Yesterday Once More

A few years ago when I was back home in Flint, a memory came back to me as I went down a certain road.  The memory was seeing those auto carrier trucks lumber down the road.  The trucking company had it’s main garage on the eastside of town and you would see truck after truck filled with Buicks and Chevrolets going to all points.  That memory came back, because as I drove down this road, I realized that those carriers no longer lumbered down the road.  It was a reminder that things had changed. What changed in Flint was the … Continue reading Yesterday Once More

Sermon: Yesterday Once More

Ezra 1:1-4; 3:1-4, 10-13 Third  Sunday of Advent December 13, 2015 First Christian Church Mahtomedi, MN   When I was back in my hometown of Flint, Michigan last spring, a memory came back to me as I went down a certain road.  The memory was seeing those auto carrier trucks lumber down the road.  The trucking company had it’s main garage on the eastside of town and you would see truck after truck filled with Buicks and Chevrolets going to all points.  That memory came back, because as I drove down this road, it ocurred to me that I didn’t … Continue reading Sermon: Yesterday Once More

Repost: God Doesn’t Love the One Percent.

From 2012. I have a mixed relationship with Mary’s Magnificat found in Luke 1. On the one hand it is a wonderful message of justice; that the lowly in life will be vindicated and remembered by God. I love singing the song A Canticle of the Turning by Rory Cooney. But the text also is bothersome to me. It’s take on the rich and powerful is not one of charity; instead it is a hard justice-one where the rich are sent away empty and the powerful are made low. God of grace and love it isn’t. David Neff writes in … Continue reading Repost: God Doesn’t Love the One Percent.

Sermon: “Things Can Only Get Better”

“Things Can Only Get Better” Isaiah 11:1-10 Second Sunday of Advent December 8, 2013 First Christian Church Mahtomedi, MN When I Daniel and I moved to our house in North Minneapolis back in 2007, there was a large Silver Maple tree in the backyard. This tree was quite fruitful, because we were always getting rid of little saplings that seemed to appear everywhere in our yard. Three years later, we decided to expand our house. We also learned the maple tree was diseased, which meant it was susceptible to falling over. So, we called a service and had the mighty … Continue reading Sermon: “Things Can Only Get Better”

Sermon: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

I preached this tonight at our Blue Christmas Service.

“The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?”
Isaiah 49:14-16 and Matthew 2:1-23
Blue Christmas Service
December 19, 2012
First Christian Church
Minneapolis, MN

It’s Christmastime!  It’s the time of the year that we are supposed to be happy and we consider it “the most wonderful time of the year,” as the song goes.  We can imagine this manger scene where Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus gather together with all the animals and the shepherds.  It’s just a wonderful picture.

But you know, I did something this year.  I actually kind of read some of the lectionary texts for Advent and you know what?  At least in the Bible, it is NOT the most wonderful time of the year.   The first Sunday talks about the second coming of Christ and it wasn’t something to look forward to.  Then we have a few Sunday focused on John the Baptist who calls the people who come to be baptized, snakes and tells people to get ready for Jesus, which again doesn’t sound nice.

If we go to Christmas and beyond, we again don’t have the bucolic scenes that so many of us are used to.  The Three Wise Men come and visit, giving gifts that fortells the grim future that Jesus would face on the cross.  King Herod, who hears about a rival king orders his soldiers to kill all young boys age 2 and under.  During the 12 days of Christmas we are faced with this tragedy called the Holy Innocents which is commemorated on December 28.

So, Advent and Christmas are not so happy at least not in the way we would like to think.  Which is probably a good thing, because let’s face it, all is not calm in our world.  We are only a few days out from the horrific shooting of 20 little children in suburban Connecticut.  As we tried to comprehend the evil that was taking place, time and time again, people posted Matthew 2:18 on their Facebook pages, which states: “A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.” Continue reading “Sermon: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?”

Where’s Jesus?

This past Saturday was the day that the members of First decorate the place. The hallways are decked out in wreaths and garlands, Christmas trees are found in the lounge and in the sanctuary. This year’s decorations will be memorable because this is the last Christmas at our current location. In a few weeks, we will take buses and start worshipping at SpringHouse. One of the things that are always interesting are the manger scenes. Like most folks, people tend to decorate the mangers with all the central characters; the wise men (even though they weren’t at the manger), the … Continue reading Where’s Jesus?

Where’s Jesus?

This past Saturday was the day that the members of First decorate the place.  The hallways are decked out in wreaths and garlands, Christmas trees are found in the lounge and in the sanctuary.  This year’s decorations will be memorable because this is the last Christmas at our current location.  In a few weeks, we will take buses and start worshipping at SpringHouse. One of the things that are always interesting are the manger scenes.  Like most folks, people tend to decorate the mangers with all the central characters; the wise men (even though they weren’t at the manger), the … Continue reading Where’s Jesus?