earthriseNASA’s Apollo 8 orbited around the moon in 1968.  It was the first manned space flight that left the earth’s orbit.  They were the first human eyes to see the earth from space.  And this is what they saw.  This famous photograph is called “Earthrise.”  On Christmas Eve, 1968, Astronauts Frank Borman, Bill Anders and Jim Lovell broadcast live from their space capsule and shared a message with the world.  They turn turns reading from Genesis chapter one:  “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”  The first words of the bible and our first reading for today – Trinity Sunday.

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Over the years, I have set up a tropical fish aquarium in my house.  Mostly for guppies.  What is somewhat unique about guppies and what makes them such a delight is not just their fancy colorful tails, but the fact that they reproduce rather freely! And unlike most breeds of fish who lay eggs, guppies are livebearers which means they give birth to live babies!  A lot of babies.  We’ve had tanks with 30-40 beautiful guppies in them.


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The context of our Gospel today is once again set in the Upper Room on the night Jesus was betrayed.  Now, erase from your head the beloved Leonardo da Vinci painting with Jesus and all the disciples frozen in conversation on one side of the table.  Imagine instead a gathering of friends reclining at the table.  It was in this intimate context – friend to friend – around the dinner table – in the quiet setting of fellowship — that Jesus prepares them for the time he will be gone from their sight. Continue Reading »

“Come to Jesus”


Beautiful invitation, isn’t it?  Especially knowing that he is always there waiting for us . . . ready to welcome us and embrace us.  There is a beautiful song with this title by Chris Rice – we’ve sung it many times.  The lyrics remind us that weak and wounded sinners can always come to Jesus.  For those who know and love him that sentence is filled with promise. Continue Reading »

I have always loved this Gospel reading today.  It is my favorite story in the life of Jesus!


It takes place right after Jesus rose from the dead. Two friends of his are on the road – on their way home. Jesus walks with them but they don’t recognize him at first.

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It is popular among Christians especially at this time of year to offer up what are claimed to be proofs of the resurrection of Jesus.  There is a film in theaters right now – The Case for Christ – based on a book by Lee Strobel, a former atheist who set out to investigate the claims of Christianity.  I haven’t seen the movie but it is being very well received.  Some of these proofs often include:

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In 1530 Martin Luther was hiding out in a castle for the second time in his life.  His friends were appearing before the Emperor to defend their beliefs and Luther wanted to be close by, but it wasn’t safe for him to be in public.  He had already been excommunicated and at this point he was under what was called “the Imperial ban.”  This meant that he was legally considered dead by the empire.  And anyone was allowed to rob him, injure him or kill him without any legal consequences.  So it was not a good idea for Luther to be on the streets. Continue Reading »

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