“Be Careful What You Ask For”

~ 1 Samuel 8: 1-11, 16-20 ~ “Be careful what you ask for.” These were the words of Dr. James Forbes, Pastor Emeritus of the famous Riverside Church in NYC, the same church where Harry Emerson Fosdick was the pastor in the 1930’s. I was attending a conference on the … Read More

“Who Owns God?”

~ Isaiah 6:1-8/John 3:1-17 ~ What is God like? Well, Isaiah says he saw God. There was God sitting on a throne, high and lofty. And angels sang, “Holy, holy, holy” which is the inspiration for the hymn, “Holy, Holy, Holy.” Jesus, in his midnight conversation with Nicodemus, suggests that … Read More

“A Righteous Congregation”

~ Psalm 1/John 17:6-19 ~ This is the “Christian Unity” passage. It comes up every year because Christian unity is important. But I don’t want to talk about Christian unity. I mean, should we even pretend it exists? Empty rhetoric, it would seem. The cynic in me says forget it. … Read More

“Powerful Stuff – Handle with Care”

Psalm 98 Ah, music. The power of it cannot be denied. It can create incredible euphoria. It can bring one to tears. It can soothe the soul, as Bob Seger’s song says: “Still like that old time rock’n roll, that kind of music just soothes the soul.” Which, of course, … Read More

“The Dude Abides”

~ John 15:1-8/1 John 4:7-16 ~ Do you abide? Well, know this: The Dude abides! Who’s the Dude, you might ask. And if that’s the case, I’ve already lost you. The Dude, of course, is Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski, played by Jeff Bridges, the protagonist of the 1998 Coen Brothers … Read More

Rise Again, Yes, Rise Again!

~ Mark 16:1-8 ~ In a mysterious and wonderful way music is one of the ways that God’s grace works its way into our hearts. Today we have heard a triumphant anthem proclaiming resurrection. We sing hymns with fervor and delight about the day of resurrection. The ringing of Easter … Read More