Find what you have lost

Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 11 2016 Exodus 32.7-14; Luke 15.1-10 Rev. Loren McGrail, United Church of Christ/National YMCA of Palestine It was our first day of school and we were so excited and nervous we didn’t even turn the radio on during that two hour ride from our home in Western Massachusetts to Boston.…

To be radical is to go to the root

Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 4 2016 Jeremiah 18.1-11; Philemon 1-21; Luke 14.25-33 Páraic Réamonn, Church of Scotland To be human is to change, said John Henry Newman, and to be perfect is to have changed often. He forgot to add that change is hard, and radical change excruciatingly painful. To change my deepest intellectual…

Lord God of guests

Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost, August 28 2016 Jeremiah 2.4-13; Hebrews 13.1-8, 15-16; Luke 14.1, 7-14 Páraic Réamonn, Church of Scotland My sermon today is a tale of two hymns, one that we shall sing before communion, the other composed as a poem in 1897 by the British writer Rudyard Kipling. In that year, Queen Victoria…

Wounds and all

Out of the rubble pile we are called 15th Sunday after Pentecost, August 21 2016 Isaiah 58.9b-14; Luke 13.10-17 Loren McGrail, United Church of Christ All who reverence and honor the Beloved are nourished and held by Love. For you, O Healer, invite us to wholeness, to be co-creators along Love’s Way   – Psalm 102…

Faith challenges our comfort zone

13th Sunday after Pentecost, August 14 2016 Isaiah 5.1-7; Psalm 80.1-2, 8-19; Hebrews 11.29-12:2; Luke 12.49-56 Anita Venter, Bethlehem Bible College Many moons ago, when I was still a kid we as a family lived in Upington, a town in South Africa located on the northern banks of the Orange River and surrounded by vineyards.…

Where our heart is

Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, July 31 2016 Hosea 11.1-11; Psalm 50; Colossians 3.1-11; Luke 12.13-24 Páraic Réamonn, Church of Scotland The City of London won’t like him. Wall Street bankers won’t warm to him. Luke is not a fan of wealth. Unashamedly Luke leans towards the poor and lowly. Criticism of the rich runs like…

In our image and likeness

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost, July 24 2016 Hosea 1.2-10; Psalm 67 (CH4 45); Colossians 2.6-19; Luke 11.1-13 Páraic Réamonn, Church of Scotland After Vivien and I visited Masada, I bought the DVD of the same name – a miniseries based on a novel by Ernest Gann and, I’m sorry to say, only partly redeemed by…

The wisdom of God

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, July 17 2016 Amos 8.1-12; Colossians 1.15-28; Luke 10.38-42 Páraic Réamonn, Church of Scotland Our reading from Amos begins with a joke. The book of Amos doesn’t give us the impression of a prophet with an irrepressible sense of humour.  But our reading from Amos chapter 8 begins with a pun,…

Who is my neighbour?

8th Sunday after Pentecost, July 10 2016 Amos 7.7-17; Psalm 130 (CH4 87); Colossians 1.1-14; Luke 10.25-37 Rev Páraic Réamonn, Church of Scotland Who is my neighbour? When Amy-Jill Levine was a child, she wanted to be pope. “You can’t,” her mother told her. “You’re not Italian.” These days, that is no longer an insuperable…

Do this – and fix the road

8th Sunday after Pentecost, July 10 2016 St Andrew’s Galilee Luke 10.25-37 Rev Loren McGrail, United Church of Christ/National YWCA of Palestine On August 16, 1942 the Circassian villagers of Besleney, a small Muslim farming community in the Caucasus, saw 4 wagons harnessed to horses with exhausted and sick children, some even dead, roll by.…