God as Change Agent

Psalm 40  (preached at Cherry Hill Community Presbyterian Church during a PULPIT SWAP)
Martin Luther King, Jr. was clearly a man who followed God. Many of us see him as a prophet who spoke a word calling for change, renewal and a re-ordering of values. His commitment to non-violence, his teaching, his actions, his willingness to even give up his life, all provide us with an echo of the life of another who spoke and lived peace, who gave up his life, the one we call Jesus, the Son of God.  Martin Luther King, Jr. echoes the life of Jesus.
Both Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jesus himself stand squarely in the traditions of our Jewish forefathers and foremothers who wrote and lived the Old Testament. The psalms have served for centuries as the prayer and song book of the Bible, Continue reading “God as Change Agent”

Setting our Hope on Jesus

Ephesians 1:3-14      What a joy-filled visit we had with our Cuban family in Sagua la Grande last week! We were able to share goodie bags with each household of the congregation thanks to the items you brought in for us to share. They love getting the re-usable cloth bags that are hard to come by on a Cuban salary. We filled them with items that are scarce in Cuba: note pads, pens, tea bags, ziplock bags and instant oatmeal. And we were the recipients of bags as well! They took some of the ziplock bags and put together a goodie bag for each of us, with items made by church members out of love and caring—little pins and hairbows, decorations for the kitchen, hot pads for cooking, a crocheted cross book mark for the Bible, mementos of our time with them given out of great love and respect. Wherever it happens, gift giving is a way to demonstrate affection, respect, love or compassion toward another person. As we exchange gifts between Hunting Ridge and Sagua, we demonstrate that we know each other, we value each other, we love each other.
Tomorrow, January 6, is the day marking Epiphany, the Christian church’s celebration of the revelation of the gift of God’s Son to the world beyond Israel. This day is symbolized by the arrival in Bethlehem of the astrologers from the far east—non-Jews—also called magi, or wise men, and in many cultures, it is a day for exchanging gifts. The wise men brought symbolic gifts fit for a king—gold, frankincense and myrrh. What if the wise women also came? What might they have brought? Continue reading “Setting our Hope on Jesus”