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 »

No one said following Jesus was going to be easy. And clearly in today’s Gospel we see some people having a hard time with the whole discipleship thing.  And a couple of Jesus’ disciples in particular really seem to be having an off day!  I’ve said this before but I really think some of Jesus’ disciples – and I’m thinking here specifically of Peter who notoriously denied Jesus and Thomas who doubted – they get a bad rap for being slouches.  But James and John are no better!  Today in our Gospel reading from Luke we see them at their worst! Continue Reading »

Where is HOME for you?  Is it place where you grew up?  Is it where you raised kids?  Is it where you live now?  Is it where you hang your hat?  Where your heart is?  Many of us might associate home with a house.  A geographical place with rooms and a kitchen and hiding places and comfy places where we connect with those we love.  But usually home is more than a place. Continue Reading »

Today is TRINITY SUNDAY.  There is no biblical commemoration today that inspires our praise and worship – no event in the life of Jesus or in the history of the church.  No Christmas, Easter or Pentecost today.  Just Trinity.  A word about God – a doctrine about God.  It’s like saying, “this is GOD Sunday.” Continue Reading »

pentecost group

It had been 50 days since Jesus rose from the dead.  His friends should be basking in the joy of the resurrection and excited to share the good news.  Instead we find them huddled behind the same locked doors that have kept them paralyzed and isolated since Jesus first appeared to them alive and well.  They are haunted by fears and plagued with guilt.  They are surrounded by questions and doubts.

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