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A Good Life

Monday, February 25, 2013 — Memorial Service for Edythe Ritter — Philippians 2:9-11 / John 3:16-17

The ladies of this generation represented to me a sense of gracefulness, kindness and courtesy of which there seems to be much too little in our time. This world would be blessed by having more Edythe-s. God blessed her with over 91 years on this earth. That is a long life. Perhaps this is selfish, but for lives lived like hers, I wish there could be more.

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Nevertheless

Sunday, February 24, 2013 — Lent 2C — Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18 / Luke 13:31-35

NEVERTHELESS, however, despite evidence to the contrary notwithstanding . . . God will not give up on Abraham . . . . or us. God intrudes into our lives and interrupts our routines continually making promises and offering us a future we never thought was possible. Just when we had resigned ourselves to the inevitable, NEVERTHELESS, God promises that the future will be different.

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There In God’s Garden

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 — Lenten Vespers 1 — Galatians 3:13-14 / Revelation 22:1-5, 14

Several years ago when I was at Confirmation Camp up at Camp Lutherwald in northern Indiana with several young people from our congregation, I remember sitting one morning alone in the outdoor chapel planning for the day’s activities. It was a beautiful day with clear blue skies and a gentle breeze wafting through branches of the magnificent trees that surrounded me. I stared up into the sky looking through the spectacular cathedral like arch created by the branches that towered over my head. The trees seemed so perfect, gracefully angular, creating these swooping arches across the sky. Like a choir with arms raised, they sang a chorus of praise to their creator.

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The Terror of Temptation

Sunday, February 17, 2013 — Lent 1C — Genesis 22:1-18

If God is truly the creator of the universe and administrator of the cosmos, then where is God when things go south, when little girls are abducted, when cancer eats away at a loved one, when children who never asked to be born come into families where they are unloved and neglected, when we are betrayed by those we trusted, when life snatches away what we thought we could count on with no rhyme or reason? Is God asleep at the wheel? Has God lost control? Or has God turned on us become our enemy? Such is the terrible horror we are tempted to believe when life goes in the dumpster.

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The Glory of These Forty Days

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 — Ash Wednesday — 2 Corinthians 5: 20-21 / Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

Tonight we begin our walk with “The Glory of These Forty Days”. It reflects the irony, paradox and contradiction of this season. This old German melody is a striking mix of moods. Constructed like an arch and in a minor key, it rises about ready to burst into joy and a major key only to again descend, reflecting the somber and serious mood of the season. At the same time it displays grief and joy, regret and hope. The melody stands apart from superficial happiness and shallow optimism of our tabloid-ridden world that often papers over the real pain of life with insipid pleasantries and banal ditties. It is obvious that this deeply profound melody has emerged from the anvil of human suffering.

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