thrive UMC Blog

“Is Your Anger Good?”

Jonah 3:10-4:10             Last week we found the prophet Jonah going, at last, to the place God had sent him: Nineveh, that great city! While he was there, he spoke the proclamation God had given him, and a miracle happened: the people responded.  They called for fasting and morning, signs of sorrow and humility.  Everyone

13 Feb 2019

Even the Goats Grieved

A couple of quick comments before we jump into our reading for today.  First of all, in case some of you weren’t aware of this: the Bible can actually be funny sometimes (I know, this is news, right?).  Unfortunately, most of us just don’t know enough about the ancient world to be surprised or caught

06 Feb 2019

Dead Wrong

Jonah 1:17-2:10 17 [a] Meanwhile, the Lord provided a great fish to swallow Jonah. Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights. 2 Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish: 2 “I called out to the Lord in my distress, and he answered me.         From the belly of the underworld[a] I cried out for

30 Jan 2019

Questions We Didn’t Ask

Last week we started reading the story of Jonah, whom God called to prophesy in the foreign city of Nineveh.  But instead of going where he was sent, Jonah gets on a boat and heads the opposite direction.  And then this big storm rises up while they’re on the boat, and it turns out that’s

23 Jan 2019

The Hardest Words to Say

1 The Lord’s word came to Jonah, Amittai’s son: 2 “Get up and go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it, for their evil has come to my attention.” 3 So Jonah got up—to flee to Tarshish from the Lord! He went down to Joppa and found a ship headed for Tarshish. He paid the fare and went

16 Jan 2019

Christmas Aftermath

For a number of years now, I’ve felt like the week that follows Christmas day is the Stephen Baldwin of December: given its predecessors, it’s just kind of a let-down.  I mean, here we have the whole exciting season of Advent dedicated to building up our grand Christmas expectations; and that season is typically characterized

31 Dec 2018

Splitting Heaven

Before we get to our scripture reading for today, I just wanted to ask you all a couple of quick questions.              My first question is this: How many of you have made any kinds of preparations for Christmas?For those of you who made Christmas preparations, how many of you were hoping that some kind

19 Dec 2018

Prophet’s Peace Unwelcome

Already we’re in week two of Advent, which is a season of waiting and expectation.  And I think for those of us today, it’s hard to imagine the degree and the sheer intensity of the expectancy that the Jewish people were enduring. Remember,by the time Jesus was born, the last remnant of the 12 tribes

12 Dec 2018

Widow’s Hope

Ruth 1:11-18, 4:13-17 Today begins a new season of Advent. It’s the time of the year where we both anticipate and celebrate the event of the incarnation.  Remember: the one God of the highest heavens became a human being, some two thousand years ago, and dwelt among us, in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.

05 Dec 2018

Over Giants and Kings

16 So Joshua took this whole land: the highlands, the whole arid southern plain, the whole land of Goshen, the lowlands, the desert plain, and both the highlands and the lowlands of Israel. 17 He took land stretching from Mount Halak, which goes up toward Seir, as far as Baal-gad at the foot of Mount Hermon in the

28 Nov 2018