It is about more than ashes.
It is Tuesday during Holy Week. Jesus has gone to the temple to teach. What does that say to us as we prepare for Easter?
It is Monday of Holy Week. Today, our devotion centers around Jesus’ actions that day so long ago, as he cleansed the temple. Pardon me in this one, I am hoarse this morning!
In these times of coronavirus, we might finding ourselves asking “How will I come back from this?” The book of Ezekiel has some thoughts on how, and what we can do to best come back. Revised sermon from our virtual service on March 29th, 2020
pastor, Rupert United Methodist Church
Often when we think of Psalm 23, we think of funerals, because so often it is read at funerals. But there’s a lot more to it than that. Psalm 23 was written as a Psalm of Trust, reminding us that in times like this, we can still trust God.
In this time of Coronavirus, most of us are in a panic, ostriches with our head in the sand, or just plain confused. What can we learn from the bible to help us find our way to the truth?
This week’s sermon at Rupert Methodist Church.
When we have come through a long period of darkness, it is so very human to fall into despair and be left with a feeling of unworthiness. Sunday’s sermon looked at two great men of God, David and Isaiah, both of whom felt that unworthiness as the darkness in their own lives lifted. How they handled that emotion can help us emerge from our own darkness to a place where God can work through us, no matter what failures came before.
The news began to leak out Friday, that a split of the United Methodist Church had been announced. Here’s a quick summary I gave to my congregation Sunday, outlining how we got to the place of a split, how the agreement came about, and the basics of the agreement itself.
Be well. Travel wisely,
This made me think, from my favorite prayer site’ Sacred Space. The key line is near the end, where it talks about good religion. I think we need more of that.
The terms spiritual and religious are often used interchangeably and most often when people identify themselves as ‘spiritual but not religious’. Joseph and Mary, as they are depicted in the Christmas story in Matthew’s Gospel, appear deeply spiritual. They use inner resources to overcome difficulties; these difficulties and challenges don’t have to be spelled out to us who are familiar with the account of the birth of Jesus. These inner resources open them to occasions where God’s promptings and grace help nudge them into a safer place, even though at times comfort might tempt them to sit still for a while.
The narrative in the Gospel of Matthew, however, shows how deeply they are immersed in the religion of their days. Quotes from the Old Testament show how these moments are part of something greater and of which they are an important part. The two, religion and spirituality, are one. One definition of spirituality that I cannot forget is that it is the art of making connections. In our prayers and in our ponderings we try to connect with someone or something that can help us make our paths straight and find our own ‘Emmanuel’ or God who is with us (Mt 1:23). If we remain solely spiritual (if that can be done) then we are left with nothing to connect to.
Good religion helps us to connect deeply through its rituals, peoples, wisdom, and traditions.
In the wake of three years of mass shootings since Sandy Hook, what can we do beyond our thoughts and prayers and letters to Congress? The Character of God provides one idea.