By Pastor Monica McDougal
Scripture Passage: Genesis 16:1-13
My senior year of high school, I was an office aide. Now, when you work in a high school office, you basically have a front row seat to all of the drama. Every fight, every disciplinary action, every kid caught cutting class gets paraded past you. And there was this one kid at my school who was sort of a frequent flyer. For privacy’s sake, let’s call him Matt. Matt was always getting into trouble. He got into fights regularly, would mouth off at teachers, and just had a bad attitude generally. My whole school, myself included, just kind of wrote Matt off as just an angry, bitter, troublemaker. We never really stopped to ask why. Why was Matt so angry and bitter? What was going on beneath the surface?
By Pastor Tracey Leslie
Scripture Readings: Genesis 28:18-22; Psalm 18:1-3, 46, & 49; Mark 12: 1-12
In the game “rock/paper/scissors,” paper beats rock with its ability to cover the rock. But, in real life, paper doesn’t seem very powerful up against rock, right? Rocks are pretty powerful things.
Throughout this month, our sermon series is looking at some of the different names or images used to address or describe God in our Bible. It is the hope of your pastors that this series will spark your imagination and inspire you to think more deeply about your experience of God, your relationship with God, and the way YOU choose to address God.
Johanna van Wijk-Bos writes that “All language for God, including biblical language, is metaphorical… it works by comparison.” So, no name or image can fully represent God. But by way of comparison to what we know and experience, we seek to better understand the God who cannot be fully grasped or defined. Over the past two weeks, we’ve looked at names for God drawn from human relationships: God as mother and God as Lord. But some of our names for God are drawn from nature. In the first sermon of this series, Pastor Suzanne looked at biblical representations of God as fire. Today, we will consider God as rock or stone.
Rocks and stones were important in the ancient Palestinian world. They were plentiful and were essential for construction, defense and worship. This morning’s scriptures are illustrations of these three ways that rocks functioned, literally, as well as symbolically or metaphorically for God.
By Pastor Tracey Leslie
A Sermon on the image of God as Lord, inspired by Philippians 2:5-11 and John 13:1-7;12-17.
My husband and I enjoy winding down each evening with a little TV viewing: Britt, me and our dog, Mr. Wiggles all cuddled up on the loveseat in the living room. Netflix is a mainstay as we work our way through various series. Our latest is Schitt’s Creek. It is the story of the Rose family. The father, Johnny Rose, was a wildly successful owner of a video company and his wife was an actress. But life changes dramatically for the family when their business manager commits fraud and they lose all of their assets… with the exception of a town named Schitt’s Creek. Johnny purchased the town as a birthday gift for his son, David, as a joke several years prior. Apparently the IRS doesn’t consider the town to be an asset worth confiscating so the Rose family relocates to this humble little town where they live in two adjoining rooms in a rundown motel. It is a sitcom and the comedy revolves, primarily, around observing the Roses’ entitled attitudes bumping up against the townies’ simple ways. In an episode we watched this weekend, the mother, Moira, considers an abandoned mattress on the side of a road to be the final straw insulting her esthetic sensibilities. She barges into a town council meeting, stepping in front of a woman in a wheelchair who is attempting to explain to the council that the ramp into the post office is not properly graded and her wheelchair keeps sliding backwards and into the street. The town’s mayor advises that the woman is just not getting enough momentum. Moira then commandeers the council’s attention demanding a town cleanup and some greenery, the planting of flowers and boxwood trees. The mayor obliges her. Following the council meeting, one council member who is frequently annoyed by Moira’s antics, confesses to her, “Usually these council decisions, they take weeks.” “Oh, I won’t wait for anyone’s decision,” says Moira as she brags about how she once got Winnie Mandela to RSVP for an Artists Against Eczema event within the hour. The council member admits that Moira gets things done but counsels her that she should lower her expectations from boxwoods to daisies. The episode concludes with Moira and Johnny calling the adult children out of their room to see the lovely boxwoods at the motel. The children, though, are unimpressed, noting to one another that the used condom on the edge of the parking lot still hasn’t been picked up.
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On a lifelong journey of seeking to live out God's call on my life and to reflect His grace.
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