Advent Journey Home: December 20, 2020

Odd, but I’m feeling homesick.  Not which home but it’s the feeling deep inside; a longing for something from before.  It’s a feeling, a smell, or a sound.  I’ll let you know when I figure it out.

This song caught me in the heart today.

“I will sing you home”

We’re getting close. We pray for safety, bread for the journey, and love to sustain us.

Bethlehem is just around the corner.


Protection, comfort, and love Psalm 40

Sermon given on Sunday, June 25th, 2017

DMS Pastoral Charge


                                                 Protection, Comfort, and Love

Through the Psalms we’ve looked at what brings us comfort. We’ve looked into the beauty of the psalms and how we can relate to the story of our lives.
Through the Psalms we understand that God knows our every need – even before we are aware we have needs. In Psalm 40 we hear words, pleas and cries, for saving and protection. There’s immediacy in the end that says, “Please hurry.” Sometimes we feel like we’re at the end of our rope or even that we’ve run out of rope.
God does not make demands on our lives – there is no need for sacrifice or for rituals. However, today we share at the Table; we break bread, drink of the cup, and we remember.

We remember grace; a gift that is given to all who come.
Grace, our gifts received, the gift of our lives. We know that we can be a reflection of the love God has for each one of us. We know that we offer others opportunities to see that reflection.

“11 Please, Eternal One, don’t hold back your kind ways from me.
I need your strong love and truth”
I need your strong love and truth. This is a pleading, a true desire from the psalmist’s heart.

The psalmist wrote, “Now I have a new song to sing—
A song of praise to the One who saved me.”
Sometimes we need a new song to sing. Sometimes our hearts yearn for the saving help we receive from others who work their ministry gifts; gifts of help, prayer, support, comfort, in so many ways.

We know that Isaiah. 40:31 states, “they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength”. There was a time that I sang this familiar verse in the form of a hymn. {sing} The psalmists, as well as the prophets seem to wait a lot. They wait for protection, for strength, and for love. They wait to be lifted up, covered under wings, and to find rest.

What are we waiting for?

I remember a time of waiting. My decision to move ahead through discernment into formalized ministry meant that I had to wait. There was paper-work, interviews, new ministry site, education process, courses to take, more paper-work, interviews, another ministry site (where I currently serve) and then more paper-work. Lots and lots of waiting took place over 4 or so years. I waited. Strength was renewed.

What are we/you waiting for?

Are we patient as we watch and wait today? We open our hearts; we open our lives to God. Deep down we need this love and yes, even this protection.

What do we need? Do we come today confessing our short-comings and our separation from the God of love? Perhaps we come today seeking relationships not only with each other but with God through the work of the Spirit.
Throughout the Psalms I sense a true desire for each writer to make a connection, a relationship, with someone more, something more, than just an individual’s need for protection, comfort, and love.
Are we much different? We too seek these things. We reach out to God through our prayers, our actions, and our lives. Quiet prayer time can help us focus on what is truly needed in our lives. I believe God already knows our needs. Our cries for help, protection, and love help us define what is truly needed.


What was the Psalm you wrote this week? Did the narrative ocommunion bread and winef your life, the story of your life, include a relationship with God?

We meet each week to celebrate God’s presence in our lives; to participate in worship through prayer and song. We break bread, drink the wine, and we build community.
The psalms help us connect on both spiritual and human levels. We read of the psalmists’ needs, desires, fears, and sorrow. We read of the psalmists’ joy in finding gratitude. This is also about each one of us. Our human responses and requirements are not much different from those of the Hebrew people years before Christ.

As we share at the table today we pray that in sharing in this ritual remembering, in sharing at this feast, we are renewed and inspired (filled with the Spirit) as one with Christ, as one with God. We find healing and connection at the Table. Our relationship with the Creator is renewed and so can our relationships with each other.

Through your healing and/or your relationships will you write a new song or psalm this week? Will you recall your prayers and our communion time together?
I encourage each of us to find ways this week to share our story, our psalm with others. Perhaps someone will find a new connection with God because of your sharing.
May our sharing be a blessing to one another and to the communities we serve. Amen.


The 23rd Psalm – Sabbath after Sunday worship

I rest, reflect, and re-connect on Mondays, my Sabbath time.  Below is what I shared during Sunday’s worship, July 11, 2017.

The Narrative – The Story

I invite you, if you are comfortable, to close your eyes.  Picture yourself in a place that brings you comfort.  Feel that comforting love wrapped around you.  Can you sense/feel love’s presence?

Perhaps you are at a family dinner.  There’s chatter all around you.  It’s noisy and yet, you feel at peace.

Maybe you are sitting on the dock.  Still waters mirror the shoreline.  Geese fly over-head announcing their arrival.  A lone loon calls from around the next cove.  You feel safe, loved, and at peace.

As a child you rush home, possibly late for dinner.  The kitchen smells like heaven.  You belong; you are loved.

Now take a deep breath.  Breathe in all that your senses can handle.  take a moment to realize that many times in your life and in the lives of those around you, you have felt this way.

Love is offering comfort.  Love offers peace.  Jesus said, “Come.”

Open your eyes.  Do you see the smiles around you?  See that God is near.  The Good Shepherd is here.

Christ the Good Shepherd*

As we think back to the 23rd Psalm we ask, “Where does the psalmist find comfort?”

  • the psalm is a prayer, engaging God
  • there are pastoral images of still water, green grass, of being fed, protected, and cared for
  • picturing the house of the Lord forever

Matthew 11:28 Jesus said, “Come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest.”

John 10:11 He also said, “I am the good shepherd.”

These are words of comfort.

Where do we find comfort today?

  • family, friends
  • time together in fellowship and in worship
  • warm blankets and wrapped in prayer shawls
  • in our “special” places
  • In our memories

May we all find comfort in this psalm and in God’s love that surrounds us, always.