The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? -Psalm 27:1-2, NRSV Reflect: What does salvation mean to you? Is it something about this life, the afterlife, or both? How might salvation be a process that is happening within your life everyday? Reflect: Have you experienced Christians who use fear tactics in evangelism? Reflect on some of those experiences. How did/does fear of not being saved affect you? Can relationships based on fear be truly authentic? What is a healthy......
Have you ever heard these phrases: “Jesus lives in your heart.” “Invite Jesus to be your personal Lord and Savior.” “It’s all about your personal relationship with God.” “It’s between you and God.” What about these songs? Jesus loves me, this I know. I’ll fly away. I know whom I have believed. My Jesus, I love Thee. I love you, Lord, and I lift my voice. These are phrases that I have heard and songs that I have sung over and over again in the church. These phrases taught me that my......
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......
And don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till its gone They paved paradise and put up a parking lot. -from Joni Mitchell song “Big Yellow Taxi” Have you heard that phrase before: “You don’t know what you’ve got till its gone?” I have experienced this a little differently in my life–most memorably in college. I grew up and spent the first 21 years of my life just outside the Roanoke Valley. Resting in the valley, this area is surrounded by the glorious Blue Ridge......
How many times have you heard the 23rd Psalm? Really? Can you even count? When is the first time you heard the 23rd Psalm? Did you memorize the 23rd Psalm as a child? Did you repeat the Psalm at an important time in your life? Did you hear it at a funeral for someone dear to you? What images are stirred up when you hear this Psalm? On Easter Sunday, Pastor Jason encouraged us to close our eyes and listen to the scripture of Jesus’ resurrection as if we were hearing it......
I sat in chapel with stone floors and a high wooden ceiling surrounded by hundreds of other students. It was opening convocation on my first “official” day of college. I was nervous, naive, and brave enough to take on the world, all at the same time. And as I sat on the long wooden pew, we were directed to repeat after the college president: “Vi” “Vi”, “Vavi” “Vavi”, “Levavi” “Levavi”, “los” “los”, “culos” “culos” , “oculos” “oculos”, “Levavi oculos” “Levavi oculos”. After our Latin pronunciation lesson, the president carefully explained how we would learn......
The psalmist begins the 15th Psalm with the question “O Lord, who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on your holy hill?” Essentially, “Who can live in God’s sanctuary?” Before reading the responses in v. 2-5, wouldn’t it seem that our lectionary reading from Micah is already a very poignant answer to the question. Question: “Who can live in God’s sanctuary?” Answer: “those who do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.” A deeper look at v. 2-5 of Psalm 15 seems to be the same answer, just a......