Exodus 17:107; Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16; Philippians 2:1-13; Matthew 21:23-32
Washing dishes. What is the first thing you do when you are cleaning the kitchen or dining room after a meal? Each of us probably has a slightly different order to our process, but one of the first things I do when I want clean dishes is to throw away the parts of the meal I don’t want to keep, like the napkins, leftover food, etc. Then the next thing I do is to pour out or knock off the food that is left inside the bowls, cups, plates, silverware . . . do you do that, too? Why? I do it because when I want to wash my dishes (and by dishes, I mean: plates, cups, saucers, silverware, bowls, pans, everything else that might have been used during the past 2 days) I EMPTY OUT everything before I begin filling the sink with clean water to wash them. If you don’t, then your dishwater is nasty.
And I HAVE been washing dishes when someone “helped” me and threw in a plate or a cup with fluid or food still on it. Into the clean dishwater. What does that do? You know.
Our scripture passage this morning is not about washing dishes. What it IS all about, though, is emptying out. Our great and gracious God, who could and can do anything (omnipotent), chose instead to become nothing in order to redeem us. To give us a new life. To give us a new hope. To give us an EXAMPLE. Our reading is found in Philippians 2:1-13 [Read more…]
Originally preached Sunday, September 24, 2017
There have been a few moments in my life when I have had the need to apologize to someone for something. It began at a very early age. I was carefully taught that this is something I had to do in order to continue my life. In other words, my mother made me.
I am so glad she did. We have all known people who have a hard time with words of backing-up and turning around, and they are not always pleasant to spend quality time with, are they? I want to believe that I am sensitive to other people and always willing to throw my mouth into reverse, and yet the truth is that I have been humiliated and shamed by people coming to me privately and telling me that they forgave ME for something that I had done to hurt them. The horrible thing was that I honestly had no idea that I had wounded them. Sometimes I didn’t even remember the incident to which they were referring. [Read more…]
“The LORD said to Moses, . . . ‘This is a day you are to commemorate’” (Exodus 12:1, 14).
Instructions are very helpful. They can be very important—even vital. When you are making something, you need to know what is involved. The appropriate ingredients, the correct steps to take, the right order in which to take those steps . . . [Read more…]