The ongoing strife in Syria has been a bracing reminder to the world of just how inhumane we can be to one another -- especially when the survival of a deeply entrenched regime may be at stake. The images from the ongoing siege of the city of Homs by government forces are stark, and terms like "massacre" have been routinely used to describe what's happening there. Of course, this is an all too familiar story -- the pictures of the people's struggle to cope with daily life in the midst of a war zone are reminiscent of many similar situations such as the protracted siege of Sarajevo.
Mary Austin Dean Feldmeyer Christopher Keating Thomas Willadsen Ron Love Bethany Peerbolte
Interspersed through this Sunday’s readings are images of how God’s glory, justice and faithfulness are manifest in the everyday experiences of believers. As Epiphany ends, we once more experience the revelation of God through texts as diverse as Joseph’s reconciliation with his brothers in Genesis, Jesus’ sermon on the plain in Luke, and Paul’s exploration of bodily resurrection. Anyone preaching on these diverse texts should indeed accept the psalmist’s invitation to be still before the Lord.
Wilton Lewis stood with his hands on his hips, studying the sanctuary wall, not trusting himself to speak. He wanted to spit, was thwarted by the fact that he was inside, and instead swallowed hard and said, “This is vile. Disgusting and vile.” He turned to his right and added, “I apologize, Reverend Cashmore. This does not represent the good people of Port William. You know that, I hope.”
Since Albert Einstein is considered the genius above all geniuses, he is often credited quotes he never said. (If Einstein said it, it must be true.) That includes the saying that insanity is defined as doing the same thing again and again and expecting to get a different result. Actually, it wasn't until the 1980's that he was first connected to that saying, but it doesn't matter who actually said it, because these three scriptures seem to validate the saying.
Seven years ago, our family moved from southern Virginia to northeast Wisconsin. As you might expect, spring comes later here. Fall comes earlier. And winter is a much different experience in northeast Wisconsin than it was in southern Virginia. The same temperatures that seemed bone-chilling in Virginia are good reason to leave the mufflers and mittens at home in Wisconsin. Of course, many of the retired folks in my congregation here take their cue from the geese and fly south for the winter each year.