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Journeying in the Great Cloud of Witnesses

Jeanne Marcus

August 11, 2019

Good morning, 8th Day. 

Let us pray: 

Gracious One, you lovingly, continuously invite us to radiant, courageous, creative, compassionate lives in you.  May we turn our faces toward you in trusting faith, the “yes” of our lives unfurling and blossoming in the bright sun of your love.  Amen.

Today’s New Testament portion, from chapter 11 of the Letter to the Hebrews, is one I keep coming back to.  It provides me key coordinates on my spiritual map, locating me in God’s space and time, in the larger scheme of things.  It reminds me, as well, of the kind of journey I want to be on. 

It focuses on God’s call to Abraham, already 75 and his wife Sarah, age 65 and childless.  Abraham heeds God’s call to leave his homeland with Sarah, but is given no clue about where they will be going.  But he is given two promises: 

  • the first is that Abraham will find a new homeland. 

  • The second is laid out beautifully in today’s passage from Genesis, which links to the passage from Hebrews : “Look up to the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able.  This is how numerous your descendants will be.”


Alfonso Sasieta

August 4, 2019

Listen to teaching

     Ecclesiastes 1:2-12
     Colossians 3:1-4
     Luke 12: 13-21

 Good morning everyone,

I invite you to pray with me before we begin:

God of love, we greet you.  It is good to be here with you.

This morning we ask for the grace of  sensing your Anchoring presence within us.

Though limited in our capacities,  though limited in our knowledge, though limited in our smallness, we know that we know  the basics of your good news. 

Grant us courage to live from that foundation.  Let us begin, again, today.  Amen.

everything is meaningless.

Growing up in a very churched environment meant that by the time I was a high-schooler, there were very few scripture passages that struck me as weird and unfamiliar.  This opening poem, indeed the opening line, in Ecclesiastes was an exception.  Everything is meaningless?  I had a hard time understanding how a line like that could make it into the bible.

Failure and the Sacred, Radical Community

Jonathan Nisly

July 21, 2019

     Amos 8:1-12
     Psalm 52
     Luke 10:38-42

“Martha, Martha.  You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or, indeed, only one.”

Good morning, 8th Day.  I’m happy to be here with you, and I’m excited to dive into the mix of scriptures that the lectionary offers us this morning.  I’m also excited to be here because of 8th Day’s flexibility; as you may have noticed, these aren’t the scriptures on our online calendar.  I originally read through the Common Lectionary, which has alternate Old Testament and Psalm readings for this morning.  But the readings from Amos and Psalm 52 had already intrigued me too much to go back, and I thought you all wouldn’t mind too much.

Looking Forward to the Fruits of the Spirit

Kevin Boteler

     1 Kings 19:19-21
     Luke 9:51-62
     Galatians 5:1,13-25

I think that the last three verses of today's Epistle is one of the great passages in the Bible.  I love the listing of the wonderful fruits of the Spirit; I would love to just luxuriate in them for a while and call it a sermon.  But as I look at today's combination of lectionary passages, I don't think we can fully appreciate the Epistle without first looking at the Gospel passage and thinking about its implications for Paul's letter to the Galatians.

Calling Out the Demons

Wendy Dorsey

June 23, 2019

     Isaiah 65: 1-9
     Galatians 3:23-29
     Luke 8:26-39

Good morning 8th Day!

I have to admit that I actually chose this Sunday because the story for today’s lectionary seemed challenging to me and I welcomed the opportunity to wrestle with it.  There were moments, however, when I wondered what I had gotten into.

Jesus was a very busy person.  I mean, we think we’re busy!   In chapter 8 of Luke, in addition to healing the demoniac (as he is called in the story for today), Jesus tells a story of the sower of seeds in various circumstances, talks about not hiding your lamp under a bed, tells the disciples they are his family (rather than his biological mother and siblings), calms a storm, and heals a woman with a long standing hemorrhage on his way to Jarius’s house to bring his twelve-year-old daughter back to life.  I’m glad I don’t have to preach on the whole chapter.  Jesus did more in one chapter than I’ve even thought about doing in my whole life, and he had maybe about fifteen years at most to complete his ministry!

Thoughts for Pentecost.

God Speaking with People, and People Speaking with God

I begin my sharing by telling you how I approach scripture.  I see it on several levels: First, is the obvious description.  I try to imagine myself in that place.  What was the roadway like, the vegetation, the weather- just the general context.  If I can, I find the cultural context.  What period of time is this?

Or, take the phrase in The Revelation: Heaven has “great streets paved with gold and transparent as glass.”

Is gold transparent? Look at gold—what are the qualities of gold?  To me, gold is a symbol of the nature of heaven.  Remember gold is an earthly element…shouldn’t heaven be much, much more glorious than any earthly element? We must remember that heaven is not confined to our literal, earthly reality.  We are given hints, “for now we see through a glass darkly”…as Paul says.

Then, digging deeper in Scripture, what is the message to me? To us?  And even deeper than that, are there underlying eternal principles which might be there?  If I only grasp the surface facts, I know I may end way off what the true message is.