Pastor's Page

FEBRUARY, 2007

Have you ever looked up the references to Moriah in the Bible? In Genesis Abraham is told to go into the land of Moriah to a certain mount (nameless) which God would show him. In Second Chronicles it is identified with Jerusalem. Do you ever think of that in relation to our congregation? The Genesis reference is one of the most challenging in the whole Bible. It talks of the sacrifice of something tat is precious to us and central to our life. Abraham is able to offer that sacrifice because of the level of trust he has for God. And God does not fail him!


Sometimes the Christian life requires sacrifice  and not just of money or time. It may require us to give up things we hold onto, things we believe, grudges we carry, hurt and sorrow we live with. As long as we hold onto them we can't fully experience Christ's love, grace, and will for us. And it is not easy. I shared the example last Sunday of the two lawyers who worked together even though they hated each other. When one became Christian he had to give up that hate  with great effort  and pray for, even love, his partner. That is hard work. It may not be hard like plowing a field or loading a truck or repairing an engine but it is hard nonetheless.


Steve Dabb's Sunday school class has been talking about some key issues in relationships. This week there was a question on his blackboard, What is prejudice? That is a question for all of us. It simply meets prejudging someone. Sometimes it is based on a prior experience with someone else who had similar characteristics: parents, or family, or education, or life work perhaps (lawyer, politician, pastor, used car salesman), or appearance (tall, slender, fat, short), or race (white, black, oriental), or language, or accent, or the car they drive, or even where they go to church. It can be anything that allows us to categorize, or even dismiss, someone else without getting to know them personally. Families, congregations, communities, nations (think red state  blue state), can be divided by prejudice; not to mention the world's peoples. 



Keep Reading >>

NOVEMBER 2006--Memories & Hope

Dear brothers & sisters in Christ,


Mommy, mommy, mommy, no, no, no, don't leave me! Please mommy, don't go! I'm not ready! Suddenly I was a little boy again pleading not to be left alone. The last time I had called out for my mommy was coming out of anesthesia, after an appendectomy, while a senior in college. That I know only because she was sitting there as I woke up and later shared she had never expected to hear me call her mommy again. But such are our minds and lives that, if we were loved as children, we will always have a part of us which is still a child wanting mommy and daddy. 


Not long ago we took mother to our house and she really enjoyed the trip. She sat for a long time looking out across the gorge to the mountains beyond. Taking a break from my work I joined her. As we talked she said being there made her feel closer to God. We talked of many things, especially the wonder of creation. She told my sister later how much she enjoyed it and expected it to be the last vacation she ever took.



Keep Reading >>

DECEMBER 2006

Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,


Hard as it is to believe it is time again for Advent. That means it is only four Sundays until Xmas!


Do you hate that shortcut, Xmas? Well, I'm not too fond of it either but we need to remember that it is not a sign of disrespect. The X is used as an abbreviation for Christ. It looks much like the Greek letter chi which begins His name. Chi is often used with the second letter rho, which resembles our P. That symbol appears on many of our paraments and banners. Frequently it will be combined with Alpha and Omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, which are used as a symbol for God, the beginning and the end of all things. 



Keep Reading >>
 

Archive