Today we celebrate what is commonly known as “Good Shepherd Sunday.” Good Shepherd Sunday is one of these unofficial church holidays we get each year that isn’t listed on the calendar exactly, but which comes with the same regularity as Christmas and Easter each year.
Good Shepherd Sunday can sound a little cuddly and fluffy. You might think of this like the beautiful window behind me. (more…)
The posse comes for Jesus in the dead of night. He is dragged away like a common bandit in shackles to be mocked, tortured and killed.
His most courageous follower, Peter – the one who Jesus calls “the Rock” because he is so steady – follows at a distance. Peter – the rock – makes his way in the cold darkness to a fire in the courtyard where Jesus is taken. He is near enough that he can see Jesus interrogated and hear his words.
Then suddenly fear grabs Peter by the throat. (more…)
Warning: This sermon contains adult content and violence.
Let’s see if that holds your interest.
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It is hard and risky work being a prophet. It is not a job you volunteer for. The people you thought you knew and trusted may not want to hear you words. When they do hear you, they might want to kill you.
Being a prophet can get you thrown into a dungeon or a deep well. (more…)
“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
Have you ever wondered what the world would have been like if humans had never sinned? What would it be like now if the world said, “We are done with this sinning thing. What if, having recognized the destruction and devastation that comes from violence, resentments, jealousies, lies, wrongful use of power, domination, false superiority, errant justifications, and anger, the world said, “Enough. We have done this enough, and it is long since time to stop.” (more…)
The story we hear this morning from the Gospel of Mark might be familiar to you, or at least the scene might be familiar to you if you have ever seen any Jesus movies. My favorite Jesus movie when I was a kid was “King of Kings” with Jeffrey Hunter, made in 1961.
In the movie, Jesus, in long flowing white robe with a brown tunic, walks along the beach pointing at fishermen tending their nets.
The fishermen instantly drop everything and walk after him, a dazed look in their eyes. Jesus gathers more disciples, and off they go with music building to a crescendo. (more…)
I am reading a book called Ikigai: the Japanese secret to a long and happy life by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles. The authors interviewed the residents of a Japanese village that is known as a “Blue Zone” because it has the highest percentage of 100-year-olds in the world. A Blue Zone is a term used to describes the lifestyles and environments of the world’s longest-lived people. (Wikipedia). According to the authors, the Japanese believe that everyone has an Ikigai, a reason for living, and finding it is the key to a longer and happier life. (more…)