Genesis 6:16-22; 9:8-15. Have you ever messed up so bad that you just wanted a “do-over?” Apparently, God felt the same way! What does the story of Noah show us about God, about ourselves, and about the choices we make? Also, what are we to make of God’s promise not to do the “Noah thing” again? Does this story teach us something today?
Ruth 3. There is a lot going on in our world. I see it in my twitter feed and hear it on the radio. I often wonder if there isn’t a “solution” to “all this mess,” some way to fix all the dysfunction and sadness I see. It isn’t long before I am overwhelmed and determined to keep my head low and go through the motions: get up, shower, eat, go to the office, work, go home, eat, sleep, repeat.
Then I read a story like that of Ruth. No booming God from the mountain, no burning bush, or Red Sea parting. Two widows, one a stranger in the land, trying to make it. God’s grace happens in small ways: in the Law, in the kindness of a stranger, in the interdependence of Ruth and Naomi. In “daring to act” in everyday little ways, God’s goodness breaks in to daily living. That will be what we talk about on Sunday.
The question is often asked regarding the differences between the “God of the Hebrew Bible” and the “God of Jesus?” Some people wonder if they could even be the same God at all?!? This week Matt asks Pastor James about the differences and if they could be the same… join us in worship or online for James’s response!
John 20:24-31. This last weekend we talked about Jesus appearing to the disciples who were hiding behind closed doors for fear of persecution. However, Thomas was not there to catch a glimpse of Jesus and is finding the whole, “We have seen The Lord,” announcement a bit dubious. What can we learn from the man who has through the centuries come to be called “doubting Thomas?” Find out Sunday!
John 20:19-23. Jesus shows up to his disciples that same day of resurrection. What Mary said, “I have seen the Lord,” becomes the truth for most of the rest of the disciples. Given the brevity of this appearance, Jesus is terse in his instructions. What do those instructions tell us about priorities for us today? That’s our topic Sunday. Join us in person or online!
John 12:12-27. Jesus makes his entrance into Jerusalem for the last time. Everyone is apparently delighted to see him. Okay, maybe not everyone. The religious leaders: not happy. Roman oppressors: not happy. What does this big parade into Jerusalem mean? Was Jesus a big deal? Is he still a big deal for us today?
John 19:1-16. Jesus is on trial for his life. Everything, it would seem, hangs in the balance. What can we learn that might help us 2000 years later? Of course we can focus on any of the characters at this point in the story: Jesus, Pilate, the Jewish leaders. Last week we spent time with Pilate and Jesus. Maybe this week we look at the Jewish leaders and Jesus? Let’s see where this story takes us!
John 18:28-40. Last week Jesus was “sent up” by the High Priest while Simon Peter denies any knowledge of him. Now Jesus is on trial before the local arm of the Roman government, a governor who has the power over Jesus’ life and death. The interview/interrogation is classic Jesus. What can we learn from the conversation?
John 18:12-27. Peter denies Jesus just as predicted. Once, twice, thrice. I have always made this a story about Peter and, by extension, us. The commentary I was reading earlier today suggests otherwise. I am interested to hear any thoughts about the Bible reading for Sunday about the beginning of Jesus’ trial and Peter’s denial of Jesus just outside the “courtroom.”
John 13:1-35. It is early in the week (before Sunday worship on March 16) and I’m just beginning to take on the Bible reading, praying and thinking what message might be there for us at Saint James. My first impressions are of Jesus as servant, waiting on the disciples, and of Jesus telling the disciples (us included) that there is a new commandment: Love one another. I am never certain early in a week where the Bible will take us by Sunday but I offer these early thoughts. Comments are welcome!