2 Corinthians 4: 7-15

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  • Paradox

    by Marion D. Aldridge
    Rabbi Edwin Friedman got my attention with the idea of paradox in his book, Generation to Generation, which deals with anxiety in family systems. His thesis is this: the more that fixing a particular person or solving some particular problem dominates a family, the less likely is that person to change or that problem to be fixed. Forcing solutions is seldom a good idea for long-term change. Nobody ever found serenity through gritted teeth. Rabbi Friedman’s advice is pure paradox: Instead of doubling down on the effort to make another human being change, let go...
  • Formation

    by Kathy Donley
  • Proper 4B (2018)

    by Jake Edwards
  • Hidden Treasure

    by Evan Garner
  • Preaching Helps (Proper 4B)(2018)

    by Scott Hoezee
    In one of his many fine sermons the Rev. Dr. John Timmer once gave a vivid baptismal image involving fisherman along the Irish coast. Once upon a time each fisherman wore a very distinctive wool sweater. Such sweaters kept them warm during cold months at sea but these sweaters had another use, too: identifying the dead. When a fisherman drowned at sea, it didn’t take long for the rough, cold, brackish waters to disfigure the body beyond recognition. So when a body washed ashore, it was as often as not identified by way of the design on the sweater. Charley McSween might be unrecognizable by the time his body bobbed ashore but one look at that red sweater with the blue diamonds on it, and everyone knew who he was. As Timmer pointed out, this meant that every day those fishermen wore on their bodies a reminder of death. And that’s what baptism does, too. We are marked with Jesus’ death. In some traditions infants and adults alike receive also a chrismation in which the sign of the cross is made on the forehead with some oil. It’s a reminder that baptism places us under the cross, under that signal sign of death.
  • The God of This World

    by Kelley Land
  • Proper 4B (2018)

    by Lois Malcolm
  • Unafraid: Fear and Death

    by Beth Quick
    There’s a man, dying alone at home. “His doctor, traveling by horse and buggy, came to make a house call. He went everywhere with his faithful dog, whom he left on the front porch as he entered the home of his patient. The patient, lying in bed, said to the doctor, ‘Doc, I’m scared. What’s it going to be like on the other side?’ At that moment the doctor’s dog began scratching at the door and whining, hoping to be let in. The doctor said, ‘Do you hear my dog scratching at your door? He’s never been in your house. He doesn’t know anything about the inside of your home. Here’s the only thing he knows: His master is on the other side of that door. And if his master is inside, it must be okay, and it is where he wants to be. That’s what heaven is like.’ Believing this about death changes how we face our mortality.” Hamilton says. “It doesn’t mean we have no fear, only that we’re not controlled by fear. It means that, despite our fear, we can live with real hope.”...

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