Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Oklahoma Gay Marriage Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

In what is expected to cause an uproar among Oklahoma's largely right-wing conservative masses, a U.S. district judge today ruled the states same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional.

Human Rights Campaign has the clear analysis:

http://www.hrc.org/blog/entry/u.s.-district-judge-rules-oklahoma-ban-on-marriage-equality-unconstitutiona

Saturday, January 11, 2014

"Beloved Servants" Preaching Epiphany 1A



Beloved Servants
Epiphany 1A, Jan. 12, 2014

The Isaiah passage we heard comes from what many scholars view as a second act in the prophecy of Isaiah. It includes chapters 40 through maybe 66. We might refer to those 2 dozen chapters as Second Isaiah, much like we refer to Second Corinthians, or Second Kings.

But the prophecy is contained in 1 complete text, even though it was likely written during different times and from different locations. This section was likely written while the Israelites were in captivity, after the fall of Jerusalem in 586, some 6 centuries before the time of Christ.

"Of Words, Wisdom and Life" Preaching Christmastide 2A



Of Word, Wisdom and Life
Christmastide 2A, Jan. 5th 2014

It's the second Sunday of Christmastide- and believe it or not, we’re still in the season of Christmas. It’s why we still have the Christmas decorations up here in the sanctuary. Though, thanks to the Trout boys for cleaning up the poinsettias – they were beginning to look a lot less like Christmas. Tomorrow, the 6th, is Epiphany- the time traditionally that many protestant churches recognize the Epiphany of Jesus as Messiah by the visitors from the east. That makes today the 12th day of Christmas, and the second Sunday of this mini-season between Advent and Epiphany.

I like to linger around Christmas a little longer than most people. If it weren’t for the extreme cold temperatures this week I’d have left the Christmas Lights up on the house. But I took them down a little earlier than I like. But that’s okay. If Christmastide calls us to stay by the cradle, then Epiphany calls us to get up and move. And so here we are – in between adoration and activity.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

"From Dream to Incarnation" - Preaching Christmastide 1A



From Dream to Incarnation
Christmastide 1A, Dec. 29, 2013
The last Sunday of the year is one that I think offers up special opportunities for reflection. It’s always nice to step outside ourselves for a moment and recap where we’ve been and relive some of the more exciting moments of the past 12 months. A few of the highlights for me this year were my ordination, a wonderful vacation my wife put together for me, and coming here to be your pastor.
The last Sunday of the year also give some opportunity to dream about the New Year. I’m excited about the possibilities that lay ahead of us, and I hope you are too. I’ve been dreaming about the ministry we’ll share together, and I’m eager to hear your dreams for First Christian Church in 2014 as well. Our work together, pastor and church, is the relationship of trust and hope that brings to life vision and dream. In the coming weeks, with the cabinet meeting and board meeting, we’ll begin exploring the work God is calling us to in the next 12 months. But for now, we have Christmas to deal with.