In a moment we’ll gather at the Table of the Lord. We’ll break bread and share the cup together. We’ll do this as two congregations from two different denominations. There was a time when this kind of gathering would be impossible. You might gather to sing hymns or hear a preacher, but the Table was different. It was open only to the insiders. There are still traditions that “fence the Table,” but fortunately that is not true here. We can gather at the Table to remember the meal Jesus established to unite his people in love. This meal of remembrance is rooted in other biblical meals, including Passover and the “feeding of the 5000.” We might want to add other meals including the meal Abraham and Sarah shared with the three strangers at the Oaks of Mamre. These strangers were received with hospitality, and in return they delivered a promise that the covenant God wished to establish with Abraham would include Sarah, who was to bear a child through whom the nations…
Note: If you watch the sermon below, you will notice that I acknowledge upfront the shootings in El Paso and Dayton. While I did not change the sermon, I made clear that we must speak to this violence. The sermon itself as written does, in fact, speak to these realities.
Just a few days back some of us crossed the mighty Mississippi on our way to and from the General Assembly in Des Moines. As far as I know, nobody tried to wade across the river. It’s too deep and too wide to wade across. We either drove across bridges or took a plane to Iowa, because unlike Moses or Joshua or Elijah, none of us appears to have the power to divide the waters. Whether it’s a river, a lake, or a sea, water plays an important role in the biblical story. The very first sentences of Genesis declare: “when God began to create heaven and earth—the earth being unformed and void, with darkness over the surface of the deep and wind from God sweeping over the water—God said ‘Let there be light.” (Ge…
Luke 12:49-56 Common
English Bible (CEB) 49 “I came to cast fire upon the earth. How I wish that it
was already ablaze! 50 I have a baptism I must experience. How I am distressed
until it’s completed! 51 Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the
earth? No, I tell you, I have come instead to bring division. 52 From now on, a
household of five will be divided—three against two and two against three. 53
Father will square off against son and son against father; mother against
daughter and daughter against mother; and mother-in-law against daughter-in-law
and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” 54 Jesus also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud
forming in the west, you immediately say, ‘It’s going to rain.’ And indeed it
does. 55 And when a south wind blows, you say, ‘A heat wave is coming.’ And it
does. 56 Hypocrites! You know how to interpret conditions on earth and in the
sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret the present time?