Welcome Home

Text: Psalm 84 “Welcome home.” Those two simple words conjure up a rush of images. Many images are from my childhood – images of loved ones now gone, long hours playing games inside on cold, rainy days and even longer hours of playing games outside. “Welcome home.” Those two simple words conjure up not only memorable images, they taunt my senses with the lingering aromas of childhood – of cornbread baking, of my grandmother’s collards assaulting every olfactory nerve, of the unmistakable smell of cider wafting through the house at Christmas. “Welcome home.” That is precisely where the singing pilgrim is headed in Psalm 84. He is heading to the Jerusalem Temple, his spiritual home, the place

The Other Brother

Genesis 32:4-22; 33:1-9 Esau was the first-born son, the child of privilege, a privilege he would never enjoy. For beginning in the birth canal, younger brother Jacob would grab and twist and steal Esau’s privilege, taking everything from his brother’s birthright to Father Isaac’s blessing. To Jacob, Esau was never a beloved older brother; he was one big, hairy step to climb over on his way to get whatever he wanted. Young Jacob would laugh his way to Uncle Laban’s house, leaving his fleeced brother behind. Many years would pass and finally the reunion Jacob had always dreaded would arrive. (Read Genesis 32:4-22) 4 Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau . . . with these instr

Using What We Already Have

Text: Luke 17:5-10 I like the Jesus I meet in the Gospels. I like it when I am exhausted and he says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” I like it when I am standing at the bedside of a dying friend and he says, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me should not perish, but have life everlasting.” I like it when I am feeling lost and vulnerable, and he says, “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.” I cannot say that I care much for the Jesus in our text today. He strikes me as too harsh and demanding, expecting more that anyone can ever hope to give. The twelve followers of Jesus have already left

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