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“In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, ‘Repent.’”

 

I’m not a big fan of John the Baptist.  I mean, he’s got the weird get up and the strange diet and what seems to be an obnoxious “in your face” demeanor.  But even more than all that, I’m not a big fan of anybody who tries to tell me what to do.  And I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this.  Most of us don’t respond well to people making demands on us or who think they know better than we what we should do with our own lives. In fact, if you tell someone what to do here’s what happens:  that thing you just told them they should do just became the last thing they’re gonna do.  And I have to admit, when I hear John the Baptist say, “REPENT” part of me is saying: “Make me.” (more…)

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I love to see the sunrise.  Sometimes when I get to church before dark I can see the sun rising out these windows to the east and even though there are some buildings obstructing the view of the horizon, I can still enjoy the splash of color across the sky welcoming a new day. (more…)

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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. (more…)

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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. (more…)

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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. (more…)

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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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