Sunday, November 8, 2020

the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost


Live streamed Service

Let’s start with three deep breaths and relax….


Opening Reflection: 

God of Mystery,

we want to stay awake

and be ready for your surprises,

but we are tired and overcome

with the un-usual routine.

We want to wait patiently

for the fulfillment of your kin-dom,

but we are frustrated by our need

for immediate gratification.

We want to believe your promises from ancient days,

but we are overwhelmed with postmodern doubts.

Come to us again, O God.

Awaken us with your unexpected grace.

Shock us with your daring mercy.

Lift us up from lethargy

and set our feet on your path once more.


let us begin today’s worship



L: We are pulled in many directions.

P: Many duties and tasks seek to lay claim on our lives.

L: This day, in this place, let service to God be your choice.

P: This day, in this place, we open our hearts and spirits to God.

L: Blessed be the God of creation who has called us here.

P: Praise be to God who sustains and nurtures our lives. AMEN.


Immortal, Invisible, God only Wise #1



Matthew 5:1-12

The Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids

25 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; 4 but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5 As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. 6 But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7 Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. 11 Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12 But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ 13 Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. 

The word of God for the people of God!

Thanks be to God!


Sermon: Oil for the Journey

In the ancient days of Jerusalem a groom and his bride would go through a ritual cleansing

After the immersion, the couple entered the huppah (marriage canopy)—symbolic of a new household being planned, to establish a binding contract.

Here, the groom would give the bride money or a valuable object such as a ring, and a cup of wine was customarily shared to seal their covenant vows. The wedding basically took place in two acts. This is the Erusin, literally betrothal, ceremony.

In this public ceremony under the huppah, the couple entered into the betrothal period, which typically lasted for about a year.  Although they were considered married, they did not live together or engage in sexual relations.

During this erusin period, the groom was to prepare a place for his bride, while the bride focused on her personal preparations:  wedding garments, lamps, etc.

Although the bride knew to expect her groom after about a year, she did not know the exact day or hour.  He could come earlier.  It was the father of the groom who gave final approval for him to return to collect his bride.

For that reason, the bride kept her oil lamps ready at all times, just in case the groom came in the night, sounding the shofar (ram’s horn) to lead the bridal procession to the home he had prepared for her. 

So we can see the basis for this parable. Mathew is using the Marriage ceremony symbolically to answer the question “tell us, when will these things be, and what is the sign of your return and of the end of age?” (Matt. 24:3)

One interpreter points out that “this is a good story, though the point is not crystal clear. We are presumably meant to laugh, and learn the message, which is probably about being prepared rather than about staying awake; the story perhaps does not take itself all that seriously – there is the unexplained gap between the first announcement of the bride groom’s arrival and his actual appearance; There is an absurb picture of the ‘foolish’ maidens trudging off to the shops, which are presumably closed at the hour of night; and the pragmatic attitude of the sensible virgins (‘why don’t you go shopping’) is not especially attractive” 

And dare I ask where is the bride? These weddings were great cultural affairs “Richard Swanson suggests that this was a good chance for unmarried women and men to connect, for prospective husbands and wives to find each other, so these young women might have been keeping an eye out for their own futures as much as watching for the bride's groom. It's no wonder, then, that; “the young women have a huge interest in being noticed favorably,” he writes. We may be surprised to hear that five of them refused to share what they have, a note that clashes with the rest of Jesus' teachings about generosity. Perhaps, Swanson continues; "This competition may help explain the odd actions of the young women." 

One essential theme in this Parable is a matter of timing.  The early followers of Christ were anticipating the return of Christ as any day now at any moment.  By the time Mathew is writing the return of Christ as Immediate is becoming …well, rather doubtful for some.  Some may even be growing lax in their practice.  The tale here is more or less to remind us we do not know the hour or the time.  The problem for the maidens is not that they fell asleep but that some were prepared and others were not.  Even though they had plenty of time to prepare.

I was reading where spencer Kimball the 12th president of the LDS church had an interesting perspective on the maidens being told go buy their own oil. He says “This was not selfishness or unkindness. The kind of oil that is needed to illuminate the way and light up the darkness is not shareable. How can one share obedience to the principle of tithing; a mind at peace from righteous living; an accumulation of knowledge? How can one share faith or testimony? How can one share attitudes or chastity...? Each must obtain that kind of oil for himself .... In the parable, oil can be purchased at the market. In our lives the oil of preparedness is accumulated drop by drop in righteous living." 

All in all this is not an easy parable to read or comprehend “If the disciples were looking for reassurance, the words of Jesus must have given them a lot to think about. After speaking at length about the end of the world in the previous chapter, Jesus begins to tell his followers several parables, … right before this week's passage, Jesus has spoken about a master's unexpected return that catches his unfaithful servant off guard, one who thinks he has plenty of time to misbehave, to beat his fellow servants and to eat, drink, and (presumably) be merry. Today's parable about ten bridesmaids follows the harsh warning about the fate of that unfaithful, unprepared and surprised servant.” 

The story, after all, isn't about generosity or sharing, but about being prepared.  This is about navigating the real world, be prepared for here and now and yet knowing that what can go wrong will go wrong thus the bride groom is delayed. In the same way I do not believe any one of us expects Jesus to return tomorrow however we know it is possible that Jesus could return this very second and we work at keeping our hearts and minds with Christ and living out the Gospel the best we can…we are in it for the long haul and need to be prepared to leave now.

 “Five of the young women had sense enough, then, as Thomas Long puts it, not to be ‘ready for the groom but...for the groom's delay.’ If the bridesmaids, both the foolish ones and the wise (or prudent) ones, represent the church today, how ready are we followers of Jesus for his return? What does ready, or having ‘enough oil,’ look like almost two thousand years after Jesus died and rose again, promising to return one day, but not saying when? ‘The wise ones in the church...hold on to the faith deep into the night,’ Long writes, and ‘even though they see no bridegroom coming, still hope and serve and pray and wait for the promised victory of God.’” 

“Jesus' story ends with the foolish young women being locked out of the party. His words sound familiar to readers of Matthew's Gospel, because we remember another harsh warning from Jesus, as he finished the beautiful Sermon on the Mount, about people who sound religious but haven't lived out their faith, who haven't done the will of God. When those people cry "Lord, Lord," Jesus says that he'll claim he never knew them (Matthew 7:23).” 

Those words are hard to hear.  We do not like to believe that anyone would be locked out of heaven.  I proclaim a loving and forgiving God.  I believe in a God whose forgiveness goes beyond even what the most gracious human is capable of. So I suspect we might be getting more Mathew than Jesus at this point.  We recently spoke of how Jesus in Mathews gospel was often chiding the religious leaders of the day for their behavior and bravado. I have no reason not to believe that some of this harsh-ness that is being expressed again may be some of Mathews disdain for those who would assume they need to do nothing more than what they have done to get into heaven.

One commentator asks; “What do we need to do?

Today's text, about oil and bridesmaids and wedding parties, is a bit more of a challenge, but we remember that these early Christians in Matthew's community, a generation or so after Jesus had ascended to heaven, were still scanning the skies, setting their sights and their hopes on his quick return. We suspect that the first generation may have believed that Jesus would return in their own lifetime, but by the time Matthew wrote his Gospel, there had already been a delay. And perhaps that delay prompted some questioning and some falling away. Matthew's account, including these difficult parables, certainly addresses that falling away.

Today, we are nearly two thousand years of delay later, and our questions may be just as pressing: What are we to do? What does ‘ready’ look like for people of faith? When will things change? What is God going to do about the mess that we're in? When will our enemies get what they deserve? (We just can't help ourselves any more than they could, long ago.) We even have to wonder, unlike any generation before us, if we ourselves will bring an end to the earth, or at least to life upon it.” 

So this reading leaves us with some questions.  Why does Mathew have Jesus speaking so abruptly and how are we being called to live into this reality? How do we live as a people of faith knowing we are to expect Jesus at any moment and yet also live into this daily life not knowing if or when Christ may return? How are we to live faithfully in anticipation of his return but also prepared for the Continued delay? “Fred Craddock describes two types of parables, ‘those that offer a surprise of grace at the end...and those that follow the direct course from cause to effect as surely as the harvest comes from what is sown. There are no gifts and parties.’ Craddock notes that we need both kinds of parable, and the ‘justice and grace’ they convey.”

“We often need to hear about grace, but we also need to hear regularly about justice. While Craddock writes of cause and effect, Arland J. Hultgren describes it as "both threat and promise, law and gospel." One of my favorite phrases, heard years ago, is the image of "trouble and beauty." Matthew's Gospel has plenty of both, from the graceful lilies of the field to these unprepared bridesmaids, hearing the terrible words, "I do not know you" (25:12).”

As we wait then, for the return of Jesus and the fulfillment of all things, how are we to live in the meantime? Like the five "wise" or prudent bridesmaids, how can we be prepared? It may be true of every age there are those who are always anticipating the end of times.  We have the bad theology of the left behind series.  There are those who believe we need to get into Jerusalem and rebuild the temple as if this would force God’s hand and bring about the end of times.  There are those who believe we can rape and pillage the earth abusing her resources as we a see fit for the end of days is now. So being good stewards doesn’t matter.

Some people are so busy with their end of times novels, or seeking out each and every sign that points to the end of all creation that they miss what God is doing in our midst, here, now, today!  They miss the chances God gives us to care for each other, to grow in God’s love and be a true supportive and loving place.  God calls us to work to change this world to work at the injustices in the world and introduce the loving compassion that Jesus teaches us.

It really seems as if some are just living for the drama and the fear of the end of times as opposed walking the path that Christ calls us to.  There is nothing in any text that says be fearful, hunker down, and make yourself ready for the end of times ignoring all the work that needs to be done.

“However much we may be anxious about a dramatic end time, our faith reminds us of how often the Bible says "Do not fear," and then challenges us to work here, on earth, for the bright day of God's reign in its fullness, which is glimpsed in every act, every moment of compassion, sharing, and justice. Even as we trust that we will be with God one day, in glory, we taste the sweet goodness of generosity and love right here, right now, through ministries of sharing the abundance with which we are blessed.”

We are ready to live in Love, we are called so seek justice and to do it joyfully.  I mean just look at this community in which we live.  I love our food pantry and the needs it fulfills. We are blessed and share in the ministry of the kidz cupboard.  We still get donations for The Good shepherd UCC and the ministries they are providing at the border. Our community partners with the red cross to accept much needed donations of blood in this time of pandemic.  We are resilient and amazing people!

Remaining faithful in the face of disaster or tragedy may be hard.  We will hear cries of just wishing Christ would return now to make all things right again. But we are called through todays gospel story to remain vigilant and that means we are called to live out the life Jesus has called us to live every day and every minute. “Jesus told us how to live according to the values and vision of the Reign of God, and loving God and our neighbor expresses the heart of his message.” 

“Loving God will inevitably lead us to worship God rather than idolize the false gods of modern culture (like materialism and nationalism …to name only two). Loving our neighbor will lead us to greater compassion and a firm commitment to justice, to making this a different and better world for all of God's children. This kind of living isn't sitting around and waiting; it's active and fully engaged in the present moment, as we trust in a future that is in God's hands, even if the timing of that future is unknown to us.

Arland J. Hultgren suggests that keeping faith "includes care of the earth and making peace for the sake of future generations. It is necessary to plan for the long haul, remain faithful, be wise, and stay strong." We note the difference, of course, between "making peace" and simply avoiding conflict.

M. Eugene Boring says that such faithfulness makes it possible to "lie down to sleep in this confidence, rather than being kept awake by panicky last-minute anxiety." But it also requires endurance: "Being a peacemaker for a day is not as demanding as being a peacemaker year after year when the hostility breaks out again and again, and the bridegroom is delayed."

No wonder we're tempted to yearn for a sudden intervention where God takes care of everything.

However much we may fear a dramatic end, Hultgren reminds us that our faith sees "the end" not as the end, but as "the doorway to the new--the new age, the new creation." We can trust, as Paul says in  1 Thessalonians, that "we will be with the Lord forever" (4:17b). This, for us and for all creation, is "finally good news." Indeed!” 

So in the meantime we keep studying God’s word and listening for it anew today.  We keep seeking out ways to serve each other and the community around us. We seek to continue the work we are called to do as Christians every day, ever vigilant and always ready! Amen.



A call to prayer

O Lord,

we wait for you to come again into our midst.

Sometimes we wait patiently, sometimes not.

Always we are aware of how much the world needs you.

We pray today for those in our community

who need your healing and comfort.

We pray for persons in leadership across our country,

that together we might make wise decisions.

We pray for brothers and sisters around the world,

whose lives are torn apart by war.

We pray for the saints who have witnessed to your love.

We pray, knowing that you are with us now,

and that you will strengthen us to keep awake,

to keep the faith,

to keep working for the time

when Christ will come again to surprise us anew

with love and justice on earth. Amen.




Please write your joys and concerns in the comment section and I will lift them up after this hymn



Anthem  Ubi Caritas From Edgewood UCC

Let us pray the prayer Jesus taught us


Our Creator, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kin-dom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kin-dom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen


Invitation to the Offering

We need oil for our lamps, food for our tables, and love for our lives. Let us share the bounty we have received, that no one may be left out alone in the dark.

Donate Here!


Doxology #778


Offering Prayer

We dedicate these gifts to you, Generous God,

even as we dedicate our lives to you.

Keep us true to our promise,

that we may witness to you

with all that we are and all that we do. Amen.





The office is open for regular hours

We are accepting donations for the kidz cupboard and the food pantry




I am available for one on one virtual visits or phone calls if you need any prayer we will be together again one day, but until then remember you are the hands and the feet of our lord in this world and in this world of no physical contact we can still smile, wave, chat, check in


#473 blessed assurance        hurchLincolnNebraska-Videos




Closing Prayer

Lord, we have listened to your word for us this day. We are grateful for the love of Jesus who takes our burdens and lightens our spirits. Be with us today as we leave this place. May we continue to place our trust in you, for it is in the name of Jesus that we pray. AMEN.


Benediction/Sending Forth

God has called and chosen you to be witnesses to hope and peace in God’s world. Go in peace and this same healing, reconciling love and peace will be with you. Go and serve the Lord your God in all that you do. AMEN.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

All Saints day 2020 CCLI 1909678

Live Service Video

 Let’s start with three deep breaths and relax….


Opening Reflection: 

Blessed are you, God of our salvation.

As we turn to you in prayer,

     be with us and reveal to us your ways

From your self-revelation in Jesus

     teach us how to live in ways that honor you:

          by humbling ourselves;

          by being content with what we have

               rather than striving for more;

          by caring, and cooperating,

               rather than competing in unhealthy ways.

Teach us, giver of all goodness,

     to be strong in your strength

          for the sake of the gospel.

Help us honor your prodigal grace,

     by living as doers of peace

          in this world you love. Amen.


let us begin today’s worship



L: As we gather, we remember that we are not alone!

P: We gather with the saints,

who live in the presence of God,

singing praises to the God of our salvation.

L: From every nation, race, clan and culture,

God’s people gather to worship

the One-Who-Is-Without-Peer!

P: To God and to the Lamb, all honor, glory,

wisdom, thanksgiving, strength and power.

L: Blessed be God, now and forever! Amen!

P: Amen!


For All the Saints #299



Matthew 5:1-12

The Beatitudes

5 When Jesus[a] saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

5 “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely[b] on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

The word of God for the people of God!

Thanks be to God!


Sermon Today we Lift up death: 

Today we celebrate dia de los muertos – the day of the dead which coincides with all saints day and all souls day. 

These Holidays have their origins as far back as ancient Egypt where they believed the spirits of the dead returned each fall to visit the living and they welcomed these spirits with lights and food. These traditions spread to Rome and eventually found their way into Christianity. 

The Official day of the dead, officially named All Souls Day in the Catholic Church, is celebrated on November 2, the day after All Saints Day. Although, not recognizable as such in its current hyper commercial incarnation, Halloween – a time of visitation by the dead -- is part of this tradition. 

Of course at the center of this tradition lies the dark and gloomy figure of death. Why should we invite this fearful figure into our midst, which we would rather not get to know? Why make Death more distinct and palpable? The poet Rainer Maria Rilke described the task of the poet this way: “to confirm confidence toward death out of the deepest delights and glories of life; to make death, who never was a stranger, more distinct and palpable again as the silent knowing participant in everything alive.”  This is an invitation to befriend death to become familiar with the transition from this world to the next which is part of life and not to be feared. 

In not so distance a time we lived with our elderly and our infirmed. They were in our homes and it was the younger people’s responsibility to care and look after their elders and or infirmed. When one passed the family was all around the person, offering prayers and mourning. The woman would then gather wash and dress the body for viewing. People from the community, friends, and loved ones would come to the home to pay their respects to the dead and the living. They would bring food to be shared and often drink as well. They would reminisce about the person’s life and have a good time all the while the body was in the living room. 

Death was a common and expected experience. 

Nowadays death is often removed from us. It occurs in hospitals and or nursing homes. Yet when given the choice most people state they would like to die at home with loved ones around. We, as a society, have made death something to fear, to only whisper about. We often find ourselves at a loss of words. Many of us do not even like to walk into hospitals, nursing homes, and especially not mortuaries. Why is that?  Well, they remind us, not of those we lost, but of our own mortality. Yet it is a fact of life and it is a part of life. It is the ultimate goal of life.

I had a professor who would say “I hate to tell you this but it is not a matter of if you die but when.” You know for some young people that is a hard thing to hear. When someone is in their mid-twenties they are still of the mind set we are going to live forever.

 Well guess what . . . you are. 

Just not the way you think you will. 

The Day of the Dead is a creative response to one of the most important questions in human life: what does my death mean? This is a question born of fear -- our fear of the ultimate unknown. What brings this fear, of course, is our experience of the deaths of those who populate our lives. 

Each of us wants to know, not only what one’s own death means, but also what meaning to make of the deaths of those others. We ask these questions from many different vantage points in relation to death – young or old, healthy or sick, working with death in our jobs or rarely seeing it, but no matter. Questions about death are something we all have in common. 

The theologian, James Carse, tells the story of one family’s answer to these questions. He met them at a lakeside vacation retreat. They said they were attending a group meeting with a channeler of communications with the dead – that they did this regularly to be connected to a family member who had died, and who had been the central figure in the life of the family. 

They spoke of the missing member in the present tense, as if he might show up at the lake later in the afternoon to take a dip with them. Carse happened to ask them how long they had been doing the channeling with the one who died. Twenty-nine years, came the calm answer. He was stunned by this distance, but for this family, their missing relative was as present to them as Carse’s nine-year-old child was to him --. He described the family this way: 

“These were people who had sought to have death taken away – and death was taken away. Death was now but one event in an unbroken cycle of events, and therefore no longer death. Death no more ended anything in their lives than a leap from the diving board ended the swimmers’ play. Life and death had merged into a timeless whole that nothing could disturb. I could not help feeling that when they got what they asked for, it was not death that ended; it was their lives that had ended. I could not know them where they lived. I could only look on with an indulgent smile. I sat next to them that afternoon – but twenty-nine years away.” 

 This family that Carse describes had not mourned. Had experienced no loss, no separation, no sadness. They were stuck, Stuck in the death of a family member for 29 years, never moving on, never letting go, never healing. 

There is a process that one must move through in order to remain healthy and sane. Dr. Kubler-Ross was the first to put the stages of grief into a context. Now these stages here as described are for one who has received a diagnosis but they translate to all grief they just manifest a little differently.

The progression of grief is:

 1. Denial – "I feel fine."; "This can't be happening, not to me." Denial is usually only a temporary defense for the individual. This feeling is generally replaced with heightened awareness of positions and individuals that will be left behind after death. 

2. Anger – "Why me? It's not fair!"; "How can this happen to me?"; "Who is to blame?" Once in the second stage, the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue. Because of anger, the person is very difficult to care for due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy. Any individual that symbolizes life or energy is subject to projected resentment and jealousy. 

3. Bargaining – "Just let me live to see my children graduate."; "I'll do anything for a few more years."; "I will give my life savings if..." The third stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow postpone or delay death. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made with a higher power in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. Psychologically, the individual is saying, "I understand I will die, but if I could just have more time..." 

4. Depression – "I'm so sad, why bother with anything?"; "I'm going to die... What's the point?"; "I miss my loved one, why go on?" During the fourth stage, the dying person begins to understand the certainty of death. Because of this, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time crying and grieving. This process allows the dying person to disconnect oneself from things of love and affection. It is not recommended to attempt to cheer up an individual who is in this stage. It is an important time for grieving that must be processed. 

5. Acceptance – "It's going to be okay."; "I can't fight it, I may as well prepare for it." In this last stage, the individual begins to come to terms with his mortality or that of his loved one. One moves back and forth jumping through these stages at various times it is not a simple progression but a process never the less.  

It is interesting to note that toward the end of her own life Dr. Ross stated there should be another stage. Frustration when one is ready to go but remains living. 

These stages of grief apply to any and all kinds of loss whether it be for the family home due to a catastrophe, loss of a pet or the ending of a friendship. We move through these stages in one way or another for they are all a form of death. 

Let’s go back to the question: To ask what our death means is to ask what it would be like to live life as if there were always an ultimate deadline on the horizon – because in fact there is. We should treat time as precious and the perishable commodity this means being alive should be treated as something of great value. 

Our experience of mortality thus focuses our attention on the question of the value of our lives. We want to know, do our lives make a difference? Do they matter? What we long to know is not whether they matter just for the fleeting few moments – historically speaking – that we are onstage. 

But rather, do they matter in a way that is lasting. This is a question not only about what is valuable, but more importantly, about how our lives become valuable. If having a life that matters means having a life that is valuable, where do we get the value? Certainly part of the answer is that we create it from within ourselves. Yet the greatest value came more than 2000 years ago. 

There is a song that is a favorite of mine it tells the story of as a child one enjoyed imaginary friends and walking and playing with them but as the man got older he had lost his way. The song of “Christopher Robin” by Kenny logins, in which the lyrics say help me if you can I need to get back to the house at pooh corner by 1. But I've wandered much further today than I should and I can't seem to find my way back to the Woods.”  

I like this song for it reminds us that we must have that child-like wonder. The child like wonder to hear the words of today’s Gospel. When Christ tells us we are blessed when we;

are poor in spirit, that is when the  kin-dom of heaven is ours.

We are blessed when we mourn, because we are comforted.

When we are meek, we inherit the earth.

When we hunger and thirst for righteousness, we are filled.

When we are merciful, we receive mercy.

When we act pure in heart, we see God.

When we work to be peacemakers, that is when we are called children of God.

are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, then ours is the kingdom of heaven.

Today we celebrate the communion. Christ stated I live because of the creator so whoever eats this bread will live because of me. That is the Value of our lives. So valuable that Christ allows us to participate in life through him and the creator with the spirit. Christ is our way back to the woods. We have to shed all disbelief and often, what we do believe in order to get back to the message of Christ’s salvation through the table and through our lives. 

It is Jesus’ assurance that there is new life, a new covenant to be given by him through his resurrection. It is through Jesus’ resurrection this promise is fulfilled! This covenant so strongly made in the love and the life that he poured out that it snapped time. Hear me, Time itself was changed. .the laws of physics broken for each time . . . wherever, whenever we enact this simple meal of bread and fruit of the vine, we are there. We are there and Christ is here renewing that covenant. We have to put away our adult hood; we have to put away our skepticism we have to get back that childhood awe and amazement and take on a simple belief. 

Jesus loved us so much that he made a promise in a small upper room. He willingly handed himself over to the roman guards and allowed himself to suffer and die only to rise again on the third day. They say the earth shook, the curtain in the temple rent, the light was so bright that when the stone was rolled away the guards fled in fear. Time snapped and the promise made at a simple meal 3 nights before, became alive and transcendent in the resurrection!

 It carries on constantly day in and day out around the world; the love that was promised is promised again manifested and made real. It is the value of our lives and our transition. For through the Bread of life, through Jesus the Christ, one day we will transition from this life of faith into a life of knowing. Do not doubt it. It is really a simple thing to believe. In Mathew 18:3 it says we must become childlike. That simple faith, that simple way of believing, must become true in us again. 

Santa, the Easter bunny, the tooth fairy, yes even Winnie the Pooh; we rationalize and outgrow these tales. But I tell you the tale of the last supper, the redemption of the cross, and the resurrection we cannot afford to outgrow. We need to believe in a love so great that it can fill us, sustain us, and carry us through any adversity, any disappointment, and even the heart ache of loss of loved ones. 

Today day we celebrate all saints day, the day of the dead, all souls day. We honor those who have honored us with their lives. By living with Christ, we are called to live life to the fullest for when we transition from this life to the next, we will be prepared to know love and live in the fullest of the covenant of the bread of life that is Jesus the Christ. 

Listen to this poem and pray it with me; 

I will not die an unlived life. 

I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire.

 I choose to inhabit my days, 

to allow my living to open me, 

to make me less afraid,

 more accessible, 

to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, 

a torch, a promise. 

I choose to risk my significance;

to live so that which came to me as seed 

goes to the next as blossom 

and that which came to me as blossom 

goes on as fruit. 

Let this poem be a candle that your soul holds out to you, requesting that you find a way to remember what it is to live a life with passion, on purpose. There is only enough light to take the journey step by step, but that is all any of us really needs.  

When you have the courage to shape your life from the essence of who you are, and who God is in you, through you, you ignite, becoming truly alive, alive in the Love and Life of Christ. I pray these words today find their way to your heart and comfort your soul, amen.


i Mood, John. Rilke on Death and Other Odditites. Xlibris, 2007. 

Pg. 42


iii Kübler-Ross, E. (2002). On death and dying ; Questions and answers on death and dying ; On life after death. New York, NY: Quality Paperback Book Club.

iv House at Pooh Corner [Recorded by 1014204750 780250769 K. Loggins & 1014204751 780250769 J. Messina]. (1971). On Sittin In [Vinyl recording]. Columbia studios: Jim Messina. (1971 April)





A call to prayer

This is a time of sharing.

A time of lifting, lifting up our hearts

In gratitude and supplication.

What joys do you have to share,

What blessings?

What needs weigh on your heart?

Bring them here in community that we may all lift them up to God.




Please write your joys and concerns in the comment section and I will lift them up after this hymn



HYMN #11 Bring many Names

Let us pray the prayer Jesus taught us


Our Creator, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kin-dom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kin-dom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen


Invitation to the Offering

God is with us each day offering so many blessings. Now let us offer bring  gifts in an attitude of praise and thanksgiving. May our gifts and the lives that they represent serve the mission of our church today in the spirit of those we call saints who have gathered in faith before us. AMEN.

Donate Here!


Doxology #778


Offering Prayer


Holy God, thank you for the great cloud of witnesses

     that surrounds us as we worship.

Their diversity reminds us of your infinite grace

     to all your creatures.

Thank you for the vision of a world at peace:

     paradise restored, where no one hungers,

          no one thirsts, and no one is wanting.

You guide us to the source of living water

     and invite us to drink deeply of your love.

Your magnificent generosity

     evokes our deepest thanks.

And so receive these offerings,

     that we may join that great cloud of witnesses

          as we share our gifts with others. Amen.




Celebration of Holy Communion

(Please if you have not already prepared elements for communion do so. Remember that even an English muffin can become a sacrament, even a cup of water or tea can become a remembrance of God’s redeeming love)


For Holy Communion this morning,

I invite you to lend Christ your table.

We recall that once a long time ago Jesus gathered with his friends in a room. Men, woman, children, free and slave, Jewish, roman, tax collector and priest all gathered as friends to celebrate a feast.

We do not know all the conversations that were shared. We do not know the menu of the day. Yet by faith we proclaim these words.

The Communion words sent to the church at Corinth.

For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you,

that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed

took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks,

he broke it and said,

“This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying,

“This cup is the new covenant in my blood.

Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,

you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.

Sharing of the Elements

Leader:    Let us in our many places receive the gift of God, the Bread of Heaven.

Unison:    We are one in Christ in the bread we share.

Leader:    Let us in our many places receive the gift of God, the Cup of Blessing.

Unison:    We are one in Christ in the cup we share.

Prayer of Thanksgiving


Let us pray in thanksgiving for this meal of grace,

rejoicing that, by the very method of our worship,

we have embodied the truth that Christ’s love

is not limited by buildings made with human hands,

nor contained in human ceremonies,

but blows as free as the Spirit in all places.


Spirit of Christ, you have blessed our tables and our lives.

May the eating of this Bread give us courage to speak faith and act love, not only in church sanctuaries, but in your precious world,

and may the drinking of this Cup renew our hope

even in the midst of pandemic.

Wrap your hopeful presence around all

whose bodies, spirits and hearts need healing,

and let us become your compassion and safe refuge. Amen


The office is open for regular hours

We are accepting donations for the kidz cupboard and the food pantry




I am available for one on one virtual visits or phone calls if you need any prayer we will be together again one day, but until then remember you are the hands and the feet of our lord in this world and in this world of no physical contact we can still smile, wave, chat, check in


#43 Love Divine All love excelling (time stamp 12:36)




Closing Prayer

Lord, we have listened to your word for us this day. We are grateful for the love of Jesus who takes our burdens and lightens our spirits. Be with us today as we leave this place. May we continue to place our trust in you, for it is in the name of Jesus that we pray. AMEN.


Benediction/Sending Forth

May the Spirit of God, who is above all and in all and through all,

fill you with the knowledge of God’s presence in Earth

and the pulsing of Christ within you.

Go in peace! 

Serving Christ and loving all creatures!