Jeremiah 29:1, 4-14
Jeremiah's Leter to the Exiles/ Christ the King Sunday
Nov. 26, 2017
4Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. 7But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
The prophet Jeremiah is bringing a word of hope, a word of encouragement and a word of challenge to the Israelites who are in exile. That same word of hope, encouragement and challenge are for us today. We have been created, children of God and we have a purpose. God calls us to care for and love one another. In this scripture, the Israelites have been exiled to a land and live among people with different customs and different faith. God calls them to care for their neighbor, to get to know their neighbor, to work for common good together.
In the world we live in today, there are people with different customs, different beliefs, different everything. But we are all still neighbors, and we are called to care about the welfare of the other. It is hard, because the other doesn’t always care for our welfare and we live in an age that thinks that isn’t fair. And if it isn’t fair, then why should I have to do more than others do? If we all continue to have that mindset, the world will not get better, it will only get worse, as we spiral into a world that is only about me and what I get out of it.
So how do we change the world? One conscious decision at a time. One prayer at a time. One act of caring at a time. How are you going to answer the call? God bless you as you cling to the hope, the encouragement and the challenge God has for us all, remembering that if we seek God, we will find God when we seek him with our whole heart. Peace and Joy in Christ,
November 19, 2017
A Child is Born
This text from Isaiah leads us to some important discussions.
First we need to remember the context that the text is set in. To get a better sense of the context read the verses before, especially 8:16-22.
This text leads us to talk about the names that are prophesied about the coming king. And to think about who this king will be, to encapsulate such names as :Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. What names do you have for God? How have your names for God changed over the years?
For me, God's name is
In worship we talked about peace. Where we find peace and how we understand peace. It brought some wonderful questions from our young people. Where do you find peace. How does God bring about peace.
Peace is one of those feelings that makes us feel
November 12, 2017
Amos: Justice Rolls Down
Amos 1:1-2, 5:14-15,21-24
We had a wonderful lay leader from our parish share the message on this Sunday. I heard from many that they appreciated her sharing of the message. I am sorry that I missed it.
The topic in Amos is Justice. How do you understand Justice? How does Amos talk of Justice?
Our resource from ClergyStuff shares this prayer: God of mercy, your vision of justice for all is at the center of our faith. Clear our eyes to see it newly as something worth striving
for, as messy and difficult as it may be. Renew our zeal for your
gospel for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. Copyright © 2017 Clergy Stuff. Used with Permission. Find more at www.ClergyStuff.com.
Justice is about caring for one another, working for the good of others. How are you being called to care for the good of others? Where do you see the need for justice where you work, learn, play, live?
Blessings as we journey,
God Speaks to Elijah
Sunday, November 5, 2017
So, I have had technical difficulties these past couple of weeks. But I hope that we are the road to recovery.
This past Sunday we talked about the story of Elijah and when God spoke to him. Elijah was having a rough day. He was the only prophet left, all the others had been killed. Elijah himself had been told that he would be killed. And, now God comes and asks Elijah to go and anoint God's chosen people to carry on God's plan.
Elijah doesn't want to do it. Elijah wants to run and hide from God. As a matter of fact, it seems like Elijah wants God to strike him down and be done with it, instead of doing what is being asked of him.
Has there been a time your life where you are being asked to do something that you do not want to do? That you are afraid of doing. Or you just don't think that you can do it?
How did you handle that situation? Did you have people who supported you? Who were they? How did they support you?
Elijah does not want to do what is being asked. He is afraid that he is doing it in vain, that all of the people who worship God will be wiped away, or will worship other God's, so what's the point. But God comes to Elijah. God sends an angel to feed and nourish him for his journey, and then to encourage him to continue on his journey. But still Elijah could not hear God or feel God's presence.
It wasn't until there was sheer silence, that Elijah could sense God and here God speaking to him.
Have you ever had an experience where you could not hear someone speaking to you, and the situation had to change for you to hear them?
Elijah is afraid, and God recognizes what Elijah needs in order to be able to hear God.
Is there a time in your life when you felt God's presence? Felt God speaking to you? When was that?
I know, for myself, when I need to focus myself to hear God, I sit in silence. I often drive in silence and let my mind wander. I often feel that God is directing my thoughts. Another place I feel God's presence is when I am watching nature. A beautiful sunset, butterflies flying, or in the midst of a great thunderstorm.
God speaks to us in many ways. The question is, do we allow ourselves to hear God's call, God's presence.
As always, I look forward to our conversation,