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Showing posts from June, 2009

Holy Trinity Sunday

ISAIAH 6:1-8; PSALM 29; ROMANS 8:12-17; JOHN 3:1-17


This may be the Sunday that you determine that your pastor is crazy. Holy Trinity Sunday is my favorite festival of the year. (It is a festival.) I get more out of this day than Christmas, Easter, Pentecost or even, dare I say it, Reformation Day. All other church festivals either commemorate something God has done for the world, send the Messiah, raise him from the dead, or the other festivals acknowledge aspects of history or of the life of faith, like Reformation or All Saints’.

Holy Trinity Sunday is different. The only festival that is celebrated around church doctrine, this day asks to look at who God is and our experience of God over us, God with us, and God in us. Born from this day are the other days we celebrate a God who cared enough to send His only begotten Son, a God who cared enough to die on the cross, a God who remains with us interceding with sighs to deep for words.

The Trinity is mysterious and crazy-maki…

Holy Spirit at the Bat (Pentecost)

EZEKIEL 37:1-14; PSALM 104:24-34, 35B; ACTS 2:1-21; JOHN 15:26-27, 16:4B-15


The valley was deep and wide in front of Ezekiel that day:
The bones lay bare and dry; he knew not what to say.
And then the Lord questioned, and Ezekiel did reply,
“Mortal, can these bones live?” “Lord, you know better than I”.

Ezekiel drew in his breath and made his voice heard well
“Oh, dry, dry bones. Dry, quiet bones, hear what I do tell
Knees and elbows, thighs and hips- all a skeleton has to give-
Hear this word from your Lord, receive sinews and flesh and live.”

Before his eyes, the bones did rise and stand upon the ground-
Bone met bone, from head to toe, with a fierce rattling sound.
There were bodies standing with ears open, waiting to hear
The word the Lord wanted sent forth about his presence, near.

Ezekiel called forth the wind, as he had been told to do,
The standing bodies inhaled and breathed with life anew;
They were a sign for Israel of what the Lord had done.
The bodies showed that in the end, always, the …

Healing (24 May)

ACTS 1:15-17, 21-26; PSALM 1; 1 JOHN 5:9-13; JOHN 17:6-19

This week we mark the ascension of Christ into heaven. It falls in the church calendar right before Pentecost and we hardly ever notice it. Jesus speaks to his disciples again (Acts 1:4-11). After hearing this, the disciples go back to Jerusalem and do what? (They pray, they talk about Judas, they decide to elect a twelfth disciple.) The election of a twelfth is important because they were correlating the twelve apostles with the twelve tribes of Israel.

So they pray and come up with two names: Joseph-Barsabbas-Justus and Matthias. Then they essentially roll some dice or draw straws to confirm their selection. This was not that unusual at that time- remember the sailors casting lots to discover that Jonah was to blame for the storm at sea? The lots confirmed for the believers how they believed God was guiding them. They were leaning toward Matthias and the lots confirmed that choice.

Before the selection, however, how …

You Know What's Right (17 May)

ACTS 10:44-48; PSALM 98; 1 JOHN 5:1-6; JOHN 15:9-17


When I was growing up, my father had a phrase he would say when I was preparing to go on a trip or away from home for any amount of time. He would look at me and say, “You know what’s right. Do it.” My mother would ask if I had enough toiletries and then if I had enough clothes. I always assumed the order of her questioning was if I had to run around naked, at least I could be clean. However, my father’s advice was applied regardless of cleanliness. No lists of “Call us”, “Don’t spend all your money on something stupid”, “Don’t go anywhere with strangers”, but “You know what’s right. Do it.”

I thought about that phrase this week in a scary situation. There were no moral choices to be made, but more some quick decisions. My brother David and I were walking my dog down by Eagle River when we spotted a cow moose, which (as it turns out) had a very young calf. She charged at us on the trail and we went leaping into the woods, just…