November 29, 2020 “The Holiness of Waiting”

Posted by on Dec 21, 2020 in What's Happening?

“The Holiness of Waiting” Isaiah 64:1-9 Mark 13:24-37   I had a thought the other day. Yeah, that can be dangerous, I know. But as I was trying to get in the right mood and the right spirit for this Advent season, I got to wondering who it was that ever thought it would be a good idea to create a season that celebrates…waiting? I mean, no one likes to wait. It’s annoying and it’s aggravating. My first thought was that it was probably the same guy that invented the gas powered leaf blower. Those of you who live in town know what I’m talking about. But I’m kidding, of course, because this 40 day period we call Advent has been around for over1400 years, give or take. They were still raking their leaves back then. But really now, what’s the point? What would be the harm in simply diving into the spirit of Christmas the day after Thanksgiving? Judging by the ads and the lights and the trees that are going up, we do that anyway. Why should we impose this artificial period of waiting? What’s the point? It’s been said that one of the downsides of living in the information age is that we are constantly entertained. A half hour wait at the doctor’s office is no longer a pain as long as we have our smart phones or I-Pads or Gameboys. Heck, I almost look forward to waiting at the DMV so that I can get caught up on ….well, all kinds of things. The problem is: we’re never bored anymore. I was always taught that boredom comes from either a lack of imagination or simply a lack of things to do. I also learned as a kid to never complain that I was bored because there would always be someone ready to find things for me to do. But if we forced to stop, to wait, and yes, to be bored, that doesn’t mean that God is doing the same. In the words of Louie Giglio, “To us, waiting is wasting. To God, waiting is working.” You know, I’ve come to believe that the practice of Advent was an inspired event. God has never been good at this instant gratification thing. Abraham and Sarah had to wait well into their 80’s before they could have children, yet that birth was the birth of the nation of Israel. Moses was sent to free the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt, yet he had to take a breather in the middle of it all – some 40 years. The prophets, the Apostles, the saints – none of them was handed a playbook that said this has to get done in record time. No, it had to get done in God’s time. And it is during that time, hopefully, that God molds us into the people we...

Read More »

October 4, 2020 “A Love Song for His Vineyard”

Posted by on Dec 21, 2020 in What's Happening?

“A Love Song for His Vineyard” Philippians 3:4b-14 Matthew 21:33-46 Isaiah 5:1-7  Common English Bible (CEB) Song of the vineyard 5 Let me sing for my loved one, a love song for his vineyard. My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. 2 He dug it, cleared away its stones, planted it with excellent vines, built a tower inside it, and dug out a wine vat in it. He expected it to grow good grapes – but it grew rotten grapes. 3 So now, you who live in Jerusalem, you people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard: 4 What more was there to do for my vineyard that I haven’t done for it? When I expected it to grow good grapes, why did it grow rotten grapes? 5 Now let me tell you what I’m doing to my vineyard. I’m removing its hedge, so it will be destroyed. I’m breaking down its walls, so it will be trampled. 6 I’ll turn it into a ruin; it won’t be pruned or hoed, and thorns and thistles will grow up. I will command the clouds not to rain on it. 7 The vineyard of the Lord of heavenly forces is the house of Israel, and the people of Judah are the plantings in which God delighted. God expected justice, but there was bloodshed; righteousness, but there was a cry of distress! –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           – For those of you who were with us last week, you’ll remember how the chief priests and elders of Jerusalem tried their level best to put Jesus on the spot by asking, “By whose authority do you do these things?” It was a trick question, but Jesus dodged that bullet by asking them a trick question of his own. This was followed by the Parable of the Two Sons. The priests and elders knew that the parable was directed toward them but couldn’t raise too much of a fuss because the crowds, after all, had gathered to listen to this Nazarene – not them. It was awkward; it was tense. I imagine, to save face, they were about to say a few priestly words or make some priestly proclamations and then make their escape. But Jesus wasn’t about to let them off the hook just yet. Instead, he called out to them saying, (vs. 33) Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, and then proceeded to tell the story we know as the Parable of the Tenants – The Wicked Tenants. Now, the reason that I read the text from Isaiah 5 at the beginning of this message is because the parable that Jesus told the authorities of the temple was a direct reference to this writing of the prophet Isaiah. Jesus knew this scripture, the priests knew it, and most of all, Jesus knew that they knew it. They say that...

Read More »
WIDGETS:
Array ( [0] => WP_Widget_Pages [1] => WP_Widget_Calendar [2] => WP_Widget_Archives [3] => WP_Widget_Media_Audio [4] => WP_Widget_Media_Image [5] => WP_Widget_Media_Gallery [6] => WP_Widget_Media_Video [7] => WP_Widget_Meta [8] => WP_Widget_Search [9] => WP_Widget_Text [10] => WP_Widget_Categories [11] => WP_Widget_Recent_Posts [12] => WP_Widget_Recent_Comments [13] => WP_Widget_RSS [14] => WP_Widget_Tag_Cloud [15] => WP_Nav_Menu_Widget [16] => WP_Widget_Custom_HTML [17] => UMC_Content [18] => Conference_Content [19] => Upper_Room [20] => WP_Editor_Widget [21] => AboutMeWidget [22] => AdsenseWidget [23] => AdvWidget [24] => CustomLogoWidget )