All Other Ground is Shishmaref

I chose the words for my title very carefully. It is a good title. I like it because of the positivity I hear in it. This ground, this place is not just our ground. It is not just the ground of 600 Inupiat people, who have lived here for generations on the edge of the world. It is all of our ground, because the things happening here matter for all of us. The climate change that immediately threatens the way of life in Shishmaref, is the same climate change that is a threat to all other ground as well. The only difference is, we see our homes toppling into the ocean. We can look at our fourth sea-wall and how thin and fragile a barrier it is between us and the melting stormy northern seas. But Shishmaref is not the only ground sinking into the ocean. For our...

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-So Much for Clarity-

It’s NaPoWriMo! And I’m writing poems again, here’s my day one. — 00 Be the 1st to vote.Share...

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God’s Grace Is At Work Despite This

My quick and dirty Lutheran Response to the Daily News headline “God Isn’t Fixing This” and its condemnation of prayer as useless platitudes. — The profoundness of misunderstanding that has to go on for such a headline to run is near unapproachable. This misunderstands God, Prayer, Action, and the whys and hows of all three. First about prayer: the idea that prayer is somehow divorced from action is at stake here. Prayer is labeled as “platitudes” and it is implied that real action is necessary instead. But if prayer is truly platitudes and some sort of mystical thing divorced from reality, I would never do it. In fact, that would mean I have never prayed ever in my life. But this is not prayer. It is not true that prayer does not build...

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Farewell Sermon For Trinity

Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father, and our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, Amen. I must say, I could not have been given a better text to preach my last sermon on for this congregation here in Robesonia. This is a text where everyone gets food! Not only that but there’s plenty of leftovers to take home. If there is one thing I have learned about Berk’s County, it is how important food is to all of you. But sharing food with the multitudes is not just important here at Trinity, it is a story central to sharing the Gospel itself. The feeding of the multitudes we hear today from John is such a central story in the New Testament that it is included six times in the four Gospels. For those of you counting, that means two of our Gospels tell the story...

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An Image for the Kingdom

Grace and Peace be unto you from God our Father, and our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, Amen. “With what can we compare the kingdom of God? What parable shall we use for it?” What images come first to your mind when you think about God’s kingdom? In this weekend’s first reading from Ezekiel we get an image of a great cedar which God raises up from a sprig on top of a mountain. Cedars grow nearly 130 feet tall, (to give you a common everyday frame of reference, that’s about six and a half T-rexes tall.) these are huge majestic trees with birds that nest in their tall lofty branches. It’s a big deal, and God puts one on top of a mountain. Shall we use that image for the kingdom of God? But why stop with only six and a half T-rexes? This is GOD’S...

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Nicodemus and Do, do!

Grace be unto you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen. Today’s Gospel lesson reminds me of the “Who’s on First?” sketch by Abbot and Costello. There are two people who seem to be talking about the same thing, they are even using the same words, but they still entirely misunderstand each other time and again as the conversation goes on. Words are slippery. When I say “I had chicken pot pie for dinner” I’m thinking something surrounded completely by pie crust with a creamy-chicken and carrot filling. But here in Berk’s county chicken pot pie means something completely different. When Abbot says “Who is on first” he means it as a statement, but Costello hears it as the same question he just asked: “Who’s on first?” And today in our Gospel,...

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Christ the Vine

Grace be unto you from God our Father, and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen. Today we hear in the Gospel of John, that Jesus is the true Vine, which if I understand it, means he’s the place where you can post video clips of the totes righteous sandwiches you are eating right now to share with your friends. For those of you that aren’t tech savvy, Vine is a web-service and phone app that is like twitter but with video instead of text. You get six seconds to tell your short video tale to the world! And you can share with all your friends, and you can even do stop motion tricks, and… And so what we learn today is, Jesus is the true place to send your video snippets?? OK, so maybe Jesus is not talking about the Vine App on your phone, he’s talking about...

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