This month have been following the story of Jacob, the father of the twelve tribes of Israel, as it is told in the book of Genesis, primarily in chapters 25 through 35. Two weeks ago, we looked at Jacob as an egocentric young man, a schemer, who steals his older brother Esau’s birthright and blessing. Last week we found Jacob on the run for his life from his very angry big brother. It was in this situation of unexpected hardship that he had a powerful experience of God’s reality and God’s care for him, through that dream of a ladder stretching from heaven to earth, on which messengers of God traveled back and forth. This week, bolstered by God’s promise, Jacob has arrived at his destination, the land of his mother’s relative Laban in Haran. “What now happens to Jacob is the third great event that shatters Jacob’s egocentricity and paves the way for a larger life: HE FALLS IN LOVE.” Love changes us like nothing else can. Come see how love played out in Jacob’s life,“Jacob the Lover” (Genesis 29) Click on title to listen to Pastor Ernie’s message.
This Sunday, our study of Jacob, the Man Who Wrestled With God, continues with the powerful dream Jacob had (see Genesis 28:10-21) when he was fleeing for his life from his enraged brother Esau. We will reflect on dreams as “God’s Forgotten Language” through which we too may receive guidance for our lives. To listen to Pastor Ernie’s message and song, click on “Jacob the Dreamer” (Genesis 28)
JULY SERMON SERIES: THE MAN WHO WRESTLED WITH GOD, JACOB: a schemer, a dreamer, a lover and a wrestler. During the last four Sundays in July, I will be preaching on the lectionary texts from Genesis which recount the fascinating story of the biblical patriarch, Jacob. He is a complex character, a flawed human being called and used by God, like you and like me. To listen to the first sermon, click on “Jacob the Schemer”
July 9 – JACOB THE SCHEMER – Genesis 25:19-34
July 16 – JACOB THE DREAMER – Genesis 28:10-21
July 23 – JACOB THE LOVER – Genesis 29:15-30
July 30 – JACOB THE WRESTLER – Genesis 32:22-31
This coming week, on July 4th, our country celebrates our hard won political freedoms. But external freedom is only possible to sustain when we experience inner freedom as well. In Romans 7 the apostle Paul describes the inner conflict within our own hearts, and minds, and souls. a war between our best selves, our best intentions, and the Sin that dwells within us. How can we experience inner freedom? “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
To listen to Pastor Ernie’s July 2, 2017 message, click on “Inner Freedom: Winning the War Within”
This Sunday, June 25th, in our worship we will celebrate God’s Gift of Music, and recognize all those who share their musical gifts with us. So this service will be loaded with special music. However, worship is more than just music, so we will also recognize the many others who also contribute their gifts of time and talent to our weekly worship services. Come, let us give thanks and sing!
To listen to Pastor Ernie’s message in word and song, click on “Celebrating God’s Gift of Music”
On this Father’s Day Sunday, June 18, we will reflect on the first line of the Lord’s Prayer, where Jesus teaches us to pray to “Our Father in heaven.” The title of my message is “GOD IS NOT MY FATHER!” What do I mean by that? Come and find out. To listen to my message, click on “God is not my Father”
In March, a movie version of William Young’s 2007 bestseller, The Shack, was released. I haven’t seen it yet, and the reviews are mixed. But the book prompts a lot of questions about the nature of God as a Trinity of “persons.” So on this coming Trinity Sunday (June 11), in dialogue with this book, I will share some of my reflections and questions about our Triune God. Click on this link to listen to Pastor Ernie’s June 11, 2017 message: The Trinity and The Shack
On the Day of Pentecost, God’s Spirit was poured out on followers of Jesus in a dramatic, visible way, with tongues of fire and ecstatic inspired speech. This was interpreted as the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy from Joel, where God through the prophet says: I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. Through the gift of the Spirit God still inspires dreams and visions of a better world. May we take those dreams and visions seriously, trusting that by God’s love and power, positive change will come! Come Holy Spirit, fall afresh on us.
To listen to Pastor Ernie’s message, click on “Dreaming God’s Dream”
In our scripture passage for this Sunday from John 17:20-26 Jesus prays that his followers, ALL who call themselves by his name, may be ONE, ONE as he and God are one, in love. This unity eludes us, but it is Christ’s deepest desire for us, and so it is the task we must not shirk or abandon. I believe that God through Christ continues to work patiently, now and forever, to bring us together. Click on the title, “Together Forever” to listen to Pastor Ernie’s message.
We often talk about the church as a family. And by this we mean, I think, that our church is a place where people know each other, nurture each other, and care for one another through all the stages, struggles and changes of life, just like in the best of families. But the church is also different than a natural family. In Mark 3:31-34 Jesus uses his own family to show us how this is so. This Sunday we will ask the question:“How Big Is Your Family?” (click title to listen to Pastor Ernie’s message.