Delivered by Ruling Elder James Parks

March 18, 2018

Jeremiah 31: 31-34, John 12: 20-33

When Makenzie, our church office manager, and I talked about today’s liturgy she said the sermon title caused her to think of the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly. And that’s exactly the kind of change that Jeremiah and Jesus are telling us in today’s texts is God’s way.

In school we all learned about the amazing process by which a caterpillar morphs into a butterfly. The story usually begins with a very hungry caterpillar hatching from an egg. The caterpillar stuffs itself with leaves, growing bigger and bigger. One day, the caterpillar stops eating, hangs upside down from a twig or leaf and spins itself a silky cocoon where it radically transforms its body. Eventually it emerges as a butterfly or moth, in all its magnificent beauty.

In a sense, the caterpillar has to die in order to live again as a butterfly.

In today’s text Jesus is telling us that just like the butterfly we have to die to live as God created us to be. Continue reading

It’s All About Love 

3.11.17                                                                                                    John 3:14-21

On Thursday nights, I try to remember to ask the children to thank our cooks as we stand in a circle for our prayer before the meal. Even the youngest ones seem to understand that when someone has spent time in the kitchen preparing food for you, she deserves a “thank you”.  Sometimes we ask the chefs to tell us what to expect when we come to the serving table.  It is an ongoing practice to remind children that when you hear a food item mentioned that you are not particularly fond of, you don’t say, “YUCK!” out loud in the hearing of the person who has prepared that dish for you.  When confronted about it, most children can understand that any cook would feel bad about that kind of response, and they even can identify it as a rude comment, but it is definitely a work in progress!  Complaining about the food is a very common human activity, no matter how old we are.

Complaints about food have been going on for a long time.  Our gospel reading this morning provides an echo of an ancient time when a group of people complained about the food.  It was the people of Israel, on their 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, who were fed manna by God. Continue reading