Episodes: Masonry

What Are You Looking For?

Pastoral Prayer: Lord God, we are curiously burdened. The unequal experiences leave many of us looking for the weight to be lifted. Yet, the burdens are too much for us, alone. Let us see with our ears today what John declared with his words, Look, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of...

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Sights and Sounds for the Bruised and Dampened

Matthew 3:13-17; Isaiah 42:1-9 Pastoral Prayer: Lord God Almighty, it is clear our world is organized to bruise the weak and dim any light of hope we see. Jesus’ words that describe every human era as always on the verge of war find an illustration all too often. Yet in the midst of that violent...

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Not In the Stars?

Matthew 2:1-23 Pastoral Prayer: Holy One, that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and not Jerusalem signals that we may want to look outside of the centers of power for the light to see our way in the world. Remind us today that we find our hope not in the stars, be they human or heavenly,...

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Not Those Old Hymns!

John 1:1-18 Pastoral Prayer: Lord God, we end another year this week and a decade comes to an end. All around there are hopes for a new beginning, a fresh start. Remind us today that in the coming of Christ all things are being made new. We no longer need to measure against ourselves or...

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Looking for an Ally: Our Ally Is With Us

Isaiah 7:10-16; Matthew 1:18-25 Pastoral Prayer: Holy One, whether kings or carpenters, world leaders or fiancés, fear often leads us to compound our difficult circumstances as we choose the wrong allies. God gave us a sign who is himself the Good News who saves his people from their enemies – all of them. And all God’s...

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The Disarmament Papers

Many of us were culturally indoctrinated into the Military-Industrial-Complex ideology, not by reading some political manifesto but by playing with rudimentary military action figures. By the 1960s, Marx sold enemy soldier figures little boys could use when performing their play war games. How many of you combined those little green soldiers with a bevy of...

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Sulking Toward Beauty

Over the next few weeks, specifically until Christmas, Pastor Todd will be offering devotional reflections for the Season of Advent. They will be occasional as in stirred by the occasion of his own devotional reading, and Avent sermon he has read or even a notion from his current Advent reading, Star Bright!: A Christmas Story...

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What Time Is It Anyway?

Romans 13:11-14; Isaiah 2:1-5 Pastoral Prayer: Lord God, we lose track of time. Not the progress of time, have our calendars for that. Instead, we lose the significance of Divine moments in the way we track time. Advent reminds us of the coming of Jesus, an interruption in all our calendars. Advent also points us...

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When Christians Stutter, Jesus Speaks Clearly for Us

Luke 23:33-43; Colossians 1:11-20 Pastoral Prayer: Lord God, God of the Armies, while we have come to have an affinity against violence, we have all been subject to the violent Powers of Sin and Death. Our lives have been closed off to the light. That is until Jesus came, suffered with us and for us...

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Killjoy Jesus?

Luke 21:5-19 & 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13 Pastoral Prayer: Lord God, we admit that when things are going good, we don’t want anyone, even you, to tell us we might have put our faith in the wrong place. Our world is so full of negativity that we would like time to take in the rare good...

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Patience Practiced

Years ago my friend Danny, who played Division 1 College Baseball, described patience as the clean-up batter in Paul’s list of the fruits of the Spirit. If you played baseball the clear implications are that patience is both a virtue and difficult. Maybe that is why Paul lists it as an activity produced by the...

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Not My Impersonation of Dave Wilkerson

Some may remember a comedian, a Christian, from the late 1970s and 1980s, Mike Warnke. If you missed that era here are two things to know: 1) he was a funny storyteller, and 2) we learned years later some of his stuff was made up.  I had one of his early albums where he described...

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