Texts: Amos 5:6-7, 10-15; Hebrews 4:12-16; Mark 10:17-31
One fine day…Jesus set out on a journey. Not just any old kind of road trip, mind you. He had a particular destination and urgent timetable. He was, as they say, a man on a mission. The day was fine, not in the weather-sense, but in the sense of his direction, which was toward goodness.
Texts: Genesis 2:18-21; Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:5-12; Mark 10:2-6
Genesis chapter 1 gives us the lovely refrain, “And God saw that it was good.” But Genesis 2 is very different. The first seventeen verses are mostly taken up with the landscape and geography of the Garden of Eden.
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.
A Pastoral Reflection, Pentecost Week Fourteen, A Second Summer of Pandemic Living — August 27, 2021
So here we are finally, moving (slowly and carefully) toward resuming worship. It’s going to take time before we’re completely there. And some of you are not ready to return, for very good reasons. We understand.
Texts: Joshua 24:1-2a; Ephesians 6:10-20; John 6:56-69
The start of the school year is just around the corner. I can’t help but think of many teachers who prompted, prodded, and led me along the pathway of learning. Many of them are only a dim memory but a few really stand out.
A Pastoral Reflection, Pentecost Week Thirteen, a Second Summer of Pandemic Living — August 20, 2021
When the world seems like it’s unravelling (I’m thinking of Haiti, Afghanistan, and of course, the pandemic) It can help to pay attention to good news. In this way we can lean into bad news and know that it’s not the only news out there. And wasn’t Jesus all about good news?
Text: Proverbs 9:1-6; Ephesians 5:15-20; John 6:51-58
It’s been interesting to watch how our islands have changed over the past eighteen months. In particular the business districts of the three main islands are not the same now as they were. Businesses have closed.Some new ones have opened. Others have remained in operation the whole time but are doing business differently these days.
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.