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Showing posts from June, 2017

Sermon, "From Charity to Justice: Seeking Justice," Micah 6:1-8

Sermon 6/25/17 Micah 6:1-8
From Charity to Justice: Seeking Justice

            Imagine that you were walking alongside a river one day, and you saw someone in the water, clearly in distress, struggling, and needing help. What would you do? Well, of course, I imagine that you would jump into the water and help the person out, or at least call on someone else to help. Of course, that’s what you would do. But what if, as you were helping the first person out of the water, more people appeared, coming down the river, all appearing to be in distress? What would you do? At first, you might think to quickly gather a group of people – together, with a team, maybe you could start to get all of the people out of water and to safety. But I think, eventually, if this problem persisted, you would choose to send at least one person to travel along the river, looking for the source of the problem. Why is it that so many people are in the water, struggling for their lives? Was there an accident upstrea…

Sermon, "From Charity to Justice: United Methodists and the Work of Justice," Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11

Sermon 6/18/17 Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11

From Charity to Justice: United Methodists and the Work of Justice

            Last Sunday, we learned about the words righteousness and justice, words sown all throughout the scriptures. We listened to words from the prophet Isaiah, as we heard about God’s desire for us to work for justice, to be repairers of the breach and restorers of the street. We learned about rectifying justice, the work of “giving people their due, whether protection, or punishment, or care,” (1) and we learned about God’s vision for what we call primary justice, righteousness, when all people are set in right relationship with God and one another. Our right relationship with God and one another is God’s vision of wholeness for the world, and the work of justice to which we are called is to act in ways and work for change that will bring us closer to that vision. Next week, we’ll spend more time thinking about how we do the work of justice, and what that might look like in our l…

Sermon, "From Charity to Justice: What Is Justice?" Isaiah 58:1-12

Sermon 6/11/17 Isaiah 58:1-12
From Charity to Justice: What Is Justice?
            Last week, we gathered in the evening to hear from some of our church family who had been involved in mission and outreach trips over the past several months. Don and Glenda shared about their trip to Cambodia on a medical mission. We looked at pictures from the group that traveled for an overnight to Syracuse to serve lunches to people on the street, and we heard from Marthalyn Sweet, who went on a trip with some other young adults in our Conference to visit the General Board of Church and Society and learn about poverty issues. The General Board of Church and Society holds a special place in my heart. It is one of our denominations General Agencies, and this one focuses on public policy advocacy and education. It is located in Washington, DC, right on Capitol Hill. When I was starting seminary, I was elected to serve on the board of directors for Church and Society. I didn’t really know much about what …

Sermon for Pentecost Sunday, Year A, "Feet on the Ground," Acts 2:1-12

Sermon 6/4/17 Acts 2:1-21
Pentecost Sunday: Feet on the Ground
Just about 50 days ago, we celebrated the resurrection together, as we gathered on Easter Sunday, and shared together the gospel story. We heard about the women coming to the tomb and finding it empty, and we heard the repeated words from throughout the next, from messengers, from Jesus: Do not be afraid. Last week we left the apostles looking up at the sky, as we celebrated Ascension Sunday, and talked about hearing God’s messengers tell and disciples-becoming-apostles to tear their gazes from heaven, leaving them instead to get to work on earth. They’d been promised the gift of the Holy Spirit – a gift that literally means Holy Breath, a gift that Jesus describes as Comforter and Advocate, literally one called to your side. The Holy Spirit isn’t something new, isn’t something that just shows up in the New Testament, on Pentecost. But certainly, Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit in a different way than we hear elsewhere in the…