One in Worship

Where have you worshiped? In my various roles in the church I have visited a wide variety of congregations. Visiting a very large congregation and sitting a pew towards the back of the sanctuary, worship felt as if it happened on the stage for the congregation to watch. The entire service was well polished and professional.… Continue reading One in Worship

Buckle Up

Many churches have a suit of armor for children to wear. Frequently this costume is used for a Bible school skit. In many cases this costume may have once taught Ephesians 6:10-20, an illustration to remind people to use all of the gifts that God has given us. Put on the whole armor of God,… Continue reading Buckle Up

Stay on Course

When a new writing arrives by messenger, how will you decide if you should use it for your work in the world? Imagine the date is a few decades after Jesus was crucified and resurrected and that you live beside the Aegean Sea, an area that hundreds of years in the future would become Greece and… Continue reading Stay on Course

Live to Love

After the first Star Wars movies came out, whenever Alec Guinness appeared in public, people expected him to look, sound, and behave like the role he played in those movies. His fans had a hard time separating the person of Sir Alec Guinness from the fictional character, Obi-Wan Kenobi. The Letter to the Ephesians urges Christians… Continue reading Live to Love

Finding Center

We live in a world constantly blown to and fro by varying opinions often backed by strong emotions. Our political leaders walk-back what they had said so frequently, sometimes even re-clarifying what had been restated a day earlier. Leaving many people to wonder what really is truth. The early church had similar problems: We must… Continue reading Finding Center

Hymn Sing

Music Notes On a typical Sunday we sing three hymns plus four responses. This Sunday we will sing 12 hymns —each requested by a congregation member— plus the choir will sing the benediction. Praying with Others Throughout July the sermon messages have related to praying with others. On July 15th Dr Ponrathi Athilingam spoke of… Continue reading Hymn Sing

Compassion

You may have dined al fresco, but have you eaten al desko? Dining al fresco means to enjoy a meal in the open air, perhaps as at a picnic or a sidewalk cafe. My favorite memory of dining al fresco was at a roadside picnic table beside a babbling brook while being entertained by a curious… Continue reading Compassion

From the World’s Foundation

"When were you saved?" This question seeks a specific date, time, and place when the one took action to respond to God's grace, perhaps with a specific prayer. But the Letter to the Ephesians has a very different answer: just as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should… Continue reading From the World’s Foundation

Divine Dependence Day

This week we celebrate our independence from external governments. Yet this Sunday, like any other day we proclaim our dependence on Jesus as our Lord and Savior. The sixth chapter of Mark's Gospel describes two scenes related understanding Jesus as Lord. In the first scene Jesus returns to his hometown and attempts to teach and… Continue reading Divine Dependence Day

Wait, This Person Is Important

Each Sunday during worship I incorporate prayer requests into the prayers of the people. Very rarely is the person who we pray for physically in the room with us. It is much easier to pray for someone, than with someone. Jesus was much more into praying with people. This week's lesson (Mark 5:21-43) includes two… Continue reading Wait, This Person Is Important