thrive UMC Blog

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


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

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

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

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

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

Forgiveness Knowing

Luke 24:28-49 Our reading for today continues the story of the resurrection.  It picks up in Luke 24, right where last week’s reading ended, in verse 28. 28 When they came to Emmaus, he acted as if he was going on ahead.29 But they urged him, saying, “Stay with us. It’s nearly evening, and the day is

08 May 2019

Wilderness of the Grave

25 Apr 2019

Salvation Song Unwelcome

Up to this point in our series called The Saving Wild, we’ve been following Jesus through the Gospel of Luke, looking at his experiences in the wilderness.  And so far, we’ve seen people sharing signs that their hearts and lives were changed with John the Baptist by the Jordan River; and we’ve seen Jesus change

17 Apr 2019

Unclean Vessels

Today we’re revisiting a story that we touched on at the very end of our last series. As we were reading the book of Jonah, we took a couple of quick breaks to compare the Jonah story with a story about Jesus found in the gospel of Luke.  In both cases, one of God’s prophets

10 Apr 2019