Texts: Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10; 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a; Luke 4:14-21
I am a person who finds real joy in fixing things. A minor plumbing issue? I’m on it! The vacuum cleaner is in distress? Let me get some tools and take a look inside. Which is why, recently, I was under the hood of the car with a wrench and my cell phone.
Scripture Texts: Isaiah 9:2-7; Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:11-20
The time is night.
When things happen secretly.
The Spirit of God moves unseen in hearts.
Time compresses, lengthens, wrinkles,
without the sun’s witness as it arcs the sky.
Messages are passed from heavenly beings
to ones who are awake in the night.
Field workers, deep thinkers, star watchers.
The courageous and the fearful together,
are alike in the night.
Texts: Micah 5:2-5a; Hebrews 10:5-10; Luke 1:39-55
It was early, before daylight when the woman arose to begin her day’s tasks. She liked these early hours. The quiet allowed her to think about the day ahead, and to organize herself. She had many things to do since she was alone for the time being.
Texts: Zephaniah 3:14-20; Isaiah 12:2-6; Philippians 4:4-7; Luke 3:7-18
With each passing day, the message grows more urgent. Get ready! The time is growing shorter. Don’t be caught off guard! Now’s the time to get it done! If you don’t act now, you’ll regret it! It’s only going to get harder. You’re taking a big chance if you wait too long!
Texts: Malachi 3:1-4; Philippians 1:3-11; Luke 3:1-6
It was the “A” list of the first century in the Year of Our Lord – AD 26 or possibly 27. Rome’s grand guy Tiberius, the emperor at the very top. Pontius Pilate governing the imposing region of Judea. Herod the minor king of the Galilee quarter, his brother Philip heading up a southern quarter of Syria with regions of fertile farms and rough terrain. Restless rebels and outlaws hid out in basalt caves there. Lysanias ruled still another quarter. Annas and Caiaphas had been awarded the temple’s highest spiritual honors. These were the movers and shakers of the day.
Texts: Jeremiah 33:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13; Luke 21:25-36
What an autumn it’s been! Blustery days and heavy rains that border on being…dare we say it…biblical, in proportion. On any island height, from Lopez Hill to Mount Grant on San Juan, or Mt. Constitution on Orcas wild winds tear at tree branches as the tallest ones creak and groan. They seem to murmur to one another: hold on, hold on. We often get little more than a brief glimpse of blue sky through broken clouds; a sunny morning yielding to a drippy afternoon.
Texts: Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14; Revelation 1:4b-8; John 18:33-37
Let’s talk about food for a minute, if you will bear with me. It’s the week of Thanksgiving after all and it’s likely that all of us will share in a holiday meal of some sort. Everyone has an idea of what constitutes a “real” Thanksgiving. Certain foods are expected. Certain ingredients are indispensable.
Texts: Daniel 12:1-3; Hebrews 10:11-14 [15-18] 19-25; Mark 13:1-8
Remember when you were very small and got startled awake in the dark of night by something, your heart beating wildly? Where was your safe place? Sometimes it was enough to pull the covers over your head to feel protected. But other times the terror was just too great and you would flee to the most secure place you knew.
Texts: Isaiah 25:6-9; Revelation 21:1-6a; John 11:32-44
With perhaps a few exceptions, most of us in this room have seen the Hollywood movie version of Frank L. Baum’s epic story The Wizard of Oz. We probably all have some particular memory of it, from the intense technicolor in which it was rendered, to the stormy intensity of the Kansas tornado. So many things became part of our cultural references – the principle characters of the girl, the wizard, the scarecrow, the tin man, and the lion. And of course flying monkeys and munchkins.
Texts: Jeremiah 31:31-34; Romans 3:19-28; John 8:31-38
Today is a haunted day. As the dusk gathers and night descends there will be all sorts of spirits on the loose, roaming the streets, demanding satisfaction, and creating chaos for the unwary. It’s the Eve of All Hallows of course – good old Halloween.
The Rev. Beth Purdum Eden is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church. She has served in more than 6 parishes in the Western United States for 30 years.