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Sun, Jan 05, 2020
Duration: 17 mins 25 secs
The Big Idea: The metaphor of "journey" has been used by Christians and other faith traditions for millenia. The wise person who follows Jesus has a journey that continues throughout a lifetime. Fortunately for us, this is not a journey we take as individuals, but as a community of people who are journeying together. The wise congregation looks forward to its journey together.
Sun, Dec 29, 2019
Duration: 14 mins 31 secs
The Big Idea: This is the last Sunday of our series about Joy. The Hebrew root for 'joy' used 54 times in the Hebrew scriptures is ranan, pronounced raw-non. It means 'to shout, to cry out' and 'to overcome.' When you think about it, shouting for joy trains the lungs and body and instills courage to shout aloud for the overcoming of injustice. Let's propose that 'shouting out' for joy will liberate our exuberance for righting the wrongs of the world, for the sake of God's love for the world. Compassionate Joy is our watchword.
Tue, Dec 24, 2019
Duration: 8 mins 56 secs
The Big Idea: "Joy to the World, the Lord is come!" On this Christmas Eve we celebrate the world-altering narrative of the inbreaking, indwelling, incarnation of the Holy among us. This, tonight, is the meeting place of heaven and earth. The feeling you have had in moments, events or revelations that changed your life are what 'deep joy' is about, not simply happiness. Happiness is fleeting because it is centered in us. Joy is forever because it is centered in what God does. Tonight is about God's joy in uniting heaven and earth in the person of Jesus, who is the very imprint of God in us. Incarnate Joy is our watchword.
Sun, Dec 22, 2019
Duration: 9 mins 1 sec
The Big Idea: The name Emmanuel means “God with us.” From both the Hebrew and Christian narratives, we hear the yearning for this “Emmanuel”–for God to become so present that God’s peace, truth, love, and justice reign among all the world and bring balance to what feels out of whack. Our Psalm in this series names the joyful expression of all creation as the response to the news that the Prince of Peace, Emmanuel, is coming at long last. The symbol for today is the star.
Sun, Dec 08, 2019
Duration: 13 mins 35 secs
The Big Idea: Human beings can be transformed by music that resonates in our soul so powerfully that we can’t help but join in. This is the vision of “Joy to the World” as the reverberating phrase urges us to “repeat the sounding joy” of the good news of Love. The prophet Isaiah offers a vision of radical love–the wolf and the lamb living together and being led by an innocent child. Can we lift our voices to joyfully and confidently proclaim this chorus of well-being for the world? The symbol for today is the evergreen.
Sun, Dec 01, 2019
Duration: 6 mins 23 secs
The Big Idea: The season of Advent is a time of preparing room, a whole season to practice Hope, the theme of today's Advent candle. Isaiah's prophecy looked to the future of a peace, where war was recognized as a fruitless enterprise. Israel was called to prepare room, where Justice and Joy could be anticipated with Hope. Israel was being invited to see that in the Lord's light, all can be free. The symbol for today is the wreath.
Sun, Nov 24, 2019
The Big Idea: Even as Jeremiah was beginning his exile in Egypt, he sent a letter to those who had been exiled to Babylon: “bloom where you are planted” says Jeremiah. God invited the people to “build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce.” The people were not to live “on hold” but live fully in the midst of exile. Indeed, the Babylonian exile created the spread of the Jews far and wide as they grew and prospered right where they found themselves. God's plans for them and their own welfare turned out to be a blessing for the communities where Jews and Gentiles lived together.
Sun, Nov 17, 2019
Duration: 15 mins 12 secs
Sun, Nov 10, 2019
The Big Idea: Jeremiah’s prophetic visions of hope in the midst of despair take a turn with what seems like a bizarre act: Jeremiah buys property from prison. In a time of overwhelming and seemingly never-ending death and destruction of his people and no assurance that he will ever be free again, Jeremiah chooses to plan for a restored future he cannot yet see. He puts the deeds in earthward jars, a common ancient practice for the safekeeping of important documents. No matter what, we are called to prophecy and safeguard the dream of a better future for all people.
Sun, Oct 27, 2019
The Big Idea: To journey with Jeremiah is not an easy task. So often we just want our grieving to be over for good. We want to move on to better news and arise out of a “funk” that seems to be lingering. But life doesn’t always work that way. Grief is something that comes back up out of the blue, especially when we just can’t seem to shake a string of difficult circumstances. Time has passed for God’s people and still they are exiled from their home land. But rather than hold back the tears, God’s words invite a “fountain of tears” that can become the healing balm so desperately needed in hard times.
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