In a search for Sunday worship music this week I came across the hymn “Where Charity and Love Prevail”. I like the tune but it became stuck in my head and I’ve been humming it for days now. That can be irritating, but I decided instead that perhaps the Holy Spirit might be trying to get something into my heart.
Texts: Isaiah 45:1-7; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10; Matthew 22:15-22
A youngl boy came home from church one day and said to his mother that he intended to become a minister. When she asked why, he replied that since he had to go to church on Sunday anyway, he figured it would be more fun to stand up and yell, than to sit and listen. Whether the story is true or apocryphal, it should challenge us to think about the form of our witness to God.
As I write this reflection, it’s the evening of World Food day. Probably all of us had enough to eat today, and more than enough. We are the fortunate ones.
Texts: Isaiah 25:1-9; Philippians 4:1-9; Matthew 22:1-14
Probably many of you have played the game “Simon Says”. Just to refresh your memory, there’s a leader, who is Simon whose role is to call out instructions beginning with the words, “Simon says…” and everyone else has to do what they’re told. There’s a lot of movement and laughter as everyone tries their hardest to do what Simon says.
As you know, last week I did not write a reflection, because I was in Wyoming to scatter my father’s ashes. It was a very meaningful trip for me and my next younger sister. Along the way there was plenty of time to think.
Texts: Isaiah 5:1-7; Philippians 3:4b-14
In the middle of a courtyard bathed in the reflected light of golden stone a man stands alone. His clear voice floats an elegiac melody into the warm air. Modern expert musicologists would call his tonal range the Phrygian dominant scale. It’s common in Eastern European, Egyptian and Arabic music. But it’s also called the Jewish scale. This is Isaiah, at the Temple singing his heart out. And the people who heard his song would remember it all their lives.
The wind started howling in the early hours of the day and soon evergreen branches, twigs, and leaves littered the streets. The skies darkened and the rain fell in drenching waves. The first storm of the autumn arrived, and more will follow.
September 20, 2020
Texts: Jonah 3:10 – 4:11; Philippians 1:21-30; Matthew 20:1-6
Listen to a true story. A woman came to her priest to make a confession. With great anguish she told how she had experienced some financial difficulty and became very desperate. Since she worked as a teller in a bank she was able to embezzle the money necessary to pay her debt. No one had noticed the crime, but her soul was troubled and she wanted to make things right.
It’s been quite a week, hasn’t it? The smoke that hangs in the air from fires in the west, the hurricanes on the southern coast with more lining up in the Atlantic, the pandemic. In news reports I keep hearing the word Armageddon. But what is Armageddon really?
September 13, 2020
Texts: Genesis 50:15-21; Romans 14:1-12; Matthew 18:21-35
Motives are not always pure. You know that, right? So from the very beginning we should wonder why Peter went to Jesus one day and asked. “Lord, if another member of the community sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?”
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.