January 2017

/January 2017
17 01, 2017

A Prophet’s Call

By | 2017-01-17T14:32:54+00:00 January 17th, 2017|January 2017|Comments Off on A Prophet’s Call

Isaiah 49:1-7       John 1:29-42     Russell Eidmann-Hicks Hunter Camp, a seminarian, wrote this in the Christian Century about tensions that pulled at his heart on a trip overseas: “My seminary group drove into the Hungarian countryside, which was not breathtaking, and stopped at an orphanage.   The reality of the children’s home shattered any idyllic images we might have conjured. Unpainted cement buildings with brown stains stood upon bare grounds with rivulets of muddy water.   Over the entrance was an arch that read, in Hungarian, “Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb?  Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.” (Isa. 49:15)            A plump nurse led us through a labyrinth of dimly lit hallways and sparsely decorated rooms.  I tasted bile rising in my throat.  A sense of powerlessness pervaded the room where we stopped.   I walked [...]

9 01, 2017

In the Flow

By | 2017-01-09T19:18:04+00:00 January 9th, 2017|January 2017|Comments Off on In the Flow

Isaiah 42:1-9   Matthew 3:13-17 A couple of years ago, when a group from our church went on a bike ride in the Finger Lakes in upstate NY, Martha & I took a side trip up the Watkins Glen gorge.  Over thousands of years water carved through the mountain’s rock to fashion an intricate and glorious path, filled with deep pools of crystal clear water and imposing cliffs.   We climbed up the walkway, created by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression.  As we looked down into this gorge in all its beauty, I was struck by the wonder of smooth stone slides and round deep pools, all hung with moss and pine.   The power of water over time is astounding – it is able to carve pathways through stone. Chinese Sage Lao Tzu, writing in 500 BC said: “Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away [...]

2 01, 2017

To Everything There is a Season

By | 2017-01-02T14:53:58+00:00 January 2nd, 2017|January 2017|Comments Off on To Everything There is a Season

Ecclesiastes 3:1-9, 8:6-8a, 9:7-12    Matthew 2:13-23     Russell Eidmann-Hicks “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”  Another translation of this is ‘emptiness, emptiness, all is emptiness – and a striving after wind.”  The writer of Ecclesiastes, is traditionally known as King Solomon – but more probably a teacher in the wisdom tradition from the 3rd century BC.  The teacher is an elder sage, rooted in the natural world, and speaks of the meaning-lessnes of a life not centered in God, a life solely focused on the changing tides and seasons of life.  Jesus was very influenced by this ‘wisdom’ teaching. Like modern day existentialism, the writer sees little essential purpose in life, beyond enjoying day to day pleasures and work; but understands the beauty and fragility of life, and the eternal nature and unknowability of God. “To everything there is a season…a time to kill, and a time to [...]