Archive for December, 2013

Gratitude and Grumbling

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Rev. Dr. Melanie Miller

November 24, 2013

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Contemporary Testimony:    “American Gratitude” by Garrison Keillor

Truly we should be thankful. And we do try to be. But the English language is so rich in terms of complaint and insult and groaning and rather sparse in the Exaltation Dept., so the Lord doesn’t get praised as He should. Instead, we bellyache, we kvetch, we get our undies in a bunch. After all, we’re descended from people who considered rejoicing to be bad luck: It tempts fate. So they grumbled about the weather, politicians, children, popular music, new cars, anything modern, and complained about their health year after year until they died and went to heaven, where no doubt they are a little edgy even now — nice place, paradise — a little surprised at who else is here, harrumph, harrumph, but never mind — plenty of bliss, no tears and so forth — not sure how long it can last, but we shall see.

Biblical Testimony:                           Deuteronomy 26:1-5

When you have come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess, and you possess it, and settle in it, you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you shall put it in a basket and go to the place that the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his name. You shall go to the priest who is in office at that time, and say to him, “Today I declare to the Lord your God that I have come into the land that the Lord swore to our ancestors to give us.” When the priest takes the basket from your hand and sets it down before the altar of the Lord your God, you shall make this response before the Lord your God: “A wandering Aramean was my ancestor; he went down into Egypt and lived there as an alien, few in number, and there he became a great nation, mighty and populous.”

Words of Hope

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Rev. Dr. Melanie Miller

November 17, 2013

Listen to Sermon

Contemporary Testimony:    “American Gratitude” by Garrison Keillor

Truly we should be thankful. And we do try to be. But the English language is so rich in terms of complaint and insult and groaning and rather sparse in the Exaltation Dept., so the Lord doesn’t get praised as He should. Instead, we bellyache, we kvetch, we get our undies in a bunch. After all, we’re descended from people who considered rejoicing to be bad luck: It tempts fate. So they grumbled about the weather, politicians, children, popular music, new cars, anything modern, and complained about their health year after year until they died and went to heaven, where no doubt they are a little edgy even now — nice place, paradise — a little surprised at who else is here, harrumph, harrumph, but never mind — plenty of bliss, no tears and so forth — not sure how long it can last, but we shall see.

Biblical Testimony:                           Deuteronomy 26:1-5

When you have come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess, and you possess it, and settle in it, you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you shall put it in a basket and go to the place that the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his name. You shall go to the priest who is in office at that time, and say to him, “Today I declare to the Lord your God that I have come into the land that the Lord swore to our ancestors to give us.” When the priest takes the basket from your hand and sets it down before the altar of the Lord your God, you shall make this response before the Lord your God: “A wandering Aramean was my ancestor; he went down into Egypt and lived there as an alien, few in number, and there he became a great nation, mighty and populous.”                           

Saint or Sleazeball

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Rev. Deb Huffman

November 3, 2013

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Contemporary Testimony:      “The Most Gracious Guest” by David Sellery

We always appreciate it when a gracious dinner guest brings a bottle of wine, some dessert or flowers. And we really appreciate it when a very gracious guest shows up with all three. In this week’s gospel, Jesus is the most gracious guest that ever was or ever will be. No wine. No dessert. No flowers. Gracious Jesus literally brings grace with him. Flowers fade. Dessert and wine are momentary pleasures. The grace of God lives forever.

Biblical Testimony:                                Luke 19:1-10     

He entered Jericho and was passing through it.  A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich.   He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature.   So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way.   When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.”  So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him.   All who saw it began to grumble and said, “He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.” Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.” Then Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.”