Just A Closer Walk With Thee

walking with purpose

The Scripture lessons for this meditation are:

1 Kings 3:5-12
Romans 8:26-39
Matthew 13:31-33; 44-52

We commonly refer to Jesus former occupation (30 years prior to his baptism) as a carpenter. But if that’s what he was it raises several questions. First, there aren’t many trees in Israel. And second, carpentry doesn’t lend itself well to understanding “the birds of the air”, “the flowers of the field”, “sheep and shepherds” or “seeds and weeds” which are Jesus’ preferred metaphors for his ministry. In this mediation we will explore the importance of understanding Jesus’ life and how it relates to our “walk with God”.

Click on the link below for the video presentation,

The Facts of Life According to The Book of Life

messes

Scripture Readings for this meditation

Isaiah 44:6-8                                                                              Romans 8:12-25                                                                    Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43

Our lives can be sabotaged by inappropriate expectations.  This happens when we believe that faith solves every problem or that God is responsible for every experience we encounter.  The messes we make, or find ourselves in, can be great opportunities for new life.  It all depends on our response to them.
This meditation contemplates the “facts of life according to the book of life”.
Please click on the link below for the meditation.

+A Spiritual Road-map

wisconsin roadmap The Scriptural texts for this meditation are:

 

 

When I was young my father loved to plan routes to whatever new destinations life took us.  In my father’s view, the best route was the shortest route.  A “short-cut” that inevitably took us through winding two lane country roads and inevitable delays.

The three Scripture texts for today raise the question of “Who is planning your route through life?” Are you like my dad, who once set on his way, never deviated and never asked directions if lost?  Or, are you willing to be led by an Other who monitors one’s progress through life’s journeys and offers alternative routes when road blocks, dead ends, or extreme traffic congestion threaten to slow you down, or get you lost forever.

Please click on the link below for this mediation that inspires us to use Spiritual road-maps.

 

 

Slavery, Sabbath, War and Women

Slavery Sabbath War and Women

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with trying to respond to people who misuse the Bible to sanction the status quo.  As this book so wonderfully demonstrates, this is nothing new in history.  The Bible has been misused to sanction slavery, war and the subjugation of women to men.

Here are a few excerpts:

“Forced upon every Biblical interpreter is the awesome question, ‘with whom do I identify when I interpret the Bible?'” “What glasses do I wear?”

“The interpreter’s religious, political, and (most significantly!) economic situation affects, even determines, what one sees in the Bible.” 

As you use the Bible to state your position, all of us need to consider our “position” in society, and “what glasses do I wear?”

 

 

 

Eggs, Carrots and Coffee Beans

The Biblical text for this meditation is Romans 5:3-5  

And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

“How do we respond to the harsh environment in which we now live?” For people of faith, the cross (as the symbol of faith) reminds us that Godly things can come out of suffering. The function and symbolism of the Lananin protein within us provides a model of how to relate faith and life and respond to great challenges around us so that we remain productive, not destructive. .

Please click on the link below for the meditation.

Equal in the Image of God

Most people don’t realize that there are a number of creation stories in the Bible.  Today we will contemplate the first creation story and the details of it as they relate to the equality of all people, and the very goodness of everything that this god created found in two passages highlighted by our graphics.

One’s point of view of the world and everyone in it is shaped by “what we see”.  “What we see” is shaped by what we believe.  This text clears up the misconceptions about the value of every human being and the (very) goodness of everything our Creator made.

Finally words matter!  Words create the world we live in.  “What are you saying these days?”

Click on the link below for the video presentation. (Please make sure that the video starts at 0:00 and not 7:00 minutes into it. (rewind to begin).

 

 

A Prophetic Message

 

i can't breathe

“The Other America”

a speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered at Stanford University, April 14, 1967.

Amos 5:21-24
I hate, I despise your festivals,
and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
22Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them;
and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals
I will not look upon.
23Take away from me the noise of your songs;
I will not listen to the melody of your harps.
24But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Micah 6:8
 8He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?

When, in this speech, Dr. King says, “I think America must see that riots do not develop out of thin air.” King was referring to the prophetic message of 8th century prophets like Amos and Micah (above), who counseled a broken and divided nation (Israel) that the path to peace was social justice.

The same Word is spoken to us today in the wake of the riots and is as applicable for us today as it was in the 8th century B.C., and the 1960’s.  There is not a political path nor enough jails to secure the peace. Peace and justice flows from a love of God and one’s neighbor.  If not Dr., Kings words, maybe the prophets words will help us find that theological path to peace as we who love God and our neighbor speak it again to the world today. .

Pray:
Let justice flow like streams
of sparkling water, pure,
enabling growth, refreshing life,
abundant, cleansing, sure.

Let righteousness roll on
as others’ cares we heed,
an ever-flowing stream of faith
translated into deed.

So may God’s plumb line, straight,
define our measure true,
and justice, right, and peace pervade
this world our whole life through.

Text: Jane Parker Huber, b. 1926
Text © 1984 Jane Parker Huber, admin. Westminster John Knox Press

 

Don’t Tell Me. Show Me!

don't tell me{For the general public.  This video includes some announcements intended for use in a local congregation only.  Feel free to skip the announcements and go directly to the sermon)

 

The primordial metaphorical first couple we are told used to “take a walk in the cool of the evening with their Creator God”.  “Has that opportunity been lost?”  The story of Pentecost responds with a clear “no”.  God’s indwelling Spirit allows us to walk with God each and every day.

Click on the link below for the meditation.