Texts: Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29; James 5:13-20; Mark 9:38-50
One day a preacher in Tennessee decided to make a memorable point with his congregation about hell. He borrowed a skeleton from the local dentist and stood it beside the pulpit. Then he began to describe the shadowy realm of all that is unholy.
Texts: Jeremiah 11:18-20; James 3:13 – 4:3, 7-8a, Mark 9:30-37
A week ago we arrived at the shores of Lake of the Woods in southern Oregon. It’s one of a handful of modestly sized mountain lakes at about five thousand feet elevation. They cluster about 30 miles due south of Crater Lake as the crow flies.
Texts: Isaiah 35:4-7a; James 2:1-10[11-13] 14-17, Mark 7:24-37
It’s all about miracles today. Like God giving the Edomites their due recompense for oppressing the Israelites, and God’s leading of Israel out of captivity in Babylon. As Isaiah proclaims, there’s nothing quite like the power of God for making things happen. Blind people see, deaf people hear, lame people leap, mute people sing out, and waters rise in dry places. Same thing for the Gospel: there goes Jesus, healing the child of a Gentile woman; healing a deaf mute man.
Texts: Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9; James 1:17-27; Mark 7:1-8, 14-15. 21-23
If you’ve ever travelled on the London Underground you’ve heard the safety announcement to “mind the gap.” It refers to the gap caused by curving station platforms and straight train cars, and variations in the levels of train cars and platforms. It’s a common problem.
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.