A Promise Fulfilled

06.18.17 – A Promise Fulfilled – Galatians 3:10-22   One of my favorite theological writers, Douglas Adams, opens a book called The Restaurant at the End of the Universe with these lines:   “The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a…

A New Identity

Back in Genesis, God told Abram: “Leave your country, your family, and your father’s home for a land that I will show you.   I’ll make you a great nation and bless you. I’ll make you famous; you’ll be a blessing. I’ll bless those who bless you; those who curse you I’ll curse. All the families of the Earth will…

The Spirit Comes

As difficult as this may be to believe, the political situation in American in 2017 looks like a calm, well-organized cakewalk compared with that of 365 years ago in England, when the Quaker movement was beginning to come together.   England in 1652 was a chaotic place. The period from 1639 – 1651 was one of civil war- we refer…

Paul Meets the Living Christ

Last week, we looked at the introduction to Paul’s letter to the Galatians. We noticed that while letters of this time period typically started with a formal introduction and greeting in several parts, Paul launches past all the niceties to dive straight in.   He’s astounded and horrified that the churches he planted in Galatia have turned away from what…

No Other Gospel

I was in Richmond on Thursday, working at FUM on our weekly day of committee meetings- it’s widely known as the least productive day of the week. There’s always a devotional time on Thursday morning, and this week it featured Dan reading a lovely passage from Romans 12 Bless those who persecute you; bless, and do not curse. Rejoice with…

Sketches of Peter

Later in his life, Peter wrote a couple letters to the church. They’re First and Second Peter, toward the end of the New Testament. In his first letter, he expands on a tangled and complex metaphor about how each member of the church is basically like a rock and how that’s a good thing. You know his name was Simon,…

Baptism Into Resurrection

I was baptized when I was fourteen. On paper, my church believed in adult baptism… but in practice, we had sort of forgotten to do any for awhile. Baptism wasn’t a condition for membership in the church, so no one had asked the adults when they joined. And while we’d had a mass of younger children growing up together, we…

Unrecognizable/Unmistakable

When I was in college, the Campus Activities Board would use the giant chapel monitor to show The Princess Bride every year, and I think I watched it every time. It was an evangelical college, and most of us came out of evangelical youth groups, which means that we came to college so familiar with The Princess Bride that we…

Nonsense and Wonder

There’s something hilarious to me about the way that we approach the Easter story. I don’t want to seem critical of anyone else, so just look at what I did to prepare for this service: -I bought bagels and cream cheese at Kroger. -I microwaved a second cup of coffee yesterday. -I arranged my living room books by the color…

The Torn Veil

Back at the beginning of the story, back in Genesis, Adam and Eve walked with God in the Garden of Eden. There was no barrier between them. It was full communion. But then things changed, as they always do. We humans aren’t content in a world where we don’t define the terms. So Adam and Eve made their own rules,…