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Resurrection Hope

Resurrection Hope

We have come here today because we know that Christ is risen! But on that first Easter morning, no one knew that Christ had risen. Jesus’ disciples and friends were in the depths of despair, fear and guilt. The world seemed dark and hope was nowhere to be found. Christ had risen, but they had to discover that for themselves, so that they could say “I’ve seen the Lord” and experience for themselves the light that pierces the darkness and a new and transformed life. (John 20:1-18)

Cultivating Grace & Letting Go of Judgment

Cultivating Grace & Letting Go of Judgment

We know this parable that we have just heard read as the parable of the prodigal son. The word prodigal means wastefully or recklessly extravagant. The younger son wastefully spends all his money. The father recklessly and extravagantly forgives his younger son. And the older son? He sits in judgement of them both. So, is God like the prodigal father dispensing grace lavishly or the oldest son who holds onto grudges and judges strictly? I think all of us here would say that God is like the loving father in the parable. As I thought about our cultivating and letting go topic, this spoke to me about our need to let go of judgment and to cultivate grace for one another. In this sermon, Pastor Joan shared (with permission) a version of the parable written by United Church of Canada minister, Rev. Catherine MacDonald, that was told from the perspective of the prodigal son’s mother. Sorry, we do not have a transcript or recording for this sermon. (2 Corinthians 5:16-21, Luke 15:1-3,11b-32)

Cultivating Healing & Letting Go of Haste

Cultivating Healing & Letting Go of Haste

Today as I was reflecting on this fig tree parable, what came to mind is our need for haste. I tend to move hastily and quickly onward and just get on with the next thing on the to-do list. Jesus in this parable reminds me that the hasty thing of just cutting down the tree or completing my to-do list might not be best solution. Things that are worthwhile take time. Healing takes time. (Isaiah 55:1-9, Luke 13:1-9)

Cultivating Feelings & Letting Go of Denial

Cultivating Feelings & Letting Go of Denial

Luke described Jesus’ desire to gather us together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings. This is a very feminine way of describing God. God as a mother hen offering us protection. As I thought about this, I began to ponder stereotypical descriptions of women versus men. I thought about how women can express their feelings much more than men. Perhaps this feminine God wants all of us, women and men, to express our full range of humanity including our innermost feelings. (Psalm 27, Luke 13:31-35)

the long view

The Long View

Where are you today in this picture? Are you on that mountain at the far side basking in God’s transfiguring light? Are you standing by the rock on this side of the picture looking at what is to come? Are you down in the valley, wondering if you have the stamina to climb the mountain? (Luke 9:28-36)