"Don't Pull the Weeds:
Text: Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
Those of you who know me well are aware that I am to be counted among that portion of the population which drives the remaining portion of the population crazy. I am a neat freak. The American Psychological Association has a category for people like me: obsessive-compulsive. I prefer to put it this way: I like a place for everything, and everything in its place.
"Seesaw of Faith"
Text: John 20:19-29
1 Peter 1:3-9
This is the Sunday after; the Sunday after all the “Gloria’s” and “Alleluia’s” have returned to our liturgies and hymns; the Sunday after the brass musicians have returned to their respective homes and churches; the Sunday after the extravaganza of lilies; the Sunday after a filled sanctuary; the Sunday after the antiphonal greeting: “Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed!”
"No Final Buzzer!"
Text: Matthew 28:1-10
2 Corinthians 4:13-18
In a book entitled Just As Long As I’m Riding Up Front, Baptist minister Ray McIver tells of belonging to the San Marcos, Texas chapter of Kiwanis. It was a very lively group, says McIver; all except old Roger Shelton. Roger came to meetings late, always sat off by himself, and hardly ever spoke a word.
"No Skipping Over"
Text: Luke 19:29-40
As the Kowalski family sat and stood around Stanley’s bed in the ICU of Memorial City Hospital during the last hours of his earthly life, a lot of thoughts were racing through their minds. Something all of them were thinking -- but were hesitant to speak aloud in the early hours of their vigil -- was this: Stanley….. dad…..granddad has been suffering at home for months. Why must he continue to suffer here? Why won’t the good Lord take him? What is He waiting for?
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.