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Tag: Acts

The Church is Not What We Thought it Was

I’ve been saying it for weeks now, in one way or another: the church is not what we thought it was. The church isn’t the building or the steeple. It’s not the sanctuary or the pulpit or the pews. It isn’t the classrooms or fellowship hall. The church isn’t…

Both Hands and a Roll of Duct Tape

No one knows who Chloe is, but I suspect she’s someone who’s trying to hold things together with both hands and a roll of duct tape….

Upside-Down

Every year, on the very first day of confirmation, I take the kids on a scavenger hunt. Some of the things that they have to find are things: hands, a lamb of God, a ship, a manatee. And some of the things that they have to find are people:…

A Whole Church Full

I’ve told you this before, but in my former career, my life was ruled by numbers. Every year, the Board of Directors would give me one number: the amount of money that I needed to raise for my organization… so that we could do the work that we were…

Everything We Need

I have been told that you can’t pick and choose what parts of the Bible you believe. It’s all or nothing. And that if I want to be a real Christian—a real follower of Jesus—I have to believe every chapter and every verse: the easy parts about love and…

Work

I am incredibly lucky. There’s a quote from the writer and theologian Frederick Buechner: “The place where God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger coincide.” It’s a quote that I heard a lot in seminary and continuing ed. Someone would…

That Holy Spirit

Sorry there’s no recording this week! For the last few weeks, we’ve been reading snippets of Paul’s letter to the believers in Rome. Three weeks ago, we heard Paul introduce himself. And he didn’t give the believers in Rome a summary of his resume. He simply told them a…

Other Gods

On my drives from Davenport to DeWitt, and from DeWitt to Davenport, I listen to a lot of NPR. Last Sunday morning, as I was on my way to preach a sermon that touched upon violence at a house of worship, some people on Weekend Editionwere talking about violence at…

Before We Are Anything Else

We have spent the last twenty weeks—every week since Epiphany, way back in January—reading the gospel according to Matthew. That’s a long time to spend in one gospel. Over the last four months, we’ve heard Matthew’s version of the life of Jesus. The call of John the Baptizer, the…

People Will Talk. There Will Be Stories.

Last week, I talked to you a little bit about Matthias. After Jesus was betrayed, arrested, and crucified, after he rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, the apostles were down one person. Judas, who had set the events of Holy Week into motion through his betrayal, wasn’t…

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