Monday, December 27, 2010

Why are we afraid?

So if I told you that a young child was born in a local emergency shelter during the last snowstorm, would you have any trouble calling the child homeless?

If I told you that same child ran away from home as a young boy and spent three days or so without his parents knowing where he was, you wouldn't have any problem calling the child at least temporarily homeless, would you?

If that same child grew up and as an adult told people that he didn't have a place to call his own...again we would have no trouble calling him homeless would we?

Yet for some the thought of calling Jesus homeless really is troubling. Why?
Maybe it is because if we acknowledge Jesus was at the VERY least temporarily homeless than we need to reevaluate how we look at the problem of homelessness.

See if Jesus was homeless then how could we then simply turn on backs on the homeless people we see? How could we only worry about the problem of homelessness during times such as thanksgiving and Christmas?

Maybe for some the idea of a homeless savior seems a little "icky". I would think that is the same feelings that the early Jewish people felt when their warrior king turned into the suffering servant.

I obviously have been thinking about homelessness a lot lately and the more I think about it the more I wonder how Jesus feels as he is watching how we treat the homeless....

I wonder..

“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ (Matthew 25:45)

I wonder...

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Open up!

A friend of mine wrote this...

You need to read it

JESUS WAS HOMELESSby Matthew Works(c.)1999
Jesus was homeless,and so were Peter and Paul.
How can the churches, then, lock their doors on the least among us all ? What you do to the least of His brothers-and-sisters you do to the Son of God;
and, should one of these least ones freeze to death,it's because your heart has grown hard.

If Store 24 can be open for twenty-four hours a day,then how can the Body of Christ on Earth turn any body away ?

In truth, there are no excusesfor the poor to be treated this way.
If only the churches would open their doors homelessness could be ended today.
God wants us to respond with compassion to the plight of the homeless and poor.
So, come on, all you bishops, and all of you priests,first your hearts, and,
then, open those doors !

Friday, October 29, 2010

This is where it all comes together

I am in Border's this morning. I came to pick up a couple books I need for a sermon series I am preaching next year. After I got the books, I sat down with a cup of coffee and opened up my laptop.

I got a little work done and now am getting ready to read a little bit.
This is such a great feeling. The peace that I feel in this building is amazing to me today. I find myself in a place where I can read and not be distracted by the office phone or by something else on a never ending to do list.

Here I can enjoy my coffee and read whatever it is I may have to read and simply enjoy the written word. In many ways borders is acting in the same way the beach often does...a place of connection with God. A connection I so desperately need today.

Today as I open my book and read about The Good News about the end of Christian America I am at peace and pray for the Spirit to fill me and I pray that you also can feel that peace in your life.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Walking a Tight Rope

As a pastor begins to prepare a sermon he/she may spend lots of time not only looking at and studying the scripture but also the congregation in which the message will be delivered, or at least I do.

I also spend a bit of time TRYING to ensure I am not using the pulpit as my own personal bully pulpit. I try to make sure that I find that place where God, Scripture, the people, and myself all meet.

But sometimes it is hard....often times one piece of this formula may be out of whack or may be flaring up....It could be an issue in the congregation or perhaps in my own life. the scripture for the week may be telling me something different than it was when I laid out the idea of the sermon months prior.

So at times I feel as if I am walking a tightrope...but I guess the question I am wrestling with today is that always the best thing to do.. Is there times when I need to get off that tightrope and deal with the repercussions of that if and when they happen.

I think the one constant that I need to keep looking for is God....If I see God leading me in the situation I need to follow whether it is a change of focus in the scripture or something in the congregation or even in my own life.

But the tightrope keeps calling me back...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

So when do we wake up?

You know what word I am tired of....


Now please don't get me wrong...I am not tired of the sacred...I am simply tired of the has become one of those code words...
Sacred too the church has been another in a long line of labels that we use to separate good from from them...

The church uses it to tell us what is appropriate and what is not...The reality is for many the word sacred means...old, stuffy. & boring.

I guess I just don't get what this dualism is between secular and sacred. I read the bible and I am led to believe that it is all sacred...

Why does all the creativity have to live outside the realm of the church....

We can't continue to set up this barriers between God and the people..tell them what is the "right" way to express themselves or to experience the world around them...I suggest we simply find ways to bring people into relationship and experiences of God...and then get out of the way....

Let God take over...

I'm just saying

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Piece of the Puzzle

Tonight the Phillies clinched the N.L East....again. Tonight Jayson Werth got a huge hit...again. I guess there are lots of names I could have used. Roy Halliday pitched a strong game...again. Carlo Ruiz played a good game...again.

The names go on and on and that to me is the point. It is why I love sports so much, especially baseball and football. It is not about one person it is about the team and each player and/or coach doing their part at the moment it is needed.
puzzle_20pieces_20resized.jpgI didn't get to see the game tonight as I am at a training event. I am one of several pastors here, I am simply part of the team. We are sharing together and learning together and striving together. Tonight we are just a piece of the puzzle. I like that though. I am a piece of a puzzle that God is putting together. God is doing great things and all I want to do is be a part of it. A bit player in God' puzzle. I want to do what God has called me to do and be exactly who I need to be for the people God has called me to minister to. Just as Jayson Werth did exactly what the Phillies needed tonight. Exactly what he was called upon to do.

So I guess the question is where do I fit in?

I need to find the place God is leading me to. I need to find my spot in the lineup (sorry I can't drop the baseball thing just yet).
God is calling me of this there is no doubt. I need to listen again to that still small voice.

So maybe the question is not where do I fit in but instead where does God want me?

I am listening

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Time Away

It has been a great few days away with Ginny. We got to just relax and enjoy each others company, along with the company of some good friends.

In addition it has given me time to take a step back from church and clear my head. So much has been happening week after week this summer it has seemed non-stop at times. It seems as if when I look at the calendar it won't be slowing up for awhile more. So this time away has been just what the doctor ordered.

Comedy clubs, restaurants, pools, hot tubs, playing cards these are the things that have helped clear my head. Perhaps the most important thing was just time with Ginny. It enabled me to refocus in on those things that are most important.

As we pack up and head to South Seaville for the night I am looking forward to the weeks to come. They will be busy but I know the Spirit is moving in the two churches and I think great things for our community are right on the Horizon. I can't wait!