All Are Saved!
Well, as I mentioned at the top of the service today, we're celebrating All Saints Sunday because this Tuesday, November 1, Is All Saints Day, a time for us to honor and to celebrate our loved ones who have passed and to recognize that their light is still with us.
Righteous vs. Self-Righteous Christians
Well, I think some of you know that when Greg and I first moved to Michigan back in 2005, we opened a bed and breakfast in Saugatuck. And at that time, we became aware that there was another bed and breakfast in the area that was embroiled in a bit of controversy. At the time, a couple had reserved a room at that bed and breakfast. But when they arrived, the innkeeper said that they couldn't stay there, because she saw that they were two men, a gay couple. And she said that hers was a Christian B&B.
The Science of Prayer
Well, today's Gospel reading actually has a name, a title. It's called the Parable of the Persistent Widow. And as I mentioned at the top of the service, it's probably one of Jesus's least known parables. I mean, many of Jesus's other parables – the parable of the Good Samaritan, the parable of the prodigal son – most people know these stories, even if they're not religious, even if they've never read the Bible.
The Universal Law of Gratitude
Well, one of the very first things I did when I became the pastor here eight and a half years ago was establishing a KUDOS section in the weekly church Epistle newsletter and in the Sunday bulletin. The word kudos comes from an ancient Greek word, which means praise. And I have to tell you, it brings me so much joy each week to bestow praise and kudos on all of you who do so much in service of our church and community.
Discover the Power Within You
Well, I think that most of you know that the scripture readings that we read each Sunday come from a book that's called the Revised Common Lectionary. And the reason that it's called the Common Lectionary, is it's a book that the Christian denominations have in common. And I really love that. I love that every Sunday, Christian churches of different denominations around the world, be they Episcopalian or Presbyterian or Methodist, or Catholic, are all focused on the same readings each week.