Year: 2018

Jacob Flees From Laban

Jacob’s life is, like ours, marked by transitions from one stage to another. First, there is the transition from a young man settled in a family to being on the run.  Second, there is the transition to the challenges of marriage and family. This morning we are looking at the transition from years of working in difficult circumstances to success and going out on his own by leaving Laban. If there i ...[Read More]

Leah and Rachel

Weddings are typically beautiful events with the music, candles, glamorous bride and handsome groom. Receptions, especially those with jumbo cold boiled shrimp, are festive and seeing the happy couple off to Maui just completes the picture. That does not describe this wedding. In fact, had there been the ritual invitation for someone to stand up and object, this would have been the time. Certainly ...[Read More]

Jacob’s Dream At Bethel

We hear so much talk about transitions today.  People are in transition from careers to retirement.  The balance of power in the world is shifting from West to East. The economy is in transition from making things to knowledge and accumulating data for sale. Religion is in transition from believers to nones. Education is in transition from campus-based to online. Brick and mortar is over and every ...[Read More]

Jacob and Esau

Stories about our origins are always stories about ourselves and our unique characteristics. Most tend to highlight the good and play down the flaws.  We airbrush history and our forefathers. You really have to dig around in the history books to read about the darker sides of Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, and Lincoln. It is almost impossible to find any stories about Washington that make him fully h ...[Read More]

James 5

When Catherine was small I had to use a local clinic for something or other. I don’t even remember. What I do remember is this. I went into the doctor’s office and when he saw my motorcycle helmet he said, “Do you have a wife or child?” I said, I did and he said, “No one on a motorcycle in an accident with a car escapes without serious life changing injuries.” He then went on to tell me about the ...[Read More]

James 4

When I see the black church pandering to liberal politicians, the Catholic leadership unwilling to correct abuses that have been going on for ages and the white church prostituting themselves for a picture in the White House, I think about this passage in James. “You adulterous people.” From the beginning the church has been plagued with divisions, betrayal, corruption, greed, ambition, fighting, ...[Read More]

James 3

1.  Let’s look at the first and last verses of this chapter.  They serve as bookends. “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.  We all stumble in many ways.  If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.” “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of a ...[Read More]

Galatians 6

1.  Sometimes the divisions into chapters interrupts the flow of Paul’s thought and this is, I think, a good example of that. He is not starting a new thought in the first verse of Chapter 6 but continuing what he has been saying in the last several verses of Chapter 5. “Those who belong to Christ have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us ...[Read More]

Galatians 5:16-26

“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.  For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature.  They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.” 1.  This is the struggle we read about in Romans 7:14-8:17 ...[Read More]

Galatians 5:1-15

1.  Two words serve as bookends for the passage this morning: freedom and destruction.  In between those two words is the message of Paul to the Galatians.  Embrace one and avoid the other.  Reject one and suffer the consequences of the other.  In between those two options is where we live and find ourselves not only this morning but, seemingly, in our times as a country and a world. “It is for fr ...[Read More]