Jim McDonald's blog

Confirmation Sunday

Wow! Thank you to all who made our Easter celebration such a success - from our ushers who welcomed both members and visitors while trying to find seats for everyone, to those working the parking lot trying to park cars, to all the musicians who prepared long and hard for this special day. Also a very special thank you to the Worship work area for getting all of the lilies to face forward and blow their trumpets high, and generally making the sanctuary look beautiful.

A Question of Truth

It's been somewhat of a quiet week here at church with Spring Break in full swing. Greta and I have enjoyed some free weeknights, but know that everything will pick up again as families return to town and we get ready for Easter.

To help us prepare for Easter, this Sunday I will preach on part of the story from John 18, which tells of the arrest, betrayal and sentencing of Jesus. We will listen to Pontius Pilate ask Jesus, "What is Truth?" and we will explore just what truth may be. At the 9:30 service, we will welcome back our Chapel Choir from their Spring Break tour.

Trust

As I look out my window this morning, I can see a lawn maintenance truck cleaning up the park across the street, taking advantage of the nice, spring-like weather. It reminded me that the weatherman is, once again, predicting snow in a few days time. The problem with predicting the weather is that it's becoming much like the evening news - a lot of sound and flurry without any significance.

Stay Hungry

It was great to see so many come out for Ash Wednesday Service and many thanks to the chefs for cooking up a remarkable meal at our Wednesday Family Meal. This week we waltzed back toward winter on Thursday, but we must admit we've been, luckily, out on the dance floor with spring these last two weeks.

This Sunday we will celebrate communion at all three worship services. I will preach on Isaiah 55 as well as Matthew 4. I will address the issue of hunger; the kind of hunger that no amount of food ever satisfies. I want to address what the band U2 spoke about with their lyrics,

Prayer and Transfiguration

We have had many moments this February to experience the warmth and beauty of sunshine as bright rays of light have unexpectedly descended upon us during this normally bleak and gray season. An unexpected ray of light is the topic of my sermon this Sunday as I will share the story of Jesus' transfiguration on the mountain before Peter, James and John from Matthew 17.

Love Our Neighbor

As Valentine's Day approaches we are inundated with visions of love. While this love tends to focus on one special someone, we can also take the opportunity to reflect on all those we love in our life, to make sure that we remember how important our interpersonal relationships are. To remember to Love Our Neighbor.

What makes for a blessed life?

This Sunday, and for the next several Sundays, we will be taking a fresh look at the powerful words of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew, chapters 5, 6, and 7. These well-known teachings have comforted and perplexed, humbled and empowered people for centuries - and they still do. They are glimpses of what it is like to live in the Light of the Kingdom of God here and now.

We'll start off with the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:1-10, and see how those surprising words about what makes for a "blessed life" turn our world's assumptions upside-down.

Points of revelation

Earlier this week, college football completed its season with a surprising finish in the final minutes. Sometimes in life, things do take us by surprise. John the Baptist was surprised that Jesus asked him to baptize him. After all, this was Jesus. But why would Jesus need to be baptized? What does it mean that God got wet with mud between his toes and fully put on our humanity? What does it mean that Jesus got immersed in the river and we get immersed in Jesus? Together in worship this Sunday we will think together through some of these ideas.

Happy New Year!

What a glorious sight it was to see so many at church on Christmas Eve and again on Christmas morning to celebrate together the birth of Jesus Christ.

As we finish up this week of celebration and vacation, we turn our sights to the Epiphany, which marks a visit to the baby Jesus by The Magi also known as the Three Kings or Three Wise Men. In my sermon this Sunday, I will use words from three different scriptures to highlight three kinds of Kings we find in the Bible.

I hope you will join us on Sunday morning to ring in the Epiphany and the New Year.

A new twist on an old story

This week has brought us a burst of winter with freezing temperatures and snow, snow, snow. Next week may bring us more of the same, but it also brings us Christmas, the celebration of the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ. In worship this Sunday, I will focus on the Christmas story from Luke 2:1-7. I will tie it into the ways we find God's glory active in today's world. So while Sunday promises to be a chilly day, we hope that the fellowship of worship and our warm welcoming sanctuary filled with beloved Christmas carols will entice you to come hear a new twist on an old story.

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