If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. At least that’s the mentality we tend to live by. But the woman at the well in John 4 found something in Jesus she could trust – even when nobody else trusted her. God comes to us not as a con-man, but as one who fully sees us and loves us anyway.
I (Pastor Kate) have a very vivid memory of screaming, “I hate you,” at my mom. I think it only happened once, but it was enough to hurt my mom. But it’s also something I’m sure I’ve communicated to God more than once either through my actions or lack thereof – and I’m sure it doesn’t hurt God any less than it hurt my mom. Turns out God loves us in spite of our hate – that’s precisely the point of John 3:16-17.
In the strange moment of Jesus’ transfiguration on the mountaintop, Peter, James, and John fell to the ground, afraid. But Jesus did not leave them overwhelmed by their fear, in the face of the glory and mystery of God, and he did not leave them overwhelmed by fear when he went down the mountain and faced the growing conflict and darkness in his time. Jesus will not leave us overwhelmed by fear. In the darkness of our times, as we seek to follow along Jesus’ way, let our eyes be open to see the light of Christ, like a lamp shining in a dark place. And may God’s light shine through us to be a lamp shining for others who are afraid.
“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
It seems like a daunting task. Jesus’ admonition to be perfect just as God is – especially when it seems nothing is ever good enough.
Except that our understanding of perfect may not be the best way to understand this text. Maybe a better way is to think of it like how Gary Potter describes trying to get Happy Gilmore to putt a golf ball.
But you’ll just have to listen to the sermon to find out what that means.
Salt doesn’t taste very good on its own. It’s only really any good when it’s added to something else. So, when Jesus tells the crowd they are the salt of the earth, he wants them to flavor and preserve the world instead of keeping to themselves.
It’s time for us, the church, to heed Jesus’ words and enhance the flavors of the world.
Isaiah 58: 1-12
At a young age, Pastor Kate wrestled with what it meant to be a member of her family. She thought it might be because she fished with them.
It’s tempting to think Jesus chose the first four disciples because they fished— that he wanted them to follow him because of what they did. Except maybe that’s not entirely accurate.
The being does not come from the doing. Instead, the doing comes from the being. Pastor Kate explores this notion in relation to Jesus’ call that each of us follow him.
We invite you to join us this Sunday.