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So far Russell Eidmann-Hicks has created 70 blog entries.
14 10, 2017

Community of Love and Respect

By | 2017-10-14T20:20:03+00:00 October 14th, 2017|October 2017|Comments Off on Community of Love and Respect

Exodus 20:1–4, 7–9, 12–20   Matthew 21:33-46    Russell Eidmann-Hicks This morning we hear the 10 Commandments – a list of rules and regulations.  If you look closely at them, you realize that these laws and regulations are less random laws involving punishment – and more guidelines meant to create a loving and supportive community. Elders are respected, personal boundaries are protected, marriages and relationships secured, and healthy lifestyles fostered.  Our faith is less about following arbitrary rules and more about ordering and expressing our lives in love.   Jesus reduced the many laws in the Jewish tradition to two: love God and love neighbor.  When we love, then all of the laws are fulfilled.   The more we focus only on law and punishment, the more love is left behind. People are more important than rules. An example of this comes from Samuel Wells, vicar of St. Martin in the Fields in [...]

4 10, 2017

Crystal Aquifer

By | 2017-10-04T13:42:01+00:00 October 4th, 2017|October 2017|Comments Off on Crystal Aquifer

Exodus 17:1-7    Philippians 2:1-13     Russell Eidmann-Hicks           Where do we go to unearth waters of life?   Well, our scripture lesson tells us.    It’s below the surface, available to us all.  Just break through the barriers that get in the way.   Moses struck the rock at Mt Horeb and out it poured.          In my childhood, walking on my rambles through miles of woods behind my home, after hours of clomping through the snow, climbing over logs and through hemlock groves, I would grow thirsty, even in the bitter cold.   Streams ran through these woods, gurgling and bubbling under brittle ice.   But to get to the water I would have to break through layers of crystal.             Ice on a fast-moving stream has several layers.   A very thin and delicate layer is suspended several inches above the water, which breaks with a satisfying crack and crunch.   Another layer [...]

26 09, 2017

Bread in the Wilderness

By | 2017-09-26T19:21:06+00:00 September 26th, 2017|September 2017|Comments Off on Bread in the Wilderness

Exodus 16:2-15   Matthew 20:1-16   Russell Eidmann-Hicks Bread in the wilderness.  It was tough enough to face the terror of Pharaoh’s army and the hopelessness at the edge of the sea.  But then the waters parted and a way emerged, and the people crossed to dry ground.  They were free. They got across, they made it, right? But then what?   All they saw ahead of them was cactus and stones, desolate wasteland, miles of gravel and dirt.  They had their children’s mouths to feed, their animals to water, their homes to build.  What’s up with God? Huh?  How’s this gonna work? Most of us have gone through something close to this.  Your boss tells you nicely or not so nicely that your position is being elimated, or you are being let go.  You step through the doorway after a funeral and sense the cavernous emptiness and deadly stillness that lies inside [...]

13 09, 2017

When Two or Three Are Gathered

By | 2017-09-13T13:36:05+00:00 September 13th, 2017|September 2017|Comments Off on When Two or Three Are Gathered

When Two or Three Are Gathered  Exodus 12:1-14  Matthew 18:15-21    Russell Eidmann-Hicks What’s going on these days?  Between back to back hurricanes ravaging the Caribbean and Florida, to massive earthquakes in Mexico to raging wildfires out West – to nuclear bombs in North Korea – to 800,000 young people threatened with deportation…all in the matter of two or three weeks!  It’s making us feel a little crazy, right?   Science fiction writer, John Scalzi, who surveyed the charred and flooded and shaken landscape, said on Twitter that this ‘sure as hell feels like the End Times are getting in a few dress rehearsals right about now.’  Between these events and our own personal crises and upheavals – we can use a bit of soothing, don’t you think?  Where can we look for a bit of stability and hope and security? Well – I think our scripture lesson today is giving us [...]

13 09, 2017

Treasure in Small Boxes

By | 2017-09-13T13:34:22+00:00 September 13th, 2017|July 2017|Comments Off on Treasure in Small Boxes

Treasure in Small Boxes   Genesis 29:15–28  Matthew 13:31–33, 44–52  Russell Eidmann-Hicks The movie, Dunkirk, is a summer blockbuster that tells a true and amazing story.  If you haven’t seen the movie, I’m sure you know the tale.  400,000 English and French troops early in WWII were forced to retreat to the beach at Dunkirk after the Nazis swept through France in their invasion in the spring of 1940.  The beach became a prison and a killing ground – with the Luftwaffe bombers and fighter planes strafing and releasing bombs on the thousands of troops stuck there.  These planes also targeted and sank any large vessels sailing to ferry the men away. It seemed absolutely hopeless. As it was, the army was there for days – with the Nazis believing they could go nowhere, leaving the German air-force plenty of time to pick them off.  Historians say that this was one of [...]

13 09, 2017

Strong in the Broken Places

By | 2017-09-13T13:28:20+00:00 September 13th, 2017|August 2017|Comments Off on Strong in the Broken Places

Strong in the Broken Places    Genesis 32:22-31  Matthew 14:13-21   Russell Eidmann-Hicks A joke goes that Mother Teresa died and went to heaven.   God met her and asked if she was hungry.  Mother Teresa said, “I could eat,” so God opens a can of tuna and some rye bread and they share it.   As she ate, Mother Teresa looked down into Hell and saw the people there eating huge steaks, lobsters, expensive wine, flaming desserts.   Mother Teresa said, “I’m really glad to be in heaven, God, but why do we just eat tuna and rye bread while down in Hell they’re eating like kings?”   God said, “Well, for just two people, why bother to cook?” That is certainly not my vision of heaven, nor do I think it is Jesus’.    On the hillside as the sun was going down, Jesus realized the crowd of his followers needed supper, and there [...]

26 07, 2017

Seeking Good Soil

By | 2017-07-26T18:14:07+00:00 July 26th, 2017|July 2017|Comments Off on Seeking Good Soil

Genesis 25:19–34   Matthew 13:1–9, 18–23  Russell Eidmann-Hicks Jesus began by sitting alone, quietly on the beach, listening to the lapping of waves and creaking of boats and rustling of sails.  Eyes closed, in prayer and inner peace, he enjoyed the warm sand and gentle breeze.   One by one, people in the village spotted him, and word spread, and many flocked to the beach, and sat all around him in a circle, waiting patiently for him to open his eyes and to come out of his stillness.   When he finally looked around, he saw an enormous crowd, and decided to speak, stepping into a nearby boat and pushing out a little way, so that all could see and hear him.   He told them a parable, a simple story that can be interpreted in many ways.   The story is about seeds tossed out into the winds, which can land on various types [...]

11 07, 2017

None Apart From God

By | 2017-07-11T17:10:34+00:00 July 11th, 2017|June 2017|Comments Off on None Apart From God

None Apart From God  Romans 8:35-39  Matthew 10:24-39 John O’Donohue in his book Anam Cara tells “an old story from India about a man condemned to spend the night in a cell with a poisonous snake.  If he made the slightest movement, the snake would strike to kill him.  All night the man stood petrified in the corner of the cell, afraid even to breathe for fear of alerting the snake.  As the first light of dawn reached into the cell, he could make out the shape of the snake in the other corner.  He was deeply relieved not to have alerted it.  Then as the light of dawn increased further and became really bright, he saw that it was not a snake at all, but an old rope lying in the corner of the cell.  The moral of the story is that there are harmless things, like that old [...]

11 07, 2017

Subject To Each Other

By | 2017-07-11T17:08:36+00:00 July 11th, 2017|June 2017|Comments Off on Subject To Each Other

Subject to Each Other  Philippians 4:10-13    Matthew 10:21, 25-33 A Doonesbury comic started with a picture of Mike Doonesbury at his 25th Reunion at Walden College.  He’s talking with a husband and wife.  The husband asks whether Mike has a child, and if he, like men nowadays, is helping out with the child-care.  “Are you a modern dad?  My wife and I share the load.”  His wife chimed in, “What do you mean share the load?  You do 20% tops.”  Her husband protests, but she says, “So what does this mean, that in five generations you might actually pick up your socks?”  Mike is seen slinking away from this marital quarrel.   It’s Father’s Day.  Fathers, like mothers are going through lots of changes in their identity nowadays.  Modern fathers do pitch in more than in previous generations.  Expectations are different about whose time will be taken up with [...]

11 07, 2017

Arise My Fair One and Come Away

By | 2017-07-11T17:06:15+00:00 July 11th, 2017|July 2017|Comments Off on Arise My Fair One and Come Away

Arise, My Fair One, and Come Away    Genesis 24:34–38, 42–49, 58–67    Matthew 11:16–19, 25–30 It was in early spring, snow still on the ground, when I received a bright blue card in the mail.  As a lonely assistant minister in a small, hardscrabble urban church, I didn’t get many fancy cards.  Inside I found a lovely note from a girl I knew from the divinity school, who had been a field education student at my church the year before.  She said that she was thinking of me, knowing I was going through a tough time, and that she wished me well in my ministry.  I was struck by how thoughtful and simply-put the card was.  I waited and then wrote back, with enormous trepidation, to asked if she might want to go for a walk sometime.  After a couple of weeks, which were agony for me, another blue [...]