and Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, once asked in a poem: “What if this present were the world’s last night?” In other words: what if you knew that tonight the world was coming to an end? How would you live today if you knew that? In our passage for today from Luke 12:32-40, Jesus suggests how we should live in light of the fact that he is one day going to return to the earth. Listen for God’s word to you… “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near, and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks.Blessed are those sla…