Pastors' Blog

Archives: February 2017

Feb 23, 2017 - Kent French

Each year, on the last Sunday before the season of Lent, the lectionary offers us the story of the Transfiguration (this year in Matthew 17). For us rational, reasonable Protestant types, it’s a fantastical story. Even peculiar. Jesus shining like the Sun. Elijah and Moses appearing out of the blue. A cloud from heaven with a disembodied voice. Jesus asking his select posse of disciples not to tell anyone...

Feb 16, 2017 - Lindsey Franklin

"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you..."

This scripture passage, the grand finale of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount from the Gospel of Matthew, has been described as the most unreasonable of all his teachings.

Love your neighbor as yourself? OK, that's pretty hard, but perhaps doable from time to time. But love your enemy? The bar just seems to be set too high...

Feb 09, 2017 - Trey Pratt

One of our favorite aspects of worship here at United Parish is the reading and exegesis of scripture during worship. Why do we love it so much? We get to examine, even for a short time, the ways in which scripture plays into our daily lives, and offers a framework through which we might examine our shared history.

This Sunday, our Youth Choir, Carolers, Cherubs, and Church Schoolers will embark on a kind of exegesis that might feel different than normal. They will be enacting a...

Feb 02, 2017 - Kate Baker-Carr

On Sunday, we will continue to explore the Sermon on the Mount, focusing on Matthew 5:13-20. The text concludes with the bold proclamation “…unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”These words anchor us firmly in the Sermon on the Mount and the entire Gospel according to Matthew.

So too, the precise ways Jesus instructs his followers to embody...