thrive UMC Blog

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
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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
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Ministry of ‘Both’

Luke 7: 18-35             Before we jump into our gospel reading for the morning, there are a few things we need to know about the political context of the day.  Much like Christianity today, the religion of Jesus was far from uniform, and there were a number of identifiable sects that vied for power.             

03 Apr 2019
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Can’t Go Home Again

Today we’re beginning our third week of the series called ‘The Saving Wild,’ which is about the unexpected blessings that can only be found in the wilderness.  In the first week, we looked at the proclamation and ministry of John the Baptist, who demanded that the crowds produce good fruit with their lives.  And last

27 Mar 2019
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Devil’s Blessing

Luke 4:1-13 4 Jesus returned from the Jordan River full of the Holy Spirit, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. 2 There he was tempted for forty days by the devil. He ate nothing during those days and afterward Jesus was starving. 3 The devil said to him, “Since you are God’s Son, command this stone to

20 Mar 2019
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Change Fruit

            Today marks the first Sunday of our Lenten journey –a journey of growth and spiritual development and moving our hearts and attention closer to being with God. So we’re kicking off our new Lenten Sermon series called “The Saving Wild,” because so often in the stories of the bible, salvation takes place –it happens-

13 Mar 2019
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Toothpaste and Judgment

Luke 8:26-29             Before we get into the scripture reading or the sermon today, I have to start off with a couple of disclaimers today.              And the first disclaimer is to anyone who might be new here to this congregation.  If this is your first time here with us, or if you’ve only visited

05 Mar 2019
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Fool’s Pardon

            Today we’re going to wrap up our reading from the book of Jonah.  We finished the final chapter last week, where we discovered the real reason Jonah had run away from God: he did not want the city of Nineveh to be spared from God’s judgment.  God is merciful and compassionate, patient, full of

27 Feb 2019
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“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
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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
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