thrive UMC Blog

Finding Joy

Matthew 2:1-10             Today we’re going to read one of those passages in the Bible that we all think we already know. It’s a passage that gets read pretty much every year at or around Christmas; and it’s a story we’ve seen depicted in movies, and children’s plays, and in nativity scenes. Today we’re going

19 Dec 2019

When Lions Go Vegan

Isaiah 11:1-11             Few things can ruin our happy, glittering Christmas preparations more quickly than the Bible. Here we are, merrily anticipating a warm, majestic day where our family will join together, to sit before an elaborately dressed tree, and we’ll open little boxes of luxuries. Our hope is for one of domestic contentment. What

12 Dec 2019

Maker of All Hearts

Psalm 33             Today we celebrate the first Sunday of Advent. Our name for the season comes from the Latin word “Adventus” which means ‘arriaval,’ or ‘approach.’  And for hundreds and hundreds of years, Christians throughout the globe have taken this part of the year to prepare themselves…  because something is coming.  Thus, to ready

05 Dec 2019

Ecstasy in Reverse

1 Corinthians 14:1-6             Before we share our scripture reading for today, I wanted to give just a little bit of background to the text.  In this morning’s passage, Paul is going to talk about ‘speaking in tongues’ and he’s going to talk about ‘prophesies and prophesizing’ –which are probably two things that most of

27 Nov 2019


1 Corinthians 13:1-13                Today’s scripture is often referred to as ‘the love chapter’ because relentlessly emphasizes the supreme importance of love.  And for this reason, it’s a favorite passage to read at weddings.  However, Paul was not writing this letter to engaged couples or newlyweds.  In fact, if you’ll remember, Paul spends a good

20 Nov 2019

Holy Willfulness

1 Corinthians 12:1-2, 12-27 We’re skipping ahead in our reading of Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth to get to the heart of his message.  Paul spends about the first two-thirds of his note addressing very specific issues facing the young community –everything from leadership structures to dress codes and the timing of

13 Nov 2019

Missing the Buffet

1 Corinthians 8:1-6, 12-13 8 Now concerning meat that has been sacrificed to a false god: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes people arrogant, but love builds people up. 2 If anyone thinks they know something, they don’t yet know as much as they should know. 3 But if someone loves God, then they are known by

06 Nov 2019

Health by Numbers

1 Corinthians 7:32-40           32 I want you to be free from concerns. A man who isn’t married is concerned about the Lord’s concerns—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the world’s concerns—how he can please his wife. 34 His attention is divided. A woman who isn’t married or who is a virgin

30 Oct 2019

Silly Signs of Righteousness

In book of the Bible that we’ve been reading throughout this series, the Apostle Paul is addressing some very specific concerns, to a particular community. In fact, about the middle third of the letter reads like a kind of parental scolding of a child who by now has a long track-record of misbehaving.  For instance,

18 Oct 2019

What We Don’t Know About Bread

1 Corinthians 5:6-13             Since most of us have probably forgotten about what Paul had to say to us two weeks ago, I thought I’d offer a bit of a quick refresher.  In our last reading from 1 Corinthians, Paul had told the predominately Gentile church in chapter 4 not to judge anything before the

11 Oct 2019