June 30, 2013

We want freedom, but do we really?  Freedom is not easy to understand, let alone negotiate.  Freedom is always forward looking.  While roots give us grounding and balance and a sense of belonging, wings offer us possibilities and opportunities and risk.  A river that is a mile wide and an inch deep has no power.  The more we narrow the channel, the more powerful it flows.  Freedom is never free, until we choose how to limit it.  In the text for this Sunday, Jesus says, "No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God."

June 16, 2013

When we look into a mirror, we expect to see a reflection of ourselves, and this is indeed what we see.  When we look into the eyes of someone else and make a judgment about them, we are looking into a spiritual mirror.  What we see in others is a reflection of our own values and nature.  When we perceive negativity and faults in another, these same tendencies are bubbling within ourselves.  When we see goodness in another, we are reflecting some of the goodness within ourselves.  Psychologists call this "projection."
Sounds right?  Maybe.  Sometimes we want to debate this.  How do we discern fair assessment from our personality projections?  How do we serve on a jury?  How does a teacher grade papers?  Such discernments are not easy.  All this, we will consider this coming Sunday.  Read thoughtfully the texts for Sunday: 2 Samuel 11:26-27, 12:1-10,13 and Matthew 7:1-5. 

June 9, 2013

The widow who gave Elijah food from her meager jar of meal discovered that from hence forth, her jar would never run empty.  It always had something in it.  Such is the nature of God's Abundance.  Spirit is perpetually life giving.  We tap into this flow by realizing our Divine origin and our personal hospitality through giving.  Giving is what maintains the flow.  In the New Testament, a widow on her way to her son's burial caught the attention of Jesus.  He felt compassion and raised her son to life.  The renewal capacity of life is perpetually available for us to forgive our past, claim the dignity of our moment, and hope for the future.  In common with both texts for Sunday (1 Kings 17:8-16 and Luke 7:11-17) is a widowed woman for whom God showed favor.  Both passages testify to God's "Perpetual Abundance."  God's grace is a "Gift that Keeps on Giving," which is the title of the sermon for Sunday.