Tag Archives: Faith in Action

05May/24

That Your Joy May Be Complete

So, what God is saying is that our Joy will attain the purpose that God has intended for us, if – and when – we love one another. It’s a very simple commandment, but it is not always easy to implement.

In the sermon on the mount, Jesus had even told his disciples to “Love their enemies,” and to “Pray for those that persecute you.” Very simple commandments, but once again, not at all easy to implement. Love God, Love your neighbor, Love one another, Love even your enemies. Jesus would not have told us – his disciples – to love our enemies unless he knew that the command to love those who didn’t love us would bring us joy.

14Apr/24

Children of God

Our New Testament reading today begins with the words, “See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are.” Through our baptism, we have been made a part of a heavenly family: we have been adopted into the family of God. And, as Children of God, we have now inherited all the benefits that are due to those who look to God as a parent, and Christ as a brother. We are no longer just Americans, or Chinese, Brazilian or Latvian, German or Canadian. We are first, and foremost, citizens of the New Jerusalem, citizens of heaven, the Holy City of God. We are children of a family that transcends time and space, race and ethnicity, boundaries and borders.

14Mar/24

For God So Loved

You may see the Rose colored stole this morning. Rather than wearing the typical Lenten purple, this Sunday, called “Laetare” Sunday, we wear a Rose colored stole. This Sunday is supposed to give us a moment when we can step back a bit from our Lenten disciplines and live in the joy of our salvation. The Latin word “Laetare” means “Rejoice!” 

The Gospel this morning gives us the reason for our rejoicing. Today we read the much quoted line in scripture that says, “God so loved the world that he sent his only son that people might not perish, but have everlasting life.”

21Jan/24

Tickled Pink

Over the centuries, several people have done the exact same thing as what Paul was suggesting, selling their possessions and camping out on a mountain top, waiting for the second coming of Jesus. These people made a decision that was guided by some form of hope, even within a life that is filled with daily responsibilities and duties. Partly because they saw it as a salvation from their present struggles. For them, future hope bested their present reality. And because of that, their hope came with a sense of urgency.

20Oct/23

Seeing the Unseen

I am gifted with a great imagination, and an analytical mind, and getting out of the boat, like Peter, to walk on the water toward a promise God has given me, makes me realize just how big those waves of doubt and uncertainty can be. Like a heads up display, I see every possible scenario, both good and bad, with its probability firmly floating above the wave, either granting hope, or threatening impending doom. 

13Oct/23

I am a Rock? I am an Island?

As adults we often don’t realize just how many of our decisions are based on similar attempts at fitting in, at defining our identity, at finding our role within our social context. Did I come to this church because it provides the best theological teaching, or because it offers the best programs, or the best adult groups? Did I take this job because I love doing it, or because this type of job pays more money than one that I love to do – and by extrapolation, more money will allow me to get what I really crave?

01Oct/23

Do Be Do

It is entirely possible to do the will of the Father without being moved by what we are doing. We can follow all the requirements of a good and just society, without caring about the interests of others. We can do all of these things, but care only about looking good, which is precisely the opposite of what Paul was asking of the believers in Philippi.

24Jul/22

Kingdoms

If you were to ask any random person on the street about a prayer that they could recite from memory, the Lord’s Prayer would make the top five. It seems that this is a prayer that everyone, whether they attend church now, or only as a child, has committed to memory. And as is often the case when we have committed words and phrases to rote memory, we often quit reflecting on their meanings and purpose.