BEST NOT TO TELL GOD ‘NO’

(Acts 11:1-18) There are some people you just don’t want to say “No” to. You’re asked by the pastor to take a shift at the soup kitchen.  Are you going to say, “No”?  You might try: 1) No thanks.  2) I think I’ll pass.  3) Maybe another time.  4) Nah, I’d rather stay in bed…

SILENT PARTNERS

(Revelation 7:9-17) What do you need to become a famous inventor? For most of us, the short list would include things like scientific aptitude, creativity, perseverance, the ability to “think outside the box” and unflappable self-confidence. Beyond these, there’s one other thing that’s absolutely essential: money. It’s one thing to have a good idea.  It’s…

WALKING AWAY FROM IT ALL

(John 21:1-19) Dustin Snyder had enough.  He was tired of the long work weeks, low wages and grumpy customers.  He was assistant general manager of a McDonald’s restaurant in Bradford, Pa., but in early September 2021, he drafted a petition to the regional office and invited his workers to sign it. “We are all leaving,”…

JESUS IS OUR BIG TOE

(Revelation 1:4-8) At the 87th Academy Awards in March 2015, no one was slapped on stage – a statement that really didn’t need to be made until after this year’s awards.  Also, Eddie Redmayne won the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in “The Theory of Everything,” a fluffy biopic about the life and…

ANGEL EYES – EASTER SUNDAY

(Mark 16:1-8) The phrase “angel eyes” will conjure up different thoughts based on your age and interests.  Older music lovers will think of the 1946 jazz standard popularized by Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra.  My generation will think of the power ballad of the same name released by The Jeff Healey Band in 1988.  Movie…

MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE – MAUNDY THURSDAY

(Mark 14:22-25) Tonight, there’s blood all over the place in our liturgy, hymns, and Scripture Readings.  The sight of blood makes many of us squeamish.  Perhaps the bloodiness of our Lectionary Readings strikes you as odd and primitive, even unsettling.  So, you need to look under all this blood by hearing the Word of God…

WHAT DO YOU SEE? – PALM SUNDAY

(Mark 11:1-11) It was something new and exciting.  A parade was forming.  Everyone started to run to see what was happening.  The people started to stretch necks to see over the person in front of them.  The young children crawled between the legs of the adults to see if they could gaze upon what was…

WORLDLY EYES

(Mark 15:1-20) We use the adjective “worldly” in two different but related senses.  Merriam-Webster identifies these as (1) “having a lot of practical experience and knowledge about life and the world,” and (2) “of or relating to the human world and ordinary life rather than to religious or spiritual matters.”  In our Passion Reading today,…

MURDEROUS EYES

(Mark 14:1, 53-65) “If looks could kill.”  Can you picture eyes filled with rage?  Likely you’ve seen it in the eyes of another; perhaps you’ve seen it on your own face through an ill-timed glance in the mirror.  In the ancient world and still today in some cultures, the “evil eye” is a glance that…

DENYING EYES

(Mark 14:1, 53-65) Two weeks ago, we looked at and through Judas’s betraying eyes and recognized our own betrayals of the Lord.  Last week, we saw the disciples’ sleepy eyes in the Garden of Gethsemane and identified the times we have fallen asleep as Christians.  This week, we examine other ways sinful eyes can fail…