Text: Mark 10:46-52
It was late autumn, 1974. Word was all over the front page of the local Beaver Valley news- papers that Antonio (a.k.a. “Tony”) Lalama -- a prominent attorney and real estate broker – had been indicted on half a dozen counts ranging from numbers, to racketeering, to extortion. His ties to organized crime in the valley had long been suspected.
"The Perfect Jar"
Text: John 4:1-30, 39-42
Does anyone have a favorite cup or mug; one you use every day for coffee or tea? It may be a conventional mug like this one. It’s one of my favorites because it’s a keepsake, commemorative cup from the Massillon Club, which used to sit on our west side property. It could be a thermal cup like this one, which I lifted from the lost and found table a few weeks ago. It could be a cup with a saucer which is part of a set, like this one. And here’s a cup for the purely utilitarian.
"I Will Tell You A Mystery"
Text: 1 Corinthians 15:35-37a, 42-44, 51-58
A young woman – we’ll call her “Sally” – went into the hospital for testing at the request of family members and friends. Sally had been experiencing symptoms for several months; symptoms which are considered ones you do not ignore. Rather than lessening, these symptoms got worse over time, eventually affecting Sally’s day-to-day quality of life. She knew deep inside her that something was wrong, but she didn’t know what it was, and at her age couldn’t imagine it was anything to fret about.
"More Than We Bargained For"
Text: Mark 8:34-37
There’s a story from the good old days, long before the widespread availability of smart watches such as the Casio Protech, the Samsung Gear 3, or the Garmin Vivoactive HR. A man in an airport was worried about missing his flight to the west coast. He didn’t have a wristwatch and couldn’t spot a clock. So he hurried up to a stranger and said, “Excuse me. Could you please give me the time?” The man smiled and said “Sure.” He set down the two large, heavy suitcases he was carrying and looked at his watch.
"The City of God"
Text: Revelation 21:1-5a
Most of us consider ourselves one of three types of people. Please raise your hand if you consider yourself a country person? Now raise your hand if you consider yourself a suburbanite. Finally, who of us would call ourselves city folk? I am clearly in that third category. I recall the thrill of my Aunt Eleanor and I catching the 21C bus at 5th Avenue and School Street in my home- town of Coraopolis when I was a youngster, and the twenty minute ride into the heart of down town Pittsburgh. In fact, I can clearly remember how my heart would beat faster with excitement as the bridges and skyscrapers came into view.
Text: 1 Samuel 16:1-13
Those of us who are dyed-in-the-wool Beatles fans may remember an obscure song recorded on the Magical Mystery Tour LP (actually the soundtrack for a 1967 Beatle’s film of the same title). The name of the song is “Baby, You’re a Rich Man.” Here is an excerpt from Lennon and McCartney’s tongue-in-cheek lyrics:
"That's So God!"
Text: Jeremiah 31:7-14
If we share living quarters with someone – our spouse, our children, our parents, a friend – we learn soon enough how quirky their habits and tendencies can be. And some of those habits and tendencies can make us half crazy. Ask my wife.
"Like A Child"
Text: Luke 18:15-17
Just a few days ago, I turned over what I like to call “61,000 miles.” Many of you sitting here whose odometers have turned over 70,000 or 80,000 miles may be thinking to yourselves, “If only I could roll back to 61,000.”