Sunday, September 12, 2021

Sermon: "The Righteousness of Second Thoughts", Exodus 32:7-14/Mark 7:24-30 (September 12, 2021)


This week, Idaho made the national news. Unfortunately, it was for an incredibly bleak reason. On Wednesday, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare activated “Crisis Standards of Care” for the Panhandle and North Central Health Districts. As far as I know, we were the first state to do so in any capacity. While this declaration hasn’t yet reached the southern part of the state, it is, quite frankly, terrifying that this is happening at all: that health care providers are being put in the position of having to determine who gets care and who doesn’t because our medical resources are stretched impossibly thin. While I maintain hope that this state of affairs will be short-lived and won’t reach our corner of the state, I have to admit that I’m not terribly optimistic.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Sermon: "'Being' Chosen", James 2:14-19, 26/Mark 7:31-37 (September 5, 2021)


You may be surprised to see “James” listed as one of our readings for today. In last week’s sermon, I noted that we have a tendency to avoid this part of scripture, and I offered two reasons for this: one, because we subconsciously prioritize Paul and the Gospels over other scripture, and two, because James encourages his readers to embrace Torah, which can be uncomfortable for us if we incorrectly understand Torah as a series of outdated laws. But in reading this week’s lectionary, I realized that I’d missed a THIRD reason that pastors often resist preaching on James. Now, this reason probably bothers the average congregant less than it does the clergy, but it strikes terror into our hearts. Well, maybe not terror, exactly, but certainly enough discomfort to trigger avoidance when it shows up in the lectionary.