Jim McDonald's blog

Watch While Weeding

Did your father ever try to teach you a lesson by telling you a story that maybe wasn't quite clear at the time, but sooner or later you realized how it spoke to your life? Parables are often like that; a simple story that reveals an unexpected truth. Jesus often used parables to communicate his message. Sometimes his parables were fairly straightforward and other times they were more allegorical.

The Walls Come a Tumbling Down

This week marks the start of Pentecost, the season in which the spirit of God broke down the walls that create misunderstanding. Whereas there are those who want to build walls, Pentecost runs counter to that seeking to promote understanding and acceptance amid diversity. On Sunday morning, I will preach on the Pentecost Story found in Acts chapter 2.  We often read this story in truncated form focusing on the spirit that created understanding, but forget to mention the economic dimensions to Pentecost, how the sharing of gifts created a new community.

Random

Typically, when I read through a scripture passage for preaching, I get bored. Not because I'm a rebellious type, though I guess I am of sorts, but more because I'm always looking for fresh ways to explore meaning. So after reading Matthew 13:1-9, The Parable of the Sower, for this week's sermon, "Random," I wondered what would happen if I lopped off the interpretation of this parable and just focused on the story, hence the term random. And there came a sermon.

A New Heaven and a New Earth

This Sunday, we'll be rejoicing in God's creation with an Environmental Stewardship focus, "A New Heaven and a New Earth." Our scripture, Luke 24:34-48, gives us a glimpse of the Risen Christ empowering his disciples to be bearers of forgiveness and new life for the whole world.

At the 8:15 service, the message will look at that passage in the light of caring for God's gift of the earth; and how the dedication of individuals, like Rachel Carson, author of the ground-breaking 1960 book "Silent Spring" opened the way for us all to join in that important work of environmental care.

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.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Jim McDonald's blog

Copyright © 2017 First United Methodist Church, Downers Grove. Please report any problems to webmaster@dgfumc.org.