Sometimes we need to plan a funeral for our dreams because maybe then we can grieve the broken dreams and begin to see the beauty that surrounds us. This week we hear God tell the Jewish people exiled away from their homeland to begin to put down roots in Babylon – to build houses and plant gardens. Listen as Pastor Kate considers how letting one dream die might open us up to new dreams and new possibilities.
Change is the only constant in the world. And yet, it is something so many of us push back against, fight, or refuse to do. So much so, that it might take an act of God to put us on a different path – something the Apostle Paul knows all about. This week we hear the story of how Saul has a change of heart and stops persecuting the Christians to become an apostle who proclaims Jesus to the world while another disciple, Ananias, takes a risk and trusts God to encounter the newly converted Saul so he can regain his sight. Listen as Pastor Kate considers what it might take for us to change our minds, both about what we believe and whether we can trust other people have actually changed.
Is there really enough? Pharaoh would say no. God always says yes, there is always enough. Listen as Pastor Kate considers whether we trust God’s abundance and desire for freedom and justice, or if we, like Pharaoh, unravel God’s plans with our belief there simply isn’t enough to go around.
If we are to consider who might be worthy enough to host Jesus in our homes, some would likely either mimic a couple of the disciples who believed they were worthy and argued as to who should sit at Jesus’ right hand, or simply assume that they were not worthy. If you asked the crowd gathered to see Jesus when he finds Zacchaeus up in a tree trying to see, nobody would have said Zacchaeus. As a wealthy tax collector who profited from unjust tax collection, he was a sinner and had defrauded his own people. Yet, Jesus asks to be invited to his house for dinner. Listen as Pastor Kate explores this text and the ways Jesus has of unraveling our expectations – about who is worthy, who we are, and how we see the world.
This week we read a story in worship you may not have heard before, in which Rizpah, one of Saul’s wives, very publicly mourns her sons – refusing to hide her grief. Listen as guest pastor Rev. Christopher Otten considers what it means to mourn our own losses, maybe even publicly.
This week we hear the story of Peter’s attempt to walk across the water to Jesus, only to take one step onto the water and then begin to sink. Peter’s confidence unravels right there in the wind and the waves. Fortunately for him and for us, Jesus is there, the boat is there, his friends are there. Listen as Intern Pastor Miriam explores how while time and time again the past year-and-a-half has left us sinking in doubt and uncertainty, God is with us, ready to steady us with an outstretched hand.
Over the past 16 months, we have seen our plans, expectations, and hopes for our lives unravel and change. In Genesis, we hear how Abraham and Sarah also experienced the pain of unmet hopes and expectations that they would one day have their own child and yet it became seemingly impossible. Listen as Pastor Kate explores the story of God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah to make the impossible possible and considers that even if our prayers aren’t answered in the same way, we can trust that sometimes, even after life seems to fall apart, God can surprise us and unravel our plans with unexpected joy if we are willing to receive it.
This week, Faith joined all the congregations of the Metro DC Synod as part of the annual Synod Assembly. Listen as the Rev. Yehiel Curry, Bishop of the Metro Chicago Synod, celebrates the presence of the Holy Spirit, alive and inspiring our daily lives as God’s people.
This week was Trinity Sunday, a day during the liturgical year where we remember that God meets us in three persons. We hear the story of the prophet Isaiah’s vision of God’s holiness, where the First Person of the Trinity is depicted with great and awesome power, so much so that Isaiah is overcome and even worried. It is difficult to wrap our minds around a god who is both one being and yet has three persons. Yet, perhaps one of the greatest benefits is having a god who we can relate to in multiple ways: as one with unimaginable power, as our friend who walks with us, as a rushing wind that blows and shapes our world every day. Listen as Intern Pastor Miriam explores the Trinity and how we might experience God and share our faith in many ways.
“I’ve got to go now, Julia, we got cows,” says a character in the movie “Twister,” as a cow flies past the front windshield, caught up in the wind of a tornado. We celebrate Pentecost this week, when the Spirit came in to the disciples as a violent wind and tongues of fire appeared above people’s heads. Listen as Pastor Kate examines what it means to be caught up in the Spirit, if it is gentle or as violent as a tornado, and what that means for us in our lives.