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Choosing What Matters

Texts: Isaiah 551-9; Revelation 21:3-4 Lily is a young white girl haunted by the memory of her mother, who died tragically before her eyes. Rosaleen is Lily’s black nanny who takes no mouth off Lily or any white man or woman. T.J. is Rosaleen’s harsh white boss and Lily’s abusive father. Set in the South Carolina of 1964, in The Secret Lives of Bees, Sue Kidd Monk tells of how Lily and Rosaleen escape the abusive T.J. and move to a nearby town. There, they find a home in the eccentric house of three African American, bee-keeping, sisters – May, June, and the eldest, August. August soon becomes a surrogate mother for Lily. On one of their evening walks, August says, “The whole problem with p

In the Line of Fire

Text: Luke 13:31-35 I am always amazed when Christians speak of Jesus as their personal lucky leprechaun or four-leaf clover. For this group of Christians, if you follow Jesus you will earn public service awards, receive critical acclaim, get promoted, and people will break in line to give you money. Hang with Jesus and life will be smooth sailing. Surely, this group of Christians has never read today’s text from Luke. It is a deeply troubling text with words spoken long before Jesus is arrested, tortured, and executed. The story has a weird beginning. Pharisees, typically a thorn in Jesus’ side, come to warn him that Herod intends to kill him. Jesus does not stop his ministry and head off

Why is This Night Different?

Texts: Luke 23:39-43; Deut. 26:1-11 As the sun began to set, Rachel ran home quickly. She knew Sabbath was approaching and she must be home. Still panting as she ducked into the tent, she said, “Shabbat shalom.” But as she looked around, she saw that this was no ordinary Sabbath night. There was blood on the entrance to the tent and the table was set with lamb, matzoth, wine, and bitter herbs. The candles were being lit by her father, Aaron. Rachel was clearly confused. Why was there blood on the tent? Why had the candles already been lit? Unable to contain her bewilderment, she burst out, asking her father, “Why is this night different from any other night?” Aaron looked patiently at his

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