Texts: 1 Samuel 3:1-10 [11-20]; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20; John 1:43-51
Most of us were probably asleep and unaware when the power went out in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Except, perhaps, for a few wide-eyed night owls, sufferers of insomnia, or those awakened by the sound of the storm’s fury. Some awakened in the night realizing either the absence of familiar lights and sounds, or the presence of unusual ones.
Texts: Genesis 1:1-5; Acts 19:1-7; Mark 1:4-11
Have you ever had one of those conversations where you’re not sure who you’re talking to? An unrecognized person on the phone or a mysterious email? It happened to me this week. I got an email from someone who I didn’t recognize, signed only with a nickname. The note was brief and polite - Please call me to let me know when you have some time to help. Thanks so much.
You’d never know it by any measure of the length of day or month of the year, but on January 6th a new season begins. It’s called Epiphany which means “appearance” or “manifestation.” The main image of this season is the star which led the magi to find Jesus. So the Epiphany is all about God coming in and through Jesus to bring light and hope to the world.
Texts: Jeremiah 31:7-14; Ephesians 1:3-14; John 1:[1-9] 10-18
It’s whole new year. And who knows what will happen, right? Few of us could have imagined the events that came to pass last year in every aspect of social life. Let the record show that we have a long road ahead in matters of racism, elections, and public health. But that should not deter us from looking for new images; better still, God-inspired images, for what will yet be.
Pastoral Reflections, The Second Week of Christmas, The Fiftieth Week of Official Pandemic Status - January 1, 2021
On the edge of a year that has lasted, it seems, far longer than anyone wished, my thoughts are already turned toward new possibilities. In the coming year I looked forward to our borders being open again. I pray that people will be employed as fully as they wish to be. I hope that first responders and essential workers will find the relief from their hard labors that they most surely need and deserve. May shops and restaurants be filled with happy people. And more than anything else, may we all cherish one another as God’s beloved children and re-commit ourselves to the world that Jesus calls us to bring into reality. The twentieth century luminary Howard Thurman (scholar, theologian, educator and civil rights leader) said it so well in this poem that has also inspired several songs:
When the song of the angels is still,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and the princes are home, When the shepherds are back with their flocks, The work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal the broken,
to feed the hungry,
to release the prisoner,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among people,
to make music in the heart.
A very happy and blessed New Year to you all. Pr. Beth
“Tis the season” isn’t it? The season to bring as much unexpected joy as you can the hearts of the people you know and love. Especially the children of course.
Pastoral Reflections, The Third Week of Advent, Our 39th Week in Official Pandemic Status - December 18, 2020
It’s wet and cold out there, and I’m really glad to be inside and warm. And you know, one of the things I really miss is riding upstairs on the inter-island ferry, circling the islands when the wind blows the water into whitecaps and the rain beats on the window. It’s just not the same being down in your car on the deck with your feet and hands slowly turning to ice.
Texts: Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-8, 19-28
Suppose for a moment that you are the only soul on the street when an armored truck comes by and a bundle of money falls out and breaks open, with hundred dollar bills floating in the air. Would you stop and gather the money? And if you gathered the money, would you move heaven and earth to get every banknote back into the hands of the rightful owner? And would you absolutely refuse any offer of a reward for the return of the money, because all that matters to you is to do the right thing?
Pastoral Reflections, The Second Week of Advent, Our 38th week in Official Pandemic Status - December 11, 2020
Part Two – a continuing reflection from last week…the musings of a pandemic weary pastor.
So, Mary said yes to the angel of God. Mary was willing, bless her! To become the bearer of God’s good news. And what a gift it was to the whole world! More than Mary could even know. That’s when Advent as we know it, really began.
Texts: Isaiah 40:1-11; 2 Peter 3:8-15a; Mark 1:1-8
We’re turning a corner today. The lessons for the past few weeks have been largely about God’s judgement, and there’s still healthy portion of that today with calls for repentance in several of our appointed bible texts. But something else is going on too.
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.