Texts: Acts 10:34-43; 1 Corinthians 15:19-26; Luke 24:1-12
A body in motion tends to stay in motion. That’s a rule of physics. But when a body stops being in motion, well, other rules apply. Chief among those rules is that a body that has ceased to be in motion will require an infusion of energy to be in motion again. You know how that is. Gravity is such a curse when you’ve been weeding the garden and need to rise from your task.
Texts: Luke 19:28-40; Isaiah 50:4-9a; Philippians 2:5-11
A long time ago I was a young tour bus driver in Alaska. Nearly all of us were college students from the Pacific Northwest working summers to pay for school. And a very decent wage it was compared to many other seasonal jobs. It wasn’t just the money though. We were curious about the world, and on the brink of adulthood, always eager to pick up insights for getting along well in life. I guess they call it “life hacks” now.
Texts: Isaiah 43:16-21; Philippians 3:4b-14; John 12:1-8
Judas is a distraction. There. I said it. I’ve been wanting to say this for a very long time. Judas should not get all the attention. There’s some amazing stuff going on with Jesus in the events leading up to the Passover in today’s gospel lesson yet it’s Judas who commands the stage.
Texts: Isaiah 55:1-9: 1 Corinthians 10:1-13; Luke 13:1-9
On late Sunday afternoons when I finish with my preacher’s day I like to settle down with the Sunday paper. One of my favorite parts is where people write in with thorny questions about human character and behavior. They look for guidance and wisdom; for validation of their views, or for condemnation of others. The reason why I like these Q&A columns so much is that I don’t have to answer the hard questions!
Texts: Joshua 5:9-12; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21; Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32
Luis came into my life one day by way of an intercom message from a church staff person. “There’s a man here who wants to see a pastor. Are you available?” When I answered that yes, I was available, the administrative assistant told me that the man was waiting in the church courtyard. I laid aside the materials I was preparing for a bible study the next day, and went out.
There’s a saying that real estate agents have, “location, location, location.” The point is that if you have a choice between a really great house in an awful location and a pretty awful house in a great location, go with the awful house. Because, bad houses can be improved but bad locations are unfixable.
Texts: Deuteronomy 26:1-11; Romans 10b-13; Luke 4:1-13
Lent, who needs it? This isn’t everyone’s favorite season. The weather is fickle. Snow, wind, rain, with intermittent pale sunshine. Flowers on the altar are forbidden. The color is deep purple, if there’s any color at all.
Texts: Exodus 34:29-35; 2 Corinthians 3:12 – 4:2; Luke 9:28-36 [37-43a]
You know what it’s like to go on a trip with your family, and then to recall it many years later. Perhaps pulling out old photographs and reminiscing about all the things that happened… the places you stayed, the sights you saw.
Texts: Isaiah 6:1-8 [9-13]; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Luke 5:1-11
If you listen to the Bible, I mean really listen, you realize that pretty much no one is ever prepared for, or worthy of, God. No one in our cast of bible characters today is ready, that’s for sure. Pretty much every time the Holy One shows up people suddenly remember how desperately unready they are for an up close and personal visit.
Texts: Zephaniah 3:14-20; Philippians 4:4-7; Luke 3:7-18
December can be a colossal struggle. For people with depression, for people in poverty, for people in the midst of personal struggles. And so in this month, this season, we often hear stories about how to reach out and help. But not everyone gets press coverage, though their struggles in December are monumental. Jenny, a Lutheran minister recently told this story, about her son, an upper elementary school age boy named Ian.
The Rev. Beth Purdum Eden is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church. She has served in more than 00 parishes in the Western United States for 20 years.