Running on Empty
By Rev. Tracey Leslie
Scripture: 1 Kings 19
This morning’s sermon title is inspired by the 1977 album by Jackson Browne entitled “Running on Empty.” It was about life on the road; in fact every track on the album was recorded on the road. Nothing was recorded in a studio. Life on the road, moving constantly from one town to the next, can feel as if you’re running on empty. Apparently, a lot of Americans are running on empty right now. Amid the surging fuel prices, Americans are trying to squeeze out that last drop of gas and finding themselves, in increasing numbers, stranded by the side of the road.
By Pastor Suzanne Clemenz
Scripture Proverbs 8: 22-31
A few years ago, I was given my first opportunity as a pastor to visit with an elderly woman in my previous congregation who was experiencing a rapid and steep decline in health. I had been serving as pastor of children and families, so this visit was a departure for me, because I spent most of my time with the children, but due to several logistics at that time I was the pastor called to the living room of this woman in her late ‘90s, who I’d known for many years but never had the chance to really get to know her. Her name was Marjorie, and she was so gracious to me in this visit. Without much prodding from me at all, she shared with me about her life, about the large dairy farm she had managed with her husband as they raised their children, now grown with children of their own. She had been a person of faith her whole life, having played the organ for 30 years in her church and been a leader in United Methodist Women. There was a strength of spirit in Marjorie. As I learned from others after this visit with her, Marjorie had a reputation for the care and attention to detail she extended in all things she did – the perfectly crimped crust on her homemade pies, the handwritten cards with exquisite penmanship she sent to church members until just the previous year as her health failed. She was known for her generosity, quiet kindness, and her mentorship of other women going through tough times.
It’s Not Called the Book of Waits
By Pastor Monica McDougal
Scripture Acts 1: 1-11
You’re likely familiar with the phrase, “A watched pot never boils.” It’s an English idiom used to mean that if you’re waiting intensely for something to happen it will feel like it’s taking longer to happen than if you busied yourself while you wait. The phrase is attributed to Poor Richard’s Almanack, a yearly publication written and printed by Benjamin Franklin. The phrase was first published in the 1785 edition of Poor Richard’s Almanack and was phrased, “a watched pot is slow to boil.” This is one of those phrases that I heard often growing up. To be honest with you, I’m not the most patient person on the planet. My mom is known to say, “Patience is a virtue. It’s just not one that Monica has.” What can I say? I like for things to happen quickly and efficiently and when they don’t, I can get a little frustrated. One time I heard this phrase from my mom while I was literally waiting for a pot of water to boil. I was making pasta and as I waited for the water to boil, I just stood there in front of the stove staring at it. I was growing more and more impatient and exclaimed, “Ugh, it’s taking forever.” To which my mom replied, “Haven’t you heard? A watched pot never boils. Go set the table or something while you wait.” And of course, per usual, my mom was right. When I went and busied myself doing other things, by the time I returned to the stovetop, the water was ready and I didn’t feel like I had wasted 12 years of my life waiting for it.
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