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Congratulations to my friends in this year’s Confirmation class.  It gives me – and all of us here –great joy to see what God is doing in your life – completing what he started.  I’m so thankful for you and your faith and trust in God’s promises.  We have grown a lot together.20191101_192620

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I think a lot of us feel very proud of our congregation today.  15 years ago, a crazy faithful few created something new and called it Grace of God.  It has been and continues to be a place of joy and comfort and support and rescue and life for all of us.  And we continue to strive to live up to our name so that what people read on a sign on the outside of the building they actually experience when they come inside. Continue Reading »

Today in our Gospel from Luke we see Jesus as healer.  We see him responding to cries for mercy and providing complete healing from disease.  WE come to him for healing.  (We will sing that a little later!)  But the Gospel is about more than healing.

Today in our Gospel we see Jesus as the object of thanks and praise.  Like the man who recognized Jesus as the giver of all good things, we come to Jesus with OUR thanks and praise.  We give thanks with a grateful heart.  (We’ll sing THAT later too!)  But the Gospel today is about more than giving thanks. Continue Reading »

man-praying-church-0

A thirteen year old boy sat in church at a funeral.  His grandfather was also there, though not exactly voluntarily.  In fact, it had been many years since his grandfather had been in church.  And this day would most definitely be his last.  It was this grandfather’s funeral. Continue Reading »

set free

In our Gospel today, we meet a woman you can’t help feeling sorry for.  She had been crippled for 18 years.  She was bent over ancould not straighten up.  Perhaps it was osteoporosis or some other degenerative disease. We’ve all known people who must go through life with physical disabilities for which there is no easy fix.  And this woman’s condition caught Jesus’ attention.   He calls her forward one day while teaching in the synagogue on the Sabbath.  He healed her and released her from the bondage that kept her bent over for so long.

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Do not be afraid, little flock.  For it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Today Jesus promises his Father’s kingdom as a gift to his disciples.  It is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.  Amazing gift and amazing promise! But what did they do to earn this great reward?  And what does it mean to be given the kingdom of God? Continue Reading »

The story in our Gospel for today is a familiar one of two sisters, Mary and Martha, who welcomed Jesus into their home.  The story opens with a seemingly insignificant but actually very important reference to the context:  “Now as Jesus and his disciples went on their way . . . “  They stopped at Mary and Martha’s on their way to Jerusalem.  Luke uses 10 chapters of his Gospel to tell us about this journey and the opening line of today’s Gospel is one of 8 so called “travel notices” in these 10 chapters of Luke reminding us where Jesus is headed.  He is going to die!  The events along the way . . . the things Jesus did and said . . . and the stories he told are significant.  They tell us of the importance and meaning of what Jesus would do at the end of this journey to Jerusalem. Continue Reading »

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