Category Archives: Weekly Meditations

Home By Another Way

On this coming Epiphany Sunday, we will again ponder the story found in Matthew 2:1-12 of the mysterious Magi from the East who followed a star to Bethlehem to see and worship the child born “King of the Jews.”  This year I want to highlight the last verse of the story, “having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they (the Magi) left for their own country by another road.”  This verse caught the eye of musicians James Taylor and Timothy Mayer, and they wrote a song about it that I will share with you titled, Home By Another Way.   May God lead us away from the ways of the murderous King Herod, and others like him, to travel on the way of Jesus, our Prince of Peace.

peace, Ernie

To listen to this message, click on 1-9-22 Home By Another Way

p.s. Due to rising covid case rates from the Omicron variant, Contra Costa County is now mandating masks for all indoor gatherings, even for fully vaccinated people.

A BLESSING FOR 2022

This Sunday, January 2, we will begin the new year reflecting on what it means to be blessed by God and how we can be a blessing to others.  My message is titled, A Blessing For 2022.  Our scripture passages are Numbers 6:24-26 and Romans 12:14-21.  

peace, Ernie

p.s. Due to rising covid case rates from the Omicron variant, Contra Costa County is now mandating masks for all indoor gatherings, even for fully vaccinated people.   

To listen to today’s message, click on A Blessing for 2022

A REASON FOR JOY – Advent 4

On this 4th Sunday of Advent, we will hear from Itzhak, a young shepherd, who, while out in the fields watching the sheep, encountered a divine messenger who announced, “Don’t be afraid.  I bring you the most joyful news ever announced, and it is for everyone! The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born tonight in Bethlehem!” (Luke 2:10-11, TLB).  We will ponder the precious gift of joy, which comes to us unexpectedly, sometimes even in the midst of challenging and difficult times.  And we will have lots of special music provided by The Piedmont Brass Quintet.  May you experience many blessed moments of joy this Christmas season, and in the years ahead.

Peace, Ernie 

To listen to my message, click on A Reason For Joy

LOVE CAME DOWN -Advent 3

On this third Sunday of Advent, we will hear from another special guest, Tamar, the innkeeper’s wife, who shares how she helped with the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem (Luke 2).  She will light a candle for the love she experienced at this very special birth.  In Jesus love came down at Christmas, love that saves us all.

peace, Ernie

To listen to my message, click on Love Came Down

We will be having our traditional candlelight service Christmas Eve at 7pm.  Invite your friends and neighbors

GUIDE US IN THE WAY OF PEACE – Advent 2

On the second Sunday of Advent our special guest will be Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist.  She will share her story with us and will light a candle for peace.  You are invited to read her family’s story in Luke 1:5-25, 57-79.  My message, based on Luke 1:79, asks God to Guide Us in the Way of Peace.

peace, Ernie

To listen to my message, click on Guide Us In The Way of Peace

Hope for Stumps – Advent 1

On the first Sunday of Advent, the prophet Isaiah will speak to us and light a candle for hope.  He begins his prophecy,  “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.”  And he continues with a description of what God’s Christ will do, for us and for the world.  I invite you to read and ponder the whole prophecy found in Isaiah 11:1-10.  My message on his message is titled, Hope for Stumps.  After the last year and half, we all need some hope that God can bring new life out of seemingly dead stumps.

peace, Ernie

p.s. Thanks to those who decorated our sanctuary last Sunday afternoon for our celebration of the season of Advent and Christmas by hanging greens, lights and wreaths.

To listen to my message, click on Hope for Stumps

STEWARDS IN AUTUMN

The season we are in, Autumn, has much to teach us about our stewardship of the gifts and purposes of God. In nature, here in North America, Autumn is the season of shortening and cooler days, and leaves turning brilliant colors before they fall to the ground. In agriculture, it is the primary season of harvesting the crops that nourish us. In our communal lives, it is a season of Thanksgiving, of making pledges for the coming year, and of Advent preparations for the birth of Christ.  In sum, from Autumn we learn about letting go and gathering in with gratitude, expectation, and hope.  This Sunday, God willing, we will dedicate our pledges and celebrate a baptism.  So come ye thankful people come, raise the song of harvest home.  To listen to this week’s message, click on Stewards in Autumn.

peace, Ernie

p.s. Various scriptures for this Sunday are: Jeremiah 5:20-25, Romans 6:1-4, and Galatians 6:9-10.

STEWARDS IN SPRING AND SUMMER

The fallow season of winter inevitably gives way to the growth of new life in spring and then summer.  This is celebrated in the Song of Solomon 2:11-13, “For now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance.”  This week we will reflect on what it means to be Stewards in Spring and Summer.  In these seasons of increasing light and warmth, our stewardship of life calls on us to plant, nurture and promote growth, not just in the natural world, but also in the social world of human relationships, and in our inner world too.  May we be good stewards in all seasons.

peace, Ernie

To listen to my message, click on Stewards in Spring and Summer

STEWARDS IN WINTER

This Sunday we begin a three week sermon series titled STEWARDS IN ALL SEASONS. God who created the season of the year calls us to be faithful stewards in all seasons: winter, spring, summer and fall.  I chose to begin with winter, rather than the actual season we are in, autumn or fall, because in many ways the last year and half of living through the Covid-19 pandemic has seemed like one long winter to me.  We had a brief respite last June after we received the covid vaccines.  For a few blessed weeks we experienced something of the new growth of spring and the leisure of summer, but that soon ended in July when the surge of covid cases caused by the Delta variant reimposed restrictions upon our lives once again.  Thankfully now, with dropping case rates, and increased immunity from vaccinations and covid cases, there is hope that we are emerging from our long covid winter.  How were we faithful as stewards during that long winter?  What can we learn from such soul chilling and dark times?  May God guide us in our stewardship through all the seasons of our lives.

peace, Ernie

To listen to my message, click on Stewards in Winter

p.s. All Saints Day was this past Monday.  As part of our worship this Sunday we will when we remember and honor those in the family of faith that have gone before us.