Poem based on Matthew 16:21-26

Oh how we would love to have
according to our schedule
the world laid out in perfect rows
giving us the choice of this or that
free from any harm
or responsibility
to face the happy ending
in half an hour complete with commercials
Never Lord
was the cry of the  Rock
on whose recent confession
the church would stand
Never shall I allow you to go
to the cross
                        new life
            shall the designs of humanity
freely allow the
            Freedom of the Cross
                        to enter in
Never shall we know of the kingdom
on our own
            without the Christ breaking in
and replacing our inward gaze

With the light and hope of His love.

Opening Litany based on Psalm 26:1-8

Pastor: Look upon us with favor O LORD, for we have tried to lead a blameless life

Congregation: We have trusted in the LORD and for the most part have not faltered. Test us Lord, examine our hearts and minds.

Pastor: We have been forever mindful of your unfailing love and have lived our lives relying on your faithfulness.

Congregation: We do not sit with the deceitful nor I associate with hypocrites. We  abhor the assembly of evildoers and refuse to sit with the wicked.

Pastor: We bath ourselves in innocence when we go before your Altar O Lord and proclaimed your praise to all the world in what we say and in what we do.

Congregation: Aware of your wonderful deeds O Lord, we love to go to your house and praise your name in all we do and say. 

a little evangelical fervor

Sunday August 31st,  Romans 12: 9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Think about this list from Paul.  Verse 9, religious right and tea party all the way……. But wait!  Verse 10, well they could be talking about us, the religious elite, the raging Pelagius, who have all the right answers and have earned every bit of grace they have unlike some others.  Verse 11, o yeah!!  That’s the religious right because it certainly is not the Lutherans, Methodists, Episcopalians or Presbyterians.  Verse 12, Oh Yeah!! Defiantly the religious right, upbeat music, prosperity gospel, we have it right and they have it wrong, definitely the religious right.  Verse 13!!!! What the hell is Paul talking about!!!  What if the world did just that?  What if the world loved that which was sincere, chose good over evil, loved and honored one another, was alive in Christ and filled with hope and prayer, practiced hospitality and cared for those in need?  What if?  What if congregations did that even a little bit?  What if?  Most people reject Christianity because it deals with hot button issues rather than love issues.  We are more concerned with who someone loves than with how someone loves.  But what if??  The New Enthusiasts in Christianity has verses 9-12 down, us mainline protestants, not so much, and we should.  Verse 13, we understand it even if we don’t practice it so well.  Perhaps we could have a synthesis, a little evangelical fervor, a little mainline protestant understanding.  Then we could be the church!!!!  

Paul’s imagination

Monday September 1st, Romans 12: 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.  OK, the religious right is beginning to sweat.  What if we lived together as brothers and sisters, even with those who do not agree with us, or with whom we do not agree?  Is that possible in the real world, or only as a figment of Paul’s imagination?  Can life produce such harmony or should we just give it up and go to war, and stop every proposal the other party presents, even if it is something we agree with?  The far right represented by the tea party is the ultimate form of stealth racism and partyism. Where would God have us go in times of conflict: to the negotiation table or to the battlefield?  We as a people, created in God’s image keep going to the battlefield saying the negotiation table doesn’t work.  And as long as we never really give it a try it in any sustained way, we prove ourselves right, and God wrong. God however has another idea.  

Pogo tells us

Tuesday September 2nd, Romans 12:  17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay, “says the Lord.  F Buechner talks about “anger” in wishful thinking by saying something like this: Of the seven deadly sins, anger is perhaps the most fun. To savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain your are given and the pain you are giving back.  To let grievances long past roll of your tongue and look forward to the bitter confrontations yet to come. To savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back.  In many ways it is a feast fit for a king.  The chief drawback is what you are wolfing down is yourself, the skeleton at the feast is you.  The cartoon character Pogo tells us that we have met the enemy and he is us.  Walter Wink warns us to not become that which we hate.  Paul says to not take revenge but leave room for God.  And still, well over half of our nation’s budget is tied up in some form of war spending and all hell breaks loose when we talking about trimming it even a little.  Some people never listen, except to the money to be made.

no money in it

Wednesday September 3rd, Romans 12: 20 On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.  Paul gives us a “how to” on how to live as a child of God in this world where not everyone is our friend.  And even when we think we have some hope to be buttheads with the heaping coals line, we are called to understand that that was the normal way of carrying the hot coals one needed to get a fire going to cook a meal for friends or family, it was not a revenge statement at all, it is a statement of helping the enemy to provide for their needs.  I wonder if Romans 12 will make it in any of the political speeches from either pulpit or politico?   Bomb them with food and watch the war end.  Naaaaaaaaaaaah, there is no money in it.

power of Caesar

Thursday September 4th, Matthew 16:  21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.  22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. "Never, Lord!" he said. "This shall never happen to you!"  So close Peter, Sooooo close, Peter almost had it didn’t he?  Just last week he represented the disciples by saying that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God.  In doing so he, standing in Caesarea Philippi at the foot of the power that destroyed the temple in Jerusalem, standing in the town named after the power of war and the power of Caesar also known as the son of god, Peter spoke for the disciples in his proclamation of faith.  Now, unfortunately he seems to speak for most of the rest of us.  You don’t really need to do that Lord.  I think you can bypass Jerusalem, I think you can let me walk on water, I think you can turn these stones into bread if you are hungry, I think you can wow everyone with stunts, I think you can have the whole world (if only you will….) I think you can be a follower of Christ and fit in worship whenever it is comfortable for you….No!! Says Jesus.  Pick up your cross and let’s get going.  There is work to do

voice of the devil

Friday September 5th, Matthew 16:  23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."   This is not the last temptation of Christ; that is yet to come.  Jesus puts it into perspective with the call to get behind me Satan.  How often do we tell Satan to get behind us?  How often do we let Satan take the lead and tell us that being a Christian is OK, but there is no need to get all that excited about it?  In C.S.Lewis’ Screwtape letters, C.S.Lewis as the voice of the devil does a great job of letting his minions know that you cannot actively tear one away from following Christ, all you will get is resistance.  The way you tear them away from following is to set the thought in their minds that religion is not something to get all that wired about.  To let them know that it is OK make time for Jesus when you have the extra time and money, to convince them that occasional attendance at worship is OK.  In time, it all seems less important and Satan is no longer behind, but in the lead.

already not yet

Saturday September 6th, Matthew 16:  24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.  OK, let’s get this straight.  God loves you, you are saved through the life, death and resurrection of Christ.  Now to make life meaningful for you and for those around you, pick up your cross.  You know what I mean, it is right there with you all the time weighing down your sub-conscience.  It is what you think you can walk around, talk around, think around and live around your whole life long.  It is Your cross, and to pick it up and walk with it is to give this life, here in the already not yet, meaning.  It is to understand that life is just a little less without it.  


Late Night with Pastor Dan and Ruth. Ruth 4, Blessed Covering

10wfor August 24th, Be a Boaz, NL.

The following is a 10 minute worship for August 24th, Be a Boaz, NL. You can listen on the flash player below. You now also have the option of receiving these notices each week and on festival days by signing up for the 10W constant contact email list on the right side of the 10W blog where it says "Please Join our Email List. The opening is a time of meditation.

10w for August 24th, Binding and Loosing.

The following is a 10 minute worship for August 24th, Binding and Loosing. You can listen on the flash player below. You now also have the option of receiving these notices each week and on festival days by signing up for the 10W constant contact email list on the right side of the 10W blog where it says "Please Join our Email List. The opening is a time of meditation.


Ruth 3, In the heat of the night


Poem based on Confession of Peter Matthew 16:13-19

There comes a time
when we must make a stand
when we must be who we are
and why
A time
when for one brief moment
all else ceases to be important
and that something more in life
that is at stake
takes center stage
At those times
Those moments
life swings through gentle arcs
to some other point
to some other time
and life goes on
except for that point
around which all of life swings
all of life lives
that time spoken to by Peter
For us all
Who do you say I am
Who in all that is
do you say I am
Who in all of time
do you say I am
Peter answered
The center point shifted
Life became somehow new
You are the Christ

The Son of the living God

Opening Litany based on Psalm 138

Worship Leader: I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will praise you before all the little gods of this world to let them know that You O Lord are the center of my life.

Congregation: I will worship you and praise your name O Lord for all your unfailing love and faithfulness. 

Worship Leader: When I called upon the name of the Lord, I felt peace, an answer, and emboldened in my walk with God.

Congregation: May all the powers of this world praise you O Lord and may we all join is singing of the greatness of the Lord.   

Worship Leader: Even in the mightiness of the Lord, the Lord looks kindly upon the lowly, but takes notice of the proud from afar.

Congregation: Though I walk at times in the midst of trouble, the Lord looks kindly upon me.  The Lords presence protects me from the things of this world that would do me harm.

Worship Leader: Your love O Lord endures forever and you will not forsake the work of your hands.

Congregation: I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will praise you before all the little gods of this world to let them know that You O Lord are the center of my life.


Monday August 25th, Isaiah 51:  5 My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations. The islands will look to me and wait in hope for my arm. When we think of God’s justice we tend to think of bringing someone else to justice rather than bringing justice to someone else.  The first is often just thinly veiled revenge and usually turns around and bites us in the behind.  The second calls us to action and sacrifice.  It usually turns around and blessed us, our children, and our children’s children from the most unexpected places.  Our tendency to go for the first option rather than the second shows our lack of trust in God and God’s ways.  God’s justice will come into this world and into our lives.  We need to decide if we want to be a part of it or not.  Our current public conversation seems to be based on scarcity and the concern that others will take it from us.  The angels come and announce, Fear Not, and announce the Gospel and call us to live it.  Living the Gospel means living for and working for God’s Justice, and promoting policies that are in line with God’s Justice.  God’s is concerned with bringing justice to us.  God’s method in bringing us to justice is called grace.  


Tuesday August 26th, Romans 12:  4-6 In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we're talking about is Christ's body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn't amount to much, would we? So much for the American spirit of rugged individualism.  Part of the problem faced by America today is the move toward the pseudo-individualism.  We hold up the façade of making it on our own, and damn those who dare ask for my tax money or government handouts while turning a blind eye to our own interdependence.  We drive on our roads to work in a big corporation that gets government contracts or tax breaks to produce a product that is helped to be safe and saleable by government regulation.  All the while we are looking down our noses at someone just wanting some food for their children.  It is not someone else that cuts us off from the body of Christ, but rather own actions and desires and pseudo-individualism.  Paul points out in some rather graphic ways just what happens when we do fool ourselves into the notion of rugged individualism, we not only die, we send out a bit of a stench in the rotting process.  A so called self-made man just stinks no matter which direction the wind blows.  

first bite

Wednesday August 27th, Romans 12:  6-8 If you preach, just preach God's Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don't take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don't get bossy; if you're put in charge, don't manipulate; if you're called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don't let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face. Doing the kingdom work is simple.  God gives you the tools, the talents, the time and calls you to simply use them for the kingdom.  Sometimes we think that somehow We need to teach God how to do it better.  Humanity has had trouble with that since the first bite.  God smiles when God hears us do the “me do it” routine the same way we smile when the young ones in our midst do it.  It is when we forget to smile and laugh at ourselves for our tendency toward the grandiose control that we get a bit dangerous.  There are too many serious Christians in this world who are neither serious nor Christian.  

I am

Thursday: August 28th, Matthew 16:  13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" 14 They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets." 15 "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"  Caesarea Philippi was in the midst of a very pluralistic society, culturally and religiously.  When you state your beliefs here, you are not necessarily surrounded by like-minded friends and family.  The movement from what others say to what we say is the movement from living in your head to living in your heart.  Most of us live in our heads most of the time.  It is safer and requires less commitment.  But then, sometimes we are blessed with the gift of falling in love. At that point a little window open up in our heart.  From that time on we live at least part of the time in our hearts, we say things like “I do” and “You are the Christ.”  These are the statements and times that change lives.  These three remain, faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.  Another way to look at it is, Amo Ergo Sum …. I Love, therefore I am.

who do You say

Friday August 29th, Matthew 16:  16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ the Son of the living God."  For Peter to say to Jesus, “You are the Christ” is not only moving from head to heart, it is also saying that Caesar, the empire, the state, and all who represent power in this world are not the Christ, and therefore not in charge.  During Peters day, saying that Jesus is the Christ was an act of sedition. Peter is laying it on the line.  To say Jesus is the Christ with your heart as well as your head means you take the teachings of Jesus seriously.  Love your enemy, pray for those who persecute you, care for the least, lost and lonely, seek justice, don’t be obsessed with power, give of yourself, seek first the kingdom.  Who do You say Jesus is with your head?????  Who do You say Jesus is with your heart?????  Who do You say Jesus is with your actions?????

lock or unlock?

Saturday August 30th, Matthew 16:  17 Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."  Peter received the Keys to the Kingdom and with it the responsibility to use them wisely.  We too, through our baptism into Christ, have received the Keys to the Kingdom and with it the responsibility to use them wisely.  When called to use them, remember, if you forgive the sins on any, they are forgiven the same as if Christ himself forgave them.  Whatever you bind, or hold onto, or refuse to forgive, you are still holding onto.  It’s not a matter of the other receiving forgiveness or not, it is a matter of whether or not we participate in the joyful experience of forgiving.  Whenever you use the keys to lock or unlock the door, Christ is on the other side.  


10w for August 17th, Unwashed Healing, P10 .

The following is a 10 minute worship for August 17th, Unwashed Healing, P10 . You can listen on the flash player below. You now also have the option of receiving these notices each week and on festival days by signing up for the 10W constant contact email list on the right side of the 10W blog where it says "Please Join our Email List. The song for the day is "The Healing Hand of Jesus by the Jay Beech Band from the CD Everyone Who is Thirsty, Come, used with permission http://www.baytonemusic.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=SFNT&Store_Code=BTM

10w for August 17th, With a little help from my friends, NL.

The following is a 10 minute worship for August 17th, With a little help from my friends, NL. You can listen on the flash player below. You now also have the option of receiving these notices each week and on festival days by signing up for the 10W constant contact email list on the right side of the 10W blog where it says "Please Join our Email List. The song for the day is "Let Justice Roll by Dakota Road from the CD "All Are Welcome", used with permission, http://www.dakotaroadmusic.com/index.php?p=catalog&parent=4&pg=1


Ruth 2, With a little help from my friends.

With a little help from my friends. Pastor Dan continues is conversation with Ruth along with John and Moses. Ruth talks about what it was like for her to be a stranger in a strange land.


Dollar Store Children's Sermons

My friend John Stevens has a wonderful web site called Dollar Store Children's Sermons.  I will try to post these often, but if I forget, please bookmark http://dskidsermons.com/ for some excellent children's sermons.  

Poem based on Matthew 15:21-28

She looked up and said Daddy

I love you
and I knew there was depth that was unsurpassed
She loved
not out of need
not our of want
but out of the depth of her life
Oh to have love like that
deep total faith
and adoration
The woman knew that
even with the expected words of the time
She knew that love and adoration
and faith
She knew this Jesus was the one
the Holy one
who could being life
in the midst of death
and Jesus looked at her
breaking through
theology and tradition
and said
to this child of God
marginalized by our own insecurities
You of great Faith
Go in the Peace
You bring to this World

Opening Litany based on Psalm 67

Pastor: May God be gracious to us and bless us, and may the face of our God shine us so that the ways of the Lord may be known on all the earth, the salvation of the Lord known among all nations. 

Congregation: May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you.

Pastor: May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples with equity and guide the nations of the earth.

Congregation: May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you.

Pastor: The land yields its harvest; God, our God, blesses us.

Congregation: May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you.

Pastor: May God bless us still in the months and years ahead, so that all the ends of the earth will live in awe of the Lord God Almighty.

Congregation: May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you.

kingdom talk

Sunday August 17th, Isaiah 56: 1 This is what the LORD says: "Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed.  Maintain Justice and do what is right.  These are Great God words to live by, as individuals and as a nation.  All too often however they are used only on the other among us, or the other apart from, us.   They are seldom used for introspection.  Any good therapists will remind you that one can only control one’s own actions, not the actions of the other.  The words do not pertain to the other, but always pertain to the self, whether that self be individual or corporate.  It is not a call for someone else to maintain justice, it is a call for us to announce, proclaim, show, demonstrate and live in such a way that others see that the kingdom is near and that salvation is close at hand.  We are not saved by what we do, but not doing what we should be doing, like practicing justice in our lives, sure can lead us down the wrong path.  Each and every day, ask yourself, how am I showing that the Kingdom is near?  Each and every week ask your church, how are we showing that the Kingdom of God is near?  Every Sunday in the Lord prayer we call upon our Lord; God in Heaven, Holy is your name, Your Kingdom come, Your will be done here and now as it is in Heaven.   What we call for when we call for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven is for God’s justice to be done on earth, through us, as it is in Heaven.   We have called for the kingdom to be near, now we are called to be the kingdom in action through the children of God.  


Monday August 18th, Isaiah 56: 8 the Sovereign LORD declares— he who gathers the exiles of Israel: "I will gather still others to them besides those already gathered."  Who are the others that are being gathered, and by what means are they being gathered?  Many Christians consider themselves as the others who are being gathered through Christ.  But is that the end of God’s mercy and justice and gathering in this world?  Is it not possible that others, many others, even all others, will be gathered through that same grace that gathers you into the community of Christ followers?  Is God’s grace limited by our definitions, assumptions and ego’s and our personal identity as the children of God?  Is not the Lord who declares that I will gather still others, none other than the Sovereign Lord who created all creation and called it good?  In a smackdown between the Sovereign Lord and some joker who has a bad haircut and a TV or radio show, I go for the Sovereign Lord who declares, I Will gather still others.  In the meantime, I will live as if “still others” includes all others in this creation called good.  


Tuesday August 19th, Romans 11:  1 I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. The promise has been made to Abraham and to all the children of Abraham, I will be your God, and you, plural, will be my people.  It is not a rejection by the sovereign Lord, it is acceptance, it is Grace.  Grace for Paul, Grace for you and me, Grace for the Israelites and Arabs in the Gaza and elsewhere, the easterners and westerners, the northerners and the southerners, the proclaimers and deniers, the good, the bad and the ugly, the gay the straight, all saved by grace.  Not rejected, just a bigger family than you could ever have imagined.  God did not reject his family.  God loved his family, the people of this earth who were created in the image of God and called from the very beginning of time, good. 

tastes bad

Wednesday August 20th, Matthew 15: 10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. 11 What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.'  We can at least control to some degree what goes into someone’s mouth.  There are food standards and controls that do a pretty good job most of the time.  We can have our rituals and traditions, which can be rich in meaning and history, which can help us connect to the love of God, which can convey comfort and grace and forgiveness.  But in the end of the day, they are all only tools.  We cannot control what comes out of our mouths, let alone someone elses.  In the long list Paul gives of what comes out, we tend to focus on the sex.  As we focus on sex, we can pick out individuals guilty of one perceived evil or another, and feel comfortable with our scapegoats.  The focus on sex is a way society avoids dealing with the more weighty issues of justice and mercy.  It is what comes out of a person’s mouth that makes them unclean.  It is the rhetoric that degrades individuals or groups that makes them unclean.  It is the laws passed to support the very rich at the expense of just about everyone else that makes you unclean.  Often it is the concern for making everything clean in your point of view, the very thing of religious fundamentalism, that makes you unclean.  


Thursday August 21st, Matthew 15: 17 "Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' “19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what make a man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean.'  The laws of what was clean and what was unclean governed all aspects of life.  That may seem silly to us now, but we tend to do the same thing only more subtly. We eat bacon and ham because those prohibitions were from another era in the Old Testament, but claim the same set of laws as proof that God condemns homosexuality.  Many on the political right claim allegiance to their Christian faith while supporting congressional budgets and local policies that will wreak havoc on the least, lost and lonely, which Christ reminds us is the same as doing it onto him.  The disciples were not long from learning from the outsider, the Canaanite woman, that what was unclean was their quick willingness to condemn her as unclean.  

not yet.... not yet

Friday August 22nd, Matthew 15: 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession." 23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us." 24 He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel."  We are dealing with record runs of red salmon this year.  It seems as if everyone is gone fishing on the weekends.  Today’s gospel is sort of a fishing story.  Have you ever gone fishing?  Jesus has just finished “the Kingdom is like” discourse where the mustard, leaven and net are equated with the kingdom in that they are common, unclean, and get into our lives.  Jesus just finished demonstrating the Kingdom in the feeding of the 5000 where a little goes a long way when there is sharing and people are not worried about what is clean and unclean.  Jesus just rescued Peter from sinking like a rock when he tried to play god and walk on water, teaching him it is not about playing god, but about being there for one another.  Now in today’s gospel we have this outsider woman, this Canaanite woman, this unclean woman who is not of the faith or the family or the tribe, and she comes crying.  You can just read Jesus’ mind, not yet, not yet, don’t pull up yet.  The disciples ask to have her sent away, she is annoying, she is other, she is unclean.  Jesus responds with a justification for injustice and judgmental cruelty by narrowly interpreting his mission as only to the lost sheep of Israel.  Jesus sweetens the pot by referring to her as a dog, a dirty, disgusting, not one of us, dog.  In Jesus mind however he continues with, not yet, not yet………… let the bait sit there a little bit longer…… let the disciples grab the bait and swallow it…. not yet!!!!!!  (continued on August 23rd )

fish on!

Saturday August 23rd, Matthew 15: 25 The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said. 26 He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs."  27 "Yes, Lord," she said, "but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." 28 Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.  Not yet!!!!  Jesus Makes the bait a bit more attractive, it is not right that you, a dog, a bitch, should get anything from the kingdom, it is only for those who are clean.  The disciples are saying in their heads, Yahhhh! Jesus you tell her, now you are finally getting it right.  Who does she think she is, this foreigner, this pagan, this dog………  Her response, even the dogs get the crumbs, even the undeserving is saved by grace is exactly what the kingdom is all about.  NOW!!!!!!          Pull up Now!!!!!….. And Jesus sets the hook. The disciples are caught in their own narrow kingdom view.  As Jesus reels them in, he emphasizes the point.  Woman, you have great faith.  In contrast to Peters little faith doubting statement, IF, then let me walk on the water like the gods do.  This dirty dog, this unclean, common, foreign, pagan, woman, gets the kingdom.  Great is her faith, healed is her daughter, and a little sorer and wiser are the disciples.  The Kingdom is like…….   


10w for August 10th, Baptismal Walk, P9.

The following is a 10 minute worship for August 10th, Baptismal Walk, P9.  You can listen on the flash player below. You now also have the option of receiving these notices each week and on festival days by signing up for the 10W constant contact email list on the right side of the 10W blog where it says "Please Join our Email List. The song for the day is "Child of the Water" by Dakota Road from the CD "All Are Welcome", used with permission.  Purchase this and others music at http://www.dakotaroadmusic.com/index.php?p=catalog&parent=4&pg=1

10w for August 10th, Love & Loyalty, NL.

The following is a 10 minute worship for August 10th, Love & Loyalty, NL.  You can listen on the flash player below. You now also have the option of receiving these notices each week and on festival days by signing up for the 10W constant contact email list on the right side of the 10W blog where it says "Please Join our Email List. The song for the day is "Dream God’s Dream" by Bryan Sirchio from the CD "J-Walking; Songs for Justice Workers", used with permission. http://www.sirchio.com/index.php?page=cds&viewas=list


Ruth 1, Love & Loyalty


Opening Litany for book of Ruth, Narrative lectionary

Worship Leader: When life seems to be turned against us and we find ourselves in despair, know that the Lord has given you the gift of the people of God.

People Gathered: Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God.

Worship Leader: When life has turned against you and you feel like a stranger in a strange land, know that the Lord has given you the gift of the people of God.

People Gathered: If you are thirsty, come and drink.  If you are hungry come and eat. When you feel alone, come and know you are surrounded by the people of God.

Worship Leader: When you are afraid and you know not where to turn, know that the Lord has given you the gift of the people of God.

People Gathered: May you have a full reward from the Lord under whose wings you have come for refuge!”  And may you know that you too are a child of God.

Worship Leader: When you are worried what tomorrow may bring, know that the Lord has given you the gift of the people of God.

People Gathered: May you know that you are welcome in the family of God in the midst of despair, isolation, fear and want and may you be known as restorers of life and nourishers of souls.

Poem based on Matthew 14:22-33

Lord help me to see
help me to have faith
to see the wonders you have for me
to be with me as I walk in this faith
be with me and give me strength
that I might not fall
and fear
when the troubles of life
surround and dash me
from all sides
give me the faith to know
in my very heart
that in you
All will be Well,
All will be Healed
All will be Peace
in the midst of the seas
be with me Lord
show me your hand that has never left me
help me to open my eyes to your grace
and help me stand
and walk on the path you have set before me
to reach the other side
and find there
the Kingdom waiting

opening litany based on Psalm 85

Pastor: You O LORD have shown favor to the land and restored the children of God.

Congregation: You have forgiven our greed and all our sins and set aside your wrath and anger.  Restore us again O God our Savior. 

Pastor: Will you hang onto your anger O Lord from generation to generation?  Will you not revive us again so that we may rejoice in you?

Congregation: Show us your unfailing love O Lord and grant us your salvation.  Call us again into your fold and open our hearts to your word in the coming year.  

Pastor: The Lord promises peace to all people, so do not turn to folly.

Congregation: Surely the salvation of the Lord is near to all who walk in the ways of the Lord so that the glory of the Lord may dwell in the land.

Pastor: Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. 

Congregation: The LORD will indeed give what is good and the land will yield its harvest. The Lord’s righteousness sweeps into the land and prepares the way for the coming of the Lord. 

pity party

Sunday August 10th, 1 Kings 19 : "What are you doing here, Elijah?" 10 Elijah replied, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too." 11 The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by." Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" When we run from the path the Lord has set before us, we are always called back unto that path.  We don’t always hear the call.  Sometimes we are too busy with our own noise to hear it.  Sometimes our noise comes in the form of a boast, sometimes a defense, and sometimes a pity party.  Elijah was having a pity party, and if one ever deserved a pity party, Elijah would fit the bill.  But God had other ideas in mind for Elijah, and God has other ideas in mind for us in this world.  Look at all I have done is all too often the cry, but it is not enough.  Look at what God has done and is calling us to do is more of the driving statement for the children of God.  It is also important that God does not always or often appear in the big and the mighty way.  God does not come to Elijah in the adrenalin pumping storms just as God does not always come to us in adrenalin pumping worship highs.  It is often the still small voice, and it is that voice that always sends us out into the world, away from our own pity party and into the lives of others.

work to do

Monday August 11th, 1 Kings 19:  14 He replied, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too." 15 The LORD said to him, "Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus.  No matter how much the world seems to hate us from our point of view, God always sends us back out into it to do the work of the kingdom.  Walking in the ways of God are seldom the same as walking in the mountain tops experiences of our lives. Walking in the ways of the Lord are not religious highs any more than they are drug highs, for in the end the both simply end up as addictive behaviors that is more about self than other.  Having Jesus is not the latest designer drug, it is work, and the work is out there in the world from which we have often retreated.  The work of the Kingdom is often back to our roots, because who knows them better than we do.  God knows the danger we face.  God will be with us in the midst of that danger, pulling us up when we sink.  That does not mean we are invincible like some superhero come to save God’s reputation.  Instead, God is more interested in saving the lives of those God has created and called good which society has condemned and called bad.  They might not be people you like, but we are called to get over it and get into God.   I am reminded of Alice.  At 92 she would often lament the passing of her dear husband who 20 years after his passing, she loved deeply and thought about every day.  She would often break into tears and wonder why God would not answer her prayers to simply take her so she could be with her dear friend and husband.  She would go on and on for several minutes like this, tears streaming down her face.  Then, she would break, look up, wipe her tears and say, “but God hasn’t taken me yet so I guess there is still work for me to do, so let’s get at it!!”  Both the Gospel and reality were alive in her statement.  

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