Hospitality and Mission

November 9, 2018

In our first reading for today from Amos 5, we get into the thick of why Israel was facing God’s judgment, and we also encounter what, from God’s perspective, was an insufferable paradox. You see, from one angle of vision, Israel appeared to be a very pious and religious nation. They were, if we could update the language a bit, holding regular revivals and religious conferences, they were hosting potlucks for fellowship, and singing loudly and proudly to the latest praise songs.

God's Renovation Project

November 8, 2018

In this week’s First 15’s, we are exploring together one of the main reasons Israel’s house was not plumb against God’s standard of justice and righteousness (Amos 7:7-9): though they had been hospitably welcomed by God, chosen as God’s people and gifted with the land of Canaan, they were not extending that welcome to others.

Welcoming Unexpected Blessings

November 7, 2018

In this week’s First 15’s, we are exploring together one of the main reasons Israel’s house was not plumb against God’s standard of justice and righteousness (Amos 7:7-9): though they had been hospitably welcomed by God, chosen as God’s people and gifted with the land of Canaan, they were not extending that welcome to others.

Welcomed into God's World

November 6, 2018

In this week’s First 15’s, we are exploring together one of the main reasons Israel’s house was not plumb against God’s standard of justice and righteousness (Amos 7:7-9): though they had been hospitably welcomed by God, chosen as God’s people and gifted with the land of Canaan, they were not extending that welcome to others.

Hospitality and Justice

November 5, 2018

This week in our worship services and in our group study, we looked at the symbol of the rope plumb line that the prophet Amos envisioned God using to measure the stability and levelness of the house of Israel (Amos 7:7). The rope plumb line was a metaphor for the justice and righteousness that God expected to find present in God’s people.

Second Chances

November 3, 2018

We have been looking together in our First 15’s this week at Peter’s call to “fish for people” in Luke 5:1-11. Peter’s call from Jesus emerged in the midst of his vocation of fishing. As he pushed beyond the threshold of fear and submitted his gifts, talents, and resources to Christ, he found his vocation blessed and made larger as it was woven into Christ’s mission.

What We Leave Behind

November 2, 2018

Yesterday we looked at Peter’s “Moses-moment” when he pleaded with Jesus, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” (Luke 5:8). Today, we want to look a little closer at Jesus’ response to Peter, because it reveals what is often at the root of our own second-guessing when we see a need or sense that tug and pull within us of Jesus’ call.

Who Me?

November 1, 2018

In yesterday’s reading from Exodus 3-4, we learned that when Moses was called by God he came up with a long list of excuses for why God had picked the wrong person. Moses’ excuses begin with the direct question to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11). At the heart of Moses’ questions is the belief that he is not good enough for the job.

What's In Your Hand?

October 31, 2018

In this week’s First 15’s we are taking a closer look at Peter’s call in Luke 5 by considering several other examples of people who were also called to weave their resources, gifts, and vocations into God’s mission.

God's Call, Our Response

October 30, 2018

In this week’s First 15’s, we are taking a closer look at Peter’s call in Luke 5 by considering several other examples of people who were also called to weave their resources, gifts, and vocations into God’s mission. Yesterday we looked at the calling of Andrew whose simple act of bringing Peter to Jesus opened the door for Peter’s vocation as a fisherman to be blessed and made larger by Christ’s calling.

Becoming an Andrew

October 29, 2018

This week in our worship services and in our group study our theme is “Working Together,” and we are looking at how Jesus used Peter’s vocation as a fisherman (and the rope nets that were his vocational tool) to recast his calling and redirect his future (Luke 5:1-11). In this week’s First 15’s we will be taking another angle on Peter’s call

Spurring One Another

October 27, 2018

We have been reflecting this week on the scenes that the writer of Ecclesiastes used to illustrate his point that we are better, stronger, and more resilient when our lives are braided together into a community of mutual care and service. The writer closes his brief meditation on this theme with the image that frames this series: “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12).

Bandits, Bullies, & Lions

October 26, 2018

We have been looking this week at several scenes that the writer of Ecclesiastes gives us to illustrate the importance of being woven and braided together into the strong rope of community. Today, we turn to the final scene where the traveling companions face a challenge: “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves” (Ecclesiastes 4:12). To a traveler in the ancient world this was a common concern.

Kindling for Warmth

October 25, 2018

Yesterday we looked at the writer of Ecclesiastes’ warning that we should “pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up” (Ecclesiastes 4:10). To be a member of the body of Christ we are called to move from pity to mutual care and compassion for those who have stumbled and fallen amongst us.

From Pity to Mutual Care and Compassion

October 24, 2018

Yesterday we were reminded that two are better than one because, “If either of them falls down, one can help the other up” (Ecclesiastes 4:10). The scene of a weary traveler stumbling and falling is offset by the assuring presence of a co-traveler and friend who, with an outstretched hand, pulls the traveler up and out of the pit into which they have fallen.