Oct 06

Your Church Is Too Small

I have good news for you this morning: your church is too small. Your church is too small! Now, I imagine you’ve heard that before, and I’m willing to bet that the last time you heard it, it didn’t sound like good news. Maybe you heard it in a meeting with the district superintendent: I’m sorry, she said, but your church is too small to support a full-time pastor. I’m sorry, but you’re too small to be on your own anymore.

Or maybe you heard it from a visitor one Sunday morning: I love your church, he said. The people here are friendly, and you obviously love to be together for worship. I wish I could stick around, but your church is too small. I’m looking for something bigger.

Or maybe you have found yourself saying it in at church council one night: It would be nice, you said, if we could do more for our community, but we’re just too small. We don’t have the resources.

“Your church is too small.” It doesn’t sound like good news, but today, on World Communion Sunday, at this Community Worship Service, it is the gospel, the good news, we need to hear. Your church is too small, but Christ’s church—ahh, that’s a different story entirely. Continue reading

Jul 18

The Better Part

The Bible is about God. There are a lot of things the Bible is not about, and we could spend some time discussing them and maybe even arguing about them. Last week, though, when we dedicated the new pew Bibles, I told the children that the Bible was where we, as Christians, together, turn when we want to learn how to love God and our neighbor. The Bible—and I think no one will argue with me about this—is not a dictionary of the English language, and it’s not the autobiography of Mark Twain. The Bible is about God. Continue reading

May 23

The God Who Worships

Worship—Christian worship—is in the name of the Trinity. You entered the body of Christ, you were baptized, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Our Prayer of Great Thanksgiving, for Holy Communion, is offered to the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit. We believe in one God Who Is Three Persons, the Trinity, and worship, Christian worship, is in the name of the Trinity. We worship the Trinity, and the Trinity alone. We worship in the name of the Triune God, and of the Triune God alone. Continue reading

May 16

The Gift of the Giving God

I have some news for you today: the first Pentecost was not the first time the Holy Spirit started working in creation for the sake of God’s mission of love and reconciliation. Pentecost is not the birthday of the Holy Spirit. No, no, no. The Spirit is eternally God, and just as God has always been at work in creation, from the very beginning, so the Spirit has always been moving, active, alive in our midst, all along. Continue reading

May 09

Exalted Faith

The season of Easter lasts fifty days and features three major Christians celebrations. The first, day one, is Easter itself—the feast of the resurrection. The third, on day fifty, is Pentecost, next Sunday, the feast of the Holy Spirit and of the church. And the second, on day forty, this past Thursday, is Ascension, the feast of the coronation of Jesus Christ. Because Ascension is on a Thursday, and because in recent years we Christians have decided that worship is only for Sunday mornings and should not be allowed to interfere with our busy weekdays, a lot of us may not know anything about the Ascension. So today, on day forty three of the Easter season, we are celebrating Ascension Sunday. Continue reading