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  • 4/15/2019 This is the week that is the crux of the story of the whole of Christianity. Holy Week begins with the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. People bearing palms are waving in adoration, cloaks are being spread at the feet of the donkey which carries the one who is going to triumph over the evil empire. The donkey, a symbol of peace, an animal that is humble yet strong carries the one whom we place all hope.
    Palm Sunday is a good feeling day. Everyone except for the religious leaders of Jesus’ time are in a good mood. Jerusalem is already a buzz with Passover celebrations. It is like a big family reunion. When Jesus arrives it is like icing on the cake, our Savior is ready to usher in a new way of life. 
    Only the ones who are behind the curtain know that there is an undercurrent of negativity. There are plenty of people in power who like things just the way they are.  Ultimately there is a plan to quell this Jesus into submission, to try him as a false prophet, and put him to death. 
  • 3/30/2019 We have had a series of beautiful days of blue sky and warmish temperatures. Because of this, I have a terrible case of Spring fever, I want the weather to continue to stay 70 degrees and sunny. And at night, a little light rain at to resurrect the trees and grass. Is that too much to ask? Many people have their favorite season, spring, summer and fall are by far the most identified as “favorite.” Hardly anyone chooses winter as the favored. Winter’s cold, wet and windy personality can be described as insufferable by the pessimist.
    William A. Quayle wrote in “Headed Into Spring” from The Sanctuary, 1921: “Frankly, the trouble with winter is, it is all backbone. It is fleshless, insensate, with neither a breast to be leaned on nor a heart to love and ache and, if need be, break, nor any kindly hand to fondle and caress like a sea-wave on a sunny shore half asleep.”
    I think winter gets a bum rap.
  • 3/23/2019 During the forty days of Lent, I spend my soul searching time in prayer, reading and practicing different spiritual practices. This year, I have been studying the spiritual practices of the Celts. Each week I have been investigating what it means to truly be aware of God in the mundane and in the ‘thin spaces.” Christine Valters Painter is an abbess in the Iona Community in Ireland. She is a spiritual director and author of several distinguished books on Celtic Spirituality. “The Souls Slow Ripening,” is a workbook of sorts filled with scripture, poetry, with stories of saints and teachings of twelve spiritual practices.
  • 3/16/2019 It is the second week of Lent and I am feeling it. So much bad news in the air. I woke on Friday to hear of a terrorist attack in New Zealand of all places, in the city of Christchurch. The news confused me because I kept hearing that it was an attack and murder of 49 people, and many others wounded in Christ’s Church.  The people who were targeted were Muslims during their prayer time. Again, I was confused, what were Muslims doing in a church. For about 15 minutes I had to do a reality check, did it matter if those who were killed were Muslim or Christian? No, not at all, terrorism is terrorism. The people in the mosque that was attacked were innocent. They were fathers, and children, women, friends all gathered to worship God, the Creator, Maker of Heaven and Earth. My soul is just crushed at the continued violence in the name of God. It just is not right on any level.
  • 3/9/2019 ‘God requires our mercy, not our sacrifice.’ These words have been ringing in my ears this past week. I spoke them during my message on the Transfiguration of Christ, last Sunday, and they have become sort of an earworm. “What does the LORD require, but to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God,” says Micah 6:4. We have just begun the season of Lent, the forty days in which we are invited to journey with Jesus toward Jerusalem and the cross.
    Many people have the practice of giving something up for Lent, and this practice, by the way, is not just for Catholics, everyone is invited to give something up for Lent. What then if we thought of this practice not as a sacrifice but one of mercy. 
  • 3/2/2019 This has been a hard week for the church. I imagine it has been a difficult week for Methodists, and all church-going people, along with those people who are in the LGBTQ+ community, along with their supporting family and friends. Maybe it has only been hard for those who follow the public debate of the church world. Maybe this exact argument and ensuing attacks on humanity is just cause for many who leave church altogether. Christ loving people at war with one another surly makes God lament.
  • 2/23/2019 “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” -Micah 6:8
    Act justly, love mercy, walk humbly, if we could follow these three tenants of what God asks of us, there would be no need for Hate Crime Legislation. But alas, we make it so hard. We must identify who actually needs justice, identifying the groups of people who are marginalized and oppressed. We need it, dear legislators, I’m talking to YOU! Obviously, it is not enough to say, “Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly,” it needs explaining, surely you see this. We need laws that make it crystal clear that the attack on one person or more, because of ethnicity, race, political, socioeconomic class, sexuality, is not just an attack at the moment or incident, but it is aimed at a whole group of people who identify with the victim. In some cases, the act of a hate crime is actually celebrated by other groups who hold the same bias. 
  • 2/2/2019 We are more alike than different, except that there are books written and endless conversations about different ways to worship. Many fine church going people like to squabble over best practices. I have been to plenty of evangelical worship services, and I have liked some of them, but I am not an expert on this kind of theology. What I do know is that when people hear the word liturgical or even “Lutheran” the eyes roll and might think B.O.R.I.N.G. I assure you, not all liturgical or Lutheran churches are boring, (Ask any “Rooter.”) I had a professor in seminary that said, “Christians are the only group of people I know who can make God boring.” He was speaking to reasons why people do not attend church. Immediately, one of my missions became to make church services thought provoking, interesting, and relevant.
  • 1/26/2019 Speakers remorse, things you wish you said but did not. Maybe it was an argument, or perhaps you were interviewing for a job, or trying to make a sale. We have all been there.
    On Monday, I had the opportunity to pray with the people gathered at the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. Before we prayed, I acknowledged the work that the Noblesville Diversity Coalition have been doing and the way it has changed hearts and opened minds in regards to the racism that still exists in Noblesville. Even the mayor acknowledged that he, for many years had not accepted the reality that there was serious and injurious racism that has affected and still affects people of color in our community.
  • 1/19/2019 My heart leapt with joy last night as my adult son was lamenting having to work on Monday. You see, he is a sales rep for an insurance company, and the business of selling insurance never rests, even for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. My response was to let him know that in our culture only government and school children are given the day off. To which he replied, “well, I think Martin Luther King Day is more important than Presidents Day”. Oh my heart yes, my young padawan is growing up and sensing the importance of the meaning of service and what it means to be a good citizen.
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Friday, April 19, 2019

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