Sunday, June 27, 2021

Sermon: "Life On the High Seas", Psalm 107:23-32/Mark 4:35-41 (June 27, 2021)


Earlier this week, the Treasure Valley had an intense (albeit, relatively brief) windstorm. Some people reported retrieving their garbage cans amid unrelenting gusts of wind that blew dust in their mouths; others ran outside to move their cars to places of shelter for fear that they’d be damaged. Many southwestern Idahoans lost power.

The largest casualty at my house was an inflatable wading pool, recently purchased in anticipation of the 100+ degree days looming this week, that flew into the blackberry bushes and is now sadly no more. 

The pool in question

I sat in my living room on Tuesday night, watching the tree branches and hammock whipping around violently and wondering how much actual damage this storm would cause when all was said and done. I was grateful to be in the relative safety of my home, but even though I knew I’d probably be fine, it was scary to watch the storm wreak havoc outside. I could only imagine how it would feel to be somewhere that I couldn’t escape the storm’s wrath, where I couldn’t even rely on the ground beneath my feet to remain steady, like the disciples in the gospel reading.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Sermon: “A Perfect Fit”, 1 Samuel 17:32-33, 37-40, 18:1-5/Ephesians 6:10-17 (June 20, 2021)


Have you ever gotten a gift that you just…didn’t like? For me, it’s coffee mugs. I have coffee mugs coming out of my ears, and while I DO love coffee, I don’t need a different mug for every day of the year. I struggle to find a place to put them all, and it’s not like they have an infinite number of uses (I only have so many pens that need holding). Every time I open a gift containing another mug, I inwardly groan. I know I’m not alone; I’m sure there are plenty of father-figures around the country this very minute opening hastily wrapped presents and wondering just what the heck they’re gonna do with whatever’s inside.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Sermon: “God’s Co-Op”, Genesis 2:4-9a, 15, 18-22/Mark 4:26-32 (June 13, 2021)


God’s kingdom has been compared to a lot of things. According to Jesus, the Kingdom of God is like a treasure hidden in a field, a pearl of great price, yeast, a fishing net, a landowner hiring day laborers, a wedding banquet, servants entrusted with talents, and so on and so on. All revealing something important about God’s kingdom, and yet all (to our modern ears, anyway) rather enigmatic. (What actually *is* a talent, anyway?) If even the disciples struggled to extract meaning from these parables in their context, what hope do we have today?

Monday, June 7, 2021

A Modest Proposal for a New Edition of the Bible

How I wish scripture had a sarcasm font.

I'm reading through Mark 4 to internalize the context for this week's scripture reading, when I come to v. 11-12:
"[Jesus] said to [the disciples], “The secret of God’s kingdom has been given to you, but to those who are outside everything comes in parables. This is so that they can look and see but have no insight, and they can hear but not understand. Otherwise, they might turn their lives around and be forgiven."

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Sermon: "Out of Our Minds", Mark 3 (June 6, 2021)


We throw the term “crazy” around pretty lightly these days. If someone does something risky or daring, we exclaim, “That’s crazy!” If someone makes an unusual or unexpected choice, we protest, “That’s crazy!” If someone tends to behave in ways that are flamboyant or bombastic, we explain it by saying, “They’re crazy!” We usually mean it benignly or even admiringly, using the term to describe something outside of the norm in one way or another. But if we’re being honest with ourselves, the primary function of this term is to disassociate the speaker from the subject; to say, “I’d NEVER do something like that!” “Crazy” is a word that has, intentionally or not, come to represent severed connections.