thrive UMC Blog

Settle Down, Stephen

Acts 6:8-15, 7:51-53             In our reading from last week, we saw how the early Christian community approached problem-solving.  There was a complaint that arose because some women were being overlooked at mealtime.  And the way the apostles responded to this complaint was by calling a meeting.  All the disciples were gathered together, and they

14 Aug 2019
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Another Kind of Rising

Acts 6:1-7             Since the middle of June, we’ve been reading from a book in the Bible called The Acts of the Apostles (Luke, part II).  And this book is filled with miracles.  The first miracle we shared about was the Pentecost miracle: where suddenly the disciples of Jesus were able to speak new, intelligible

09 Aug 2019
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The Insecurity of Power

Last week, we read about how the Apostles Peter and John had stepped up in Christ’s place to continue on the ministry of Jesus.  While they were on their way to the temple, they came across a man who had been unable to walk since birth, and they extended healing to him in the name

31 Jul 2019
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The Family Surprise

Acts 2: 29-37             This morning’s reading picks up where we left off last week: the Apostle Peter is preaching to a diverse crowd gathered for the Festival of Weeks in Jerusalem.  The Holy Spirit has been poured out on the disciples of Jesus, empowering them to proclaim the wonders of God in new languages.

26 Jun 2019
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If it got any better, would we even notice?

Acts 2:14-24             We’re continuing on with our Pentecost reading.  Please turn with me to Acts, chapter 2.  A great wind is rushing through the city of Jerusalem, while the disciples are gathered to celebrate the Festival of Weeks.  Tongues of fire alight on each of them, and they start speaking new languages, empowered by

20 Jun 2019
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“WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?”

Today we celebrate the miracle of Pentecost.  In most churches today, we tend to focus on two of the grand historical miracles throughout our liturgical year.  And these are the miracles we give most of our energy and attention to. They’re the miracles that change the inner faces of our homes, and raise our blood-sugar

13 Jun 2019
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Sinners Make the Greatest Lovers

Since Easter, we’ve been focusing on the call of the resurrected Christ to preach ‘a new knowing for the forgiveness of sins’ to all nations. And to help us grow in that call, we’ve been going back to take a second look at a few of Jesus’s teachings about forgiveness, in order to grow a

05 Jun 2019
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Missing the Party

Today we’re continuing on in our reading of the story of the Prodigal Father that’s found in Luke.  But before we read the conclusion, we need to remember the event that sparked this whole series of Jesus’s stories about lost things in the first place.  While Jesus was teaching about the demands of being a

30 May 2019
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Prodigal Father

    Usually when we talk about the parable we’re about to read again today, we call it ‘The Story of the Prodigal Son.’  And most of the time, when we tell this story, church people tend to focus on the choices the younger son makes, so we can go around telling everyone: ‘don’t be

22 May 2019
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Child’s Sin

This morning we’re going to read one of the most famous of all of Jesus’s parables.  But before we do, I think it’s important that we remember the Easter invitation to ‘look again.’  Last week, we read from the final chapter of Luke, where the resurrected Christ appeared to the disciples and ‘opened their minds

15 May 2019
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