Claiming Our Story

Texts: Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10; Luke 4:14-21 I was young, in a new town, and wanted to belong. Many of my new friends invited me to join a vibrant group on campus. There was a lot to like about this religious group. I liked that they worshiped at night. That was back when I could actually sleep late into the morning. I liked that everyone around me was close to my own age. I liked much of their music. It was something new and sounded entirely different, and often refreshing to my traditional Presbyterian ear. I really liked that every worship service was followed by all you can eat pizza! It was 1972 and I was a freshman at the College of William and Mary. My friends wanted me to join a g

A God Like That

Text: Luke 3:15-17, 21-22 Suppose we were to switch roles with God for just one day. On that day, it would be within our power to create everything, including God. What would your God look like? Would your God look like the 19th century Orthodox God – omnipotent, omniscient, immortal, invisible, God only wise? Would your God have carte blanche to do anything in the natural world or be limited only to extend sincere condolence and heartfelt compassion? The God of my creating would enter the world with a bang. This God would teach us to live without the need to maim and maul the good earth or each other. This God would not permit the few to have so much while the great many have so little. Th

Beulah Land

Text: Isaiah 62:1-5 After fifty years of captivity in Babylon, refugees have come home to holy Jerusalem, their hope and their dream. They do not find is a dream come true, but a nightmare of devastated homes, a Temple in ruins, and no prospects of work. Into this dire situation, the prophet Isaiah speaks this word from God: [Isaiah 62:1-5) For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem's sake I will not remain quiet, till her righteousness shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch. 2 The nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will bestow. 3 You will be a crown of splendor in the LOR

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