• Sermons

    Love Lights

                A couple of years ago, we observed the lighting of the Menorah candles for Chanukah. We are not ethnically Jewish nor do we claim Judaism as our faith tradition. We do, however, deeply appreciate the rich traditions that do stem from our Christian faith. My second oldest, then a freshman at Illinois State, laughs as she explains to her friends, “yeah, we’re not Jewish, but my mom makes us light the Menorah, haha.” I am certainly no model observer of any tradition, often forgetting to mark our more usual rituals (that year the first week of Advent slipped past virtually unnoticed due to a frantic race to complete some…

  • Sermons

    Joy Juxtaposed

    The poet, Mary Oliver, wrote: “If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it…life has some possibility left… Joy is not made to be a crumb.” Mary Oliver Of the four promises of God we live into during Advent, I believe joy is the most difficult. After reading a book on the subject of joy, Girl-talk God-talk leader, Renee, began signing her notes and emails with that very phrase. Indeed, she looks for joy in nearly everything. Paul commands us to rejoice always – and if that’s not enough, he says “again, I say, rejoice!” Still, when I have a sense of being overjoyed by something…

  • Sermons

    Collision of Peace

    Blessed is the Lord, and blessed are God’s people to whom God sends a savior, the messiah, who is Christ the Lord. Blessed is our God, and blessed are God’s gifts, that grace us with forgiveness and every good gift. Lord, you have come to dwell within us. Build your temple within our hearts. Amen A Collision of Peace As long as some are not at peace, I cannot really know true peace. What brings you peace? During the Advent season a few years back, our family was enjoying conversation around the dinner table, and Lysander wondered out loud at the implications of God’s creative intent in the beginning: He…