“I am the vine. You are the branches. Those who abide in me and me in them bear much fruit. Apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5-6)
Jesus speaks of vines and fruit and connected-ness. It is all about life and growth. In light of Easter, we claim that we are connected to Christ’s resurrection and the new life he brings to be resurrection people in world full of destruction and death.
There is an invasive vine in our backyard that has been difficult to destroy. I’ve cut it, dug it up, pulled on it to find other extensions, and have used different weed killing options to keep it from coming back once and for all. I have even burned the branches I have cut off in my fire pit. Yet it grows. It returns. Even under attack and adversity…the vine thrives. New life finds a way.
(Keep reading: http://2baldpastors.com/easter-is-coming-easter-5b-sacred-yet-invasive-vines/)
Sermon on John 10:11-18
& Psalm 23
“The Good Shepherd
in the Darkest Places”
St. Paul Lutheran Church
Old Saybrook, CT
A common image of Jesus depicts him holding a sheep. Often in these pictures, Jesus has a lamb draped across his shoulders. It is a sweet image – cute if not adorable. In many of these representations of Jesus, one can see the affection in his eyes. In others he looks to the distance assessing the danger at hand. Looking at such an image and thinking of Jesus as the “good” shepherd can be a very pleasant, comforting, heart-warming experience…
“Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as I have.” (Luke 24:39)
Touch is an important part of human life.
Touch is such an important aspect of our development that infants who don’t receive enough human contact are at high risk for emotional, behavioral and social problems. In some cases, babies can die out of neglect from a lack of touch. If you have ever held a baby you have likely experienced what an important connection that is…
Keep reading: http://2baldpastors.com/sunday-is-coming-easter-3b-some-thoughts-about-touch-and-the-resurrection/
Hi friends –
I had a mishap at church on Thursday 4/05/18 getting my office put back together when the desk tabletop that was leaning against two filing cabinets fell and clipped the back of my left leg. It was a good reminder to me that it is better for your pastor to be out and about rather than be stuck in the office. 🙂
The outcome is 17 stitches across the back of my left ankle. An easy way to describe the injury is to take your thumb and pointer finger and made a U shape; then put it slightly above the left heal. It is going to leave an awesome scar…
The good news is the achilles tendon appears to be undamaged – but I’m not going to be running for a while. In fact, I’ll be on crutches for a few weeks and most likely will have some PT to do once I follow up with an orthopedic doctor.
I had an interesting thought while I was getting stitched-up, remembering that Jesus invites Thomas to “put his finger” in his healed wounds. How bizarre a scene when one thinks of it. And yet Christ’s healing of us all is always closer than we think.
I want to express my thanks to Kim Meadows, Andrew Seddon and Wade Michels who were “on it” right away and helped me a great deal yesterday. Thanks to the Old Saybrook Police and the EMTs for their assistance, and a special thanks to Luis Serazo, the PA who did a remarkable job putting me back together at the Scoreline Medical Center in Westbrook.
I’m also giving big hugs to my aunt, Gayle Hoffman who is with me at home and providing lots of TLC.
I invite your prayers and intend to just lay low, rest and catch up on Netflix and Hulu until Sunday.
Just a reminder – we will have one worship service on Sunday 4/08/18 @10:00. Bishop Jim Hazelwood of our New England Synod is our preacher as we celebrate all that we, by God’s grace, have accomplished through our capital campaign and building renovation project. More importantly, we will gather Sunday morning to be renewed in the ministry to which we are called: to be the hands and feet of the risen Jesus in the world – whether we need crutches or not.
See you Sunday. 🙂
I find Thomas to be not only one of the most courageous disciples; but also the most honest…