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The are some of us here today, I’d say most of us, who may look back in our past – sometime in our youth – and recall some reckless and irresponsible behavior on our part – before our adult brains were fully developed –while we were still “in process.”  We usually refer to these sins of our youth as “sowing wild oats.”

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My daughter Leah did a little planting project this spring. It was kind of a pandemic thing. She took all kinds of tiny vegetable seeds and very carefully planted them in these little dirt cups she had prepared.  And as they grew she would thin out the tender shoots to help them grow bigger and stronger. Eventually, when they got big enough, she took them and planted them in a little raised bed in the backyard. And when we got all done our backyard neighbor looked at all those carefully planted seedlings and said, “you know the rabbits are gonna eat those, right?”  So we got some chicken wire to put around the raised bed to prevent the rabbits from getting them and now they’re growing big and strong and they have produced all kinds of delicious produce.

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For over 130 years, the Statue of Liberty has been a symbol of freedom especially for immigrants who came to America’s shores searching for freedom and opportunity.  The Statue of Liberty stands in the New York harbor welcoming those who come to this nation longing to throw off the shackles of persecution and oppression to live in a free land.  Inscribed on a plaque inside the pedestal of the Statue are the words of poet Emma Lazarus:

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We are dealing with big things right now.  Global things.  Systemic things.  It feels like these things are so beyond our ability to do anything about.  Public health, economic downturn, racial inequities, political polarization – these all require BIG responses.

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newness of lifeI’ve had enough of death lately — I think we’ve ALL had enough. Over a 120,00 Americans have died from the coronavirus – over 450,000 worldwide. People are dying in American streets. My dear aunt died a couple weeks ago and this past week our good friend and neighbor died.  You have your own personal experiences of death and dying. It can be a lot. And yet, I’m going to ask you to embrace death. Your own death. I’m going to ask you to consider yourselves dead to sin and the guilt and shame that is holding you back from living. Continue Reading »

pentecost 2 imageEverything in our world seems to changing around us. And I’m guessing we don’t always feel quite ready to deal with all these changes. Then again perhaps there are some things changing within us as well. Continue Reading »

trinity picThere are a couple of specific things I really miss about being physically together with each other here at church. One of them of course has to be gathering around the communion table as a church family.  The other thing that I miss is circling up in prayer before a meal or a potluck for example. Oh yeah I miss potlucks too. Something holy and wonderful is symbolized and realized by that connection – those relationships – those circles of love. Continue Reading »

pentecost imageThe best one word piece of advice I think I’ve ever received especially when feeling overwhelmed or stressed out is Breathe. Continue Reading »

ascension imageHeaven is too far away

I find little comfort in Jesus ascending into heaven.  No more than I find any comfort in being separated from those I love.  Or being distant from friends. It probably sounds very selfish, but I don’t want my dad up in heaven; I’d prefer him down here where I can see him and talk to him. Continue Reading »

easter 6 picThe context of our Gospel today is once again set in the Upper Room on the night Jesus was betrayed.  This was a fateful night, not only because of what was about to happen to Jesus that night and the next day – arrest, trials, public condemnation and crucifixion – but it was also pivotal for the disciples because Jesus used that intimate gathering with his friends to prepare the time he will be gone from their sight.  We have the same artwork up here this morning.  Jesus giving what’s called his “Farewell Discourse” to his friends.  And you can see, they are stumped.  Troubled.  Unsettled.  Scared.  Feeling like they are about to be abandoned. Continue Reading »

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