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Whoever Welcomes The Little Ones In My Name

Proverbs 31:10-31; Psalm 1; James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a; Mark 9:30-37 Bigfork Community United Methodist Church September 23, 2018 –Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost We come to the end of our time in the Book of Proverbs today. They have sprinkled our meditations on the word for a few weeks now. They are like bumper stickers in a way. They are brief as a bumper sticker, but they are much deeper. "A proverb is a short sentence founded upon long experience containing a truth,"according to Miguel de Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote. So what we have been reading, Cervantes tells us, is the distilled wisdom of ages of observation. What they are trying to do…a little bit like a bumper sticker…is to

Satan, Get Away From Me!

Proverbs 1:20-33; Psalm 19; James 3:1-12; Mark 8:27-38 Bigfork Community United Methodist Church September 16, 2018 –Seventeenth Sunday After Pentecost Our scriptures today are a reflection on the value of reflection…the power that we can bring to a problem simply by considering it, identifying all the alternatives we have, and picking the very best one. If you give yourself time to look at a situation, you let more memories come into play and you see more problems or possibilities…or both…in the future given each choice you can make. In the Gospel reading, the impulsiveness of Peter is rebuked by the deep understanding of Christ. In Proverbs, Wisdom calls out the scoffers and tells them th

The More He Tried To Silence Them

Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23; Psalm 124; James 2:1-10, 14-17; Mark 7:24-37 Bigfork Community United Methodist Church September 9, 2018 –Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost ‘May you live in interesting times.’ That is a mixed blessing. Interesting times are novel times. In the spectrum from chaos to order, the world is tilting toward chaos in those eras …away from order. The Messiah lives in interesting of times. He is bold and articulate… metaphorical and mysterious. He is yin and yang…obvious and obscure…proclaiming and secretive. He is relevant to his time and place, and yet, we find his truth in the call of Moses…a privileged sinner…and in the service of Lincoln…a pauper who accepts the ro

Be Doers Of The Word

Song of Solomon 2:8-13; Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9; James 1:17-27; Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 Bigfork Community United Methodist Church September 2, 2018 –Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost I have been talking to you recently about reading the Bible as literally true or as metaphor, and Ollie explained the difference to me very clearly on Tuesday. I was cooking supper and Ollie walked past. I said, “Hey, what’s cooking?” He turned and looked at me with surprise and said, “Why are you asking me? You’re the one who’s cooking.” That’s the difference. Last week, we talked about how urgent things were for Jesus. He only had so much time left and there was much to do. Jesus was impatient because he wanted

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