Welcome to our blog! This is a place to share ideas, thoughts, concerns and joys of our faith journey. I'll be posting sporadically, but hope you will feel free to comment and join in the discussions.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What's The Deal With The Colors?

This Sunday coming up is the first Sunday in Advent. This is the time in the church calendar where we get ready...what, you may ask are we getting ready for? Well, for Jesus, is the standard answer. But he was here already, I hear you say. Yes, I reply, but he promised to come back. Not only that, I like to add, but he comes every day. There is an anticipation for the next four weeks and it has nothing to do with the sales at Kohls or Boscovs. We are awaiting the arrival of Jesus.

The vestments and the special cloths on the altar and lecturn that change color with the seasons of the church year are blue now. I read up on the reason they are blue. It said blue stood for hope. And if ever we needed some hope in this world it's now. Hope for a better world for our children. Hope for peace. Hope for a future not crowded with fear and bigotry, but populated with caring and embracing of differences. We are hoping for Jesus to come into our midst, our lives, and our souls. That is what Advent is all about. I hope you will join us.

Friday, November 20, 2015

A Kingly Way of Looking at Things

This Sunday is referred to as Christ The King Sunday. Taken at face value, most of us would say, yeah, I get that Jesus was a King of sorts. He is, after all, God's son, right? But I wonder if we really appreciate what Jesus was "in charge of" based on our interpretation of kings. He helped the poor. He eased the suffering of the sick and neglected. He poured out so much love on everyone, it's a wonder he didn't collapse. He wasn't a Roman emperor. Or even a revered scholar. He was a teacher to those who would listen. And a place of refuge to those who had no where else to go. And the most miraculous thing is, He still is. He is still that place of peace and refuge and solace, if you would seek him out. So let's look at the kind of King Jesus really is. Not the wealthy, power wielding figure we associate with the word. But the tower of strength built on the foundation of grace and love. 

Join us as we celebrate the ordination of Pastor Jay Berry this Sunday (and, we'll celebrate with us every Sunday for that matter)! 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Listening For The Voice

The world is a noisy place, especially recently. As the holiday season draws near there are a lot of people clamoring for our attention. As the political season winds up (or down depending on your perspective), the noise level seems to rise. The recent events throughout the world seem to scream out of our television screens, forcing us to face realities we would perhaps rather not. A clanging wall of sound, bashing on our ears. It is tiring. It is disheartening. It makes me feel sad.

But the funny thing is this, you see, I wear hearing aids. So technically, I could cut off the sound at any time, by "unplugging" my ears. If I take those devices out of my ears the world is a much quieter place. But I don't do it. I mean until I go to bed at night. I leave them in all day. At times I'm sorry to have heard things. At times I'm so grateful for these, it's overwhelming.

The Lord has given us so much. And the love He has bestowed and entrusted us with is an important part of how we listen. Are you listening with your heart? Or just your mind? Are you remembering that God came down to us to prove how important we are to Him? As we approach Thanksgiving, and the blessed season of Advent after that, let us turn down the noise of cynicism, the yelling of judgment, the hard-heartedness we sometimes build around ourselves. Let us listen for the distant choir of angels, the blessed quiet of the Peace which passes all understanding. I keep my hearing aids in to listen to God's Word around me, won't you join me in listening in?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Looking for The Answers

We have an adult Sunday School class that I frequently mention in this post. It's an interesting mix of people who come in and out, share stories and never talk, crack jokes and hardly smile. We are all seeking different things when we meet in class. Some of us just want to continue the fellowship from the church service. Some of us want to see what other people think of the gospel reading for the week. I send out the reading as an email for the class to peruse before getting together on Sunday. Some of us, me included, are looking for answers. And I don't always find them. Answers I mean. I like delving into scripture and reading blogs and checking over commentaries to see what others have to say. I'm almost always surprised by some commentators, sometimes surprised by the little bits and pieces I find out about the life of Jesus and the people of his day. And usually I'm pretty excited about the observations made by the members of the class. I'd like to invite you to come and share your story, your self and your ideas with us on Sunday. Even if you haven't read the gospel lesson, join us as we look for answers, even if we never find them.