God


04
Dec 2017
God With Us

Immanuel. A simple Hebrew phrase we say and sing during the Advent and Christmas seasons to remind us of the real reason for the season. Immanuel (sometimes written Emmanuel) literally means “with us is God,” or, more simply, “God with us.” The meaning of Jesus birth is essentially immanuel. That is, the baby Jesus is literally God coming in human form to be with us. Immanuel first appears in Isaiah 7: Isaiah said, “Listen, house of David! Isn’t it enough for you to be tiresome for people that you are also tiresome......

Read More


09
Nov 2017
As For Me...

We serve God by serving others. Sounds simple, but in practice it’s more complicated. Just ask Joshua. Joshua understood the difficulty of serving God. And at the end of then book which bears his name in the Hebrew Bible, Joshua tries to explain the difficulty to the people of Israel. The story goes like this: Joshua: You should serve God, but if you can’t don’t make the commitment. Ok, now choose…who will you serve? As for my family , we will serve God. People: We will serve God! Joshua: No, you won’t.......

Read More


15
Aug 2017
Prayer for the Peacemakers

This evening, as our family drove home from dinner, we were greeted in Angier by a beautiful pink sunset.  Something about the carefully crafted colors that were woven together and blushed by the fluffy clouds was comforting.  There was something in this sunset that spoke “Peace, be still.” I am a peacemaker.  And being a peacemaker is tough work.  I am reminded in these days following the Charlottesville conflict and after hearing about many brooding conflicts in our nation and around the world how important peacemaking is.  And…I have had conversations with......

Read More


24
Jul 2017
The Beauty of a Sigh

A sigh is so easily misunderstood. By definition, to sigh is to “emit a long, deep, audible breath expressing sadness, relief, tiredness, or a similar feeling.”   A lot can be wrapped up in a sigh.  I often let out sighs after moving a heavy piece of furniture, or laying my head down on pillow at the end of a tiring day, or when I try to communicate clearly to someone just to be misunderstood.  Literally, a sigh helps lighten the load…physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The Romans passage for this week says, for we......

Read More


18
Jul 2017
Lord, You have come to the lakeshore

One of the hymns found in our Chalice Hymnal that is newer and not heard as frequently is titled in English “Lord, You Have Come to the Lakeshore”.  The text to this hymn was originally written in Spanish by Catholic priest, Cesareo Gabarain.  During his career, Gabarain served as a college chaplain, nursing home chaplain, and he served as a parish priest. Gabarain wrote this hymn based on the calling of the disciples in Luke 5.  As you listen to this hymn, you can imagine Peter putting down his nets and follow......

Read More


11
Jul 2017
A Messy Family

Family can be messy. From those who have become estranged because of some family conflict, to those crazy, eccentric relatives, to siblings who just don’t seem to understand one another, to parents with differing or unrealistic expectations, to you name it…family can be messy. Most of us are uncomfortable with mess. We either want to clean it up, fix it, and mend what is broken. Or we want to steer clear of the mess altogether. After all, if it is out of sight, then it is out of mind, right? The truth......

Read More


07
Jun 2017
Do You Remember?

The summer after third grade, my family rented a large van and drove across the country to California. Two stops that I can remember vividly were the Morman Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah and the Crystal Cathedral in Garden City, California. I remember hearing a demonstration in both sanctuaries showing how far the sound would carry and how crystal clear the acoustics were.  I was introduced to the majestic Morman Tabernacle choir. At the Crystal Cathedral, we saw the largest pipe organ I could imagine. We went to bookstore at the Crystal Cathedral and my family purchased several......

Read More


31
May 2017
Deep Peace

Take a deep breath and receive the peace of Christ. John 20:19-23, our gospel lesson this week, begins with fear.  The disciples were together and yet filled with fear.  It is interesting that we learn of this fear just before Jesus enters the scene and offers his blessing: “Peace be with you.” What dissipates fear?  Peace. After Christ offers this blessing he proves himself to the disciples by showing them his hand and side. After he calms their fears and earns their trust, he then offers the blessing again, “Peace be with you.”......

Read More


18
May 2017
The Elephant in the Room

Have you heard the one about the blind men and the elephant?  Actually there is an ancient Indian fable about six blind men describing an elephant after they have each touched a different part of the elephant.  Below is an exert from the poem from the 19th century by John Godfry Saxe detailing this fable: Blind Men and the Elephant  It was six men of Indostan, To learning much inclined, Who went to see the Elephant (Though all of them were blind), That each by observation Might satisfy his mind. The First approach’d......

Read More


10
May 2017
God, Our Mother

Mother’s Day can be both a great day…and a difficult day. The church has too often only celebrated and honored the prototypical mother: a female with living, biological children. Last year at Hood, we celebrated every kind of mother: biological, foster, adoptive, pregnant, deceased, soon-to-be, step-mothers, mentor mothers, mothers who have had miscarriages…you get the idea. And we will do that again this year. (In fact, don’t forget to bring a picture of one or more mother figures in your life to church this Sunday – we will use the pictures in......

Read More