Posts in Mount Olivet UMC
All We Need is Love

The saints of the past and us today have flaws. They, we, fell short of what Christ describes as the greatest of the things we are supposed to do. But in Christ loving us as himself, the saints and each of us are made righteous. What once was thought to separate us from the love of G-d is no more and Christ invites us to join him and the saints around His table. Clothed in the righteousness of Christ through our Baptism into His life, death, and resurrection, and not our own self-righteousness, we are declared holy. The greatest commandments, loving “the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” and loving your neighbor is a little less daunting knowing that before we ever attempt to fulfill it, Christ first loved us. Christ fulfilled it for us.

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Moving Forward | Responding to God

Much of what we do as followers of Christ is based upon mystery. From the basics of how exactly did Jesus turn water into wine or how the feeding of the 5000 actually happen to the sacraments - Baptism and Communion - there is much that we claim to know but what we think we know pales in comparison  to the mystery that still remains. 

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Divorce & Children Are Not The Trap

Quoting Genesis instead of echoing Deuteronomy, Jesus told the Pharisees that the Kingdom of G-d, G-d’s disruptive reign, will empower those previously without power. Social structures designed to keep people groups in their place will be disrupted. This point is driven home further when Jesus double-down, using children, a segment of the population viewed as property, to illustrate what kind of dependency, reliance on G-d, will be necessary to be apart of the Kingdom building work Jesus has begun in his own ministry. 

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Earn All You Can

How we earn money is a clear and accurate indicator of our priorities. We might speak out in favor of honest work that others should be doing but do we follow the same prescription in our own businesses? We can earn by following the footsteps of someone else but at some point we have to begin living into the calling G-d has place on our lives because what you are called to will look different than what your mentor has been called to. We can preach about Sabbath and ethical practices but if we are not observing them ourselves our true commitments become more apparent.


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God Bless America... Said Jesus Never

More often than not the phrase is used in a cavalier manner. I do not doubt the sincerity of the hymn being sung in worship and prayed corporately or individually. The problem with this phrase arises when it is used without the acknowledgment of the blessings G-d has already given to America.

Hasn’t G-d already blessed America?

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The Bible Says It, I Believe It, That Settles It... Said Jesus Never

The Bible says a lot of things. It is a collection of books telling the story of the people of God. It is a book of covenant, heartache, promise, lament, renew, and hope. But “The Bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it,” creates a problem.

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Preach the Gospel and When Necessary Use Words

The Gospel is not a habit or practice. It is not a list of mission trips must-dos or daily prayer journal habits, but instead, the Gospel is a history. Proclamation of the Gospel is the declaration that something happened on a tree on a hill over 2000 years ago and that three days after that something happened something even greater happened.

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Half Truth of Pentecost

What we proclaim is unmerited and irresistible new life and that we are not the source of that new life. There is nothing we can do to help ourselves corporately or individually experience the unmerited and irresistible new life given to us by through the promise of Christ and by the Holy Spirit.

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The Underwhelming ‘Meh’ of Easter

The ending of The Gospel of Mark does not fit the new life, new hope feeling we enjoy each year as we use Easter to signal the return of new life in spring. On a  day when we expect to feel the overwhelming presence of the risen Christ, the ending of Mark’s Gospel is entirely underwhelming.

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Dueling Parades

To challenge the empire, to be the counter-cultural voice, to put on a piece of political street theater, requires you to be willing to enjoy the carnival-like atmosphere while it lasts because if you challenge things enough if you push the empire enough the empire will push back

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Jesus Throws Out a Demon

Because there is so much going on in this story, and the writer of Mark wrote such a condensed account of the ministry of Jesus, and on top of that uses misdirection, we miss it. The people in the synagogue did not miss it. Yes, they were astounded by the spirit being cast aside but they knew what was going on. They saw something different happening.

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