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Archive for July, 2010

You might say that I have a unique perspective on today’s Gospel.  And it has nothing to do with my seminary training or biblical study of the text.  There are few people in the world and I’m sure no one in this room, who can relate to this text with the same kind of insight and background that I have.  Because I actually grew up in a home with a real live Mary and Martha.   Yes, my two sisters are named for the two women in our Gospel.  And I could have preached on today’s Old Testament reading which is the amazing story of God visiting Abraham like angels unaware.  And I could have preached on the beautiful text from Colossians In which Paul reminds the Christians there that Christ is everything, but I am compelled to preach on the two sisters.  Maybe because I was never able to ignore my own.  And actually today’s Gospel IS about hospitality and how to best welcome Christ into our lives.  And Paul’s CHRIST IS EVERYTHING is also the theme of our Gospel.   Mary and Martha welcomed Jesus into their home and provided him with their best and Mary made a choice that says that Christ is everything. (more…)

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Author Tom Bodett writes about a new club that everyone is invited to join.  He calls it the GNT.  It stands for the Group that Notices Things.  These are people who are attentive to the world and the people around them.  Tom points out that the members of this group not only notice stuff – they also take the time and make the effort to do something about what they notice.  He gives an example of a lady with a full cart of groceries in a check out line who invites you – with just a pack of gum – to go ahead of her.  She noticed what you had and anticipated how annoying it would be to wait behind her so she did something kind. (more…)

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The theme of our worship today is “We the people.”   Do you recognize the words? Did your mind begin to complete the sentence?   A couple of generations of children, now grown up, sing those words to a tune from the Saturday morning cartoon “Schoolhouse Rock.”   That little song drilled those words into the consciousnesses of how-many-thousands of America’s youth?  Were you one of them?

“We the People . . ., in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility . . . (more…)

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I’d like to share with you an excerpt from a poem entitled Song of the Open Road by Walt Witman:

Afoot and lighthearted, take to the open road
Healthy, free, the world before you the long brown path before you, leading wherever you choose.
Listen, I will be honest with you
I do not offer the old smooth prizes
But offer rough new prizes
These are the days that must happen to you:
You shall not heap up what is called riches,
You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve.
However sweet the laid up stores,
However convenient the dwelling, you shall not remain there.
However sheltered the port, however calm the waters, you shall not anchor there.
However welcome the hospitality that welcomes you,
You are permitted to receive it but a little while

Forever alive, forever forward,
Stately, solemn, sad, withdrawn, baffled, mad, turbulent, feeble, dissatisfied,
Desperate, proud, fond, sick, accepted by men, rejected by men,
They go! they go! I know that they go, but I know not where they go;
But I know that they go toward the best—toward something great.

Be not detain’d!
Let the paper remain on the desk unwritten, and the book on the shelf unopen’d!
Let the tools remain in the workshop! let the money remain unearn’d!
Let the school stand! mind not the cry of the teacher!
Let the preacher preach in his pulpit! let the lawyer plead in the court, and the judge expound the law.

Say only to one another:
I give you my hand!
I give you my love more precious than money; I give you myself before preaching and law:
Will you give me yourself?
Will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live? (more…)

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