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"The Psalms are unique."

The psalms are unique in all of scripture.  Of all the various books, Psalms alone gives us insight into the human relationship with God.  Joy, struggle, pain, excitement, loneliness, belonging, distance, and closeness are just a few of the human emotions expressed in the Book of Psalms.  In Sunday’s reading from Psalm 118 the psalmist writes of God's steadfast love.  There is a clear sense of joy in the relationship. I find in my own faith, when I can live into the love and faithfulness of God, I too can express that joy, even in the face of hardship. God is good. God is righteous. God is love. Let us rejoice and be glad in God. 

Peace, Pastor Ralph

“That was a really special day.”

When I look back on my life, I realize there are about a half dozen days that I can point to and say, “That was a really special day.” My wedding day, the birth of my children and grandchildren, my graduation from seminary, my call to ministry are all among those days. As I move forward, I will admit that I judge all other days by those half dozen. This Sunday is Transfiguration Sunday. Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up the mountain and there they experience the glory of the fullness of God. Though Peter wanted to stay, Jesus brought them down. I can imagine Peter was always thinking about that day and he measured the rest of his life in light of that day. It is easy to do that, to measure all other days by the one, but if we are going to be faithful, we can’t allow ourselves, particularly in the church, to look back and say, that was the day. The glory of God cannot be contained in one past moment in our life but is most revealed in the faithfulness of living each day. Remembering the past, but looking towards the future.   

 Peace, Pastor Ralph

"You have heard it said, but I say.” 

"You have heard it said, but I say.”  These are some of the most amazing words Jesus spoke during his ministry.  With them, he directed his followers in a whole way of living faith.  Before Jesus, the notion was that a person of faith lived by the letter of the law, then he or she could consider themselves in a “righteous” relationship with God. Jesus however saw this kind of keeping of the Law as honoring God with their lips but not their hearts.  This kind of faith keeping (keeping of the Law) reminds me of a book I read a few years ago entitled, “What is the Least I can Believe and Still be a Christian.” Jesus never wants just the least from us.

Peace, Pastor Ralph

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