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When you heard today's text was from Leviticus, some of you got uneasy. Maybe you got fired up that the preacher was going to tackle one of the gnarliest books in the Bible. Leviticus is not a benign book.
Is there a biblical book with a worse reputation? Even if you've never read Leviticus, you've heard other people who've said they've read it, and because of them you're positive you don't need to read it. You know; it's got that one verse used to judge gay and lesbian Christians. You may also know it contains dozens of very specific prohibitions of very commonplace behaviors.Read full transcript...
I've heard it said that integrity is who we are when no one is watching. While I certainly concur with this statement, I also recognize that in a world of ubiquitous cameras, microphones and internet access, there is hardly a time or place when no one is watching.
If there was one thing Jacob was good at, it was grabbing and hanging on. At birth, he'd grabbed his brother's heel so he could be the firstborn. Then he'd grabbed Esau's birthright and blessing. To get Rachel as his wife, he'd hung in with his uncle for 14 years. And one night, when the tables are turned and he gets grabbed and pulled into a wrestling match with an angel, Jacob again hangs on until he gets what he wants--a blessing.
I am filled with gratitude and appreciation for all of you as I announce my retirement at the end of this year.
That is where faith comes from.
Ancient Corinth controlled the two major harbors and thus command of the trade routes between Asia and Rome. In those days small ships were often dragged across the isthmus on a paved road. Larger ships unloaded their cargo, which was then carried across the isthmus and then reloaded onto other ships.
A great change has occurred in the rituals, formal and informal, surrounding dying and death in North America. Here and in other contemporary western cultures, our customary practices around dying and death, have changed dramatically. For millennia, both were part of the familiar fabric of human experience. But no longer.
Beyond the hit-and-miss conversations around coffee hour, do we talk about any of the things that really matter to us in church? And if we don’t, what do we talk about? Budgets, who’s going to teach Sunday school, carpet color, what?
A few weeks ago, Meredith Gould mentioned something on Twitter that made me pause. She was in a discussion with someone else, and I was eavesdropping on the conversation, because that’s what we do on Twitter. She mentioned that there was a difference between guilt and shame.
This is a Day1 Key Voice article by The Rev. Frederick Buechner.
Every system, every culture, every community risks succumbing to the temptation of shutting borders and protecting an identity. We are quickly seduced into the illusion of absolute control and power.