thrive UMC Blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

“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