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Showing posts from October, 2009

In honor of Ella, my cat

So, I haven't blogged in forever, and all I give you is this graph? But it made me laugh out loud - I couldn't help it. Also, Graph Jam is hilarious.


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Sermon for Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, "Be Challenged"

Sermon 10/11/09, Mark 10:17-31Be ChallengedI’ve been thinking, over the last several weeks, in light of some of the powerful lessons from the New Testament that we’ve focused on in worship, that it’s amazing that we even read the Bible aloud and pretend to like it. I wonder why our very reading of the words of Jesus and his closest followers doesn’t offend us. I wonder how we can even bear to hear what Jesus says sometimes, if we believe that he’s the Messiah, if we believe that we’re supposed to try to practice what he preaches. I think this because sometimes I’m struck with such force at how much distance there is between what Jesus teaches and what we do. Jesus challenges us. More than that. Pushes us. Tells us we’re getting it wrong. Quite wrong. Tells us we have to completely change what we know, how we live, what we do. I recently happened on one of my favorite quotations, by 19th century philosopher and theologian Søren Kierkegaard. He writes, "The matter is quite simple. …

Sermon for Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost, "Be Childlike"

Sermon 10/4/09, Mark 10:13-16Be ChildlikeToday we come to the third in a set of texts where Jesus draws children into the scene, draws children to the center of a circle of adult men, to the center of a circle of his most trusted colleagues, to the center of his teaching. In our first text two weeks ago, we read about the disciples arguing over who was the greatest, and in response, Jesus brought a small child into their midst, and said, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.” Then, last week, we talked about stumbling blocks, and heard Jesus say, probably of this same child, “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your heck and you were thrown into the sea.” And today, finally, we get to this passage of four short verses. People are bringing their children to be blessed by Jesus. The discipl…