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Last hired, First in Line?

Pastor’s Column 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time September 24, 2017 “Thus the last will be first, and the first will be last.” Matthew 20:16a I was employed in the airline industry for over a decade before entering the seminary, and like many industries, job seniority--your hire date--is very important! After I had been interviewed and had taken a very difficult math exam, I waited anxiously to hear if the company would hire me. Later, they did call, and offered me one of three start dates that were spaced two weeks apart (we were sent in 3 groups to Dallas for six weeks of computer language training). I chose the second of the three start dates, not realizing that everyone in that first grou

How Do I Forgive?

Pastor’s Column 24th Sunday Ordinary Time September 17, 2017 It is amazing how often Jesus insists that we forgive our neighbor for what he or she has done to us, and today’s dramatic gospel is no exception! (Matthew 18:21-35). Of course, what is implied here is that we all get offended by others at times, sometimes very deeply. We want to fulfill the gospel. How do we do this? Here are a few simple rules of forgiveness: 1. Forgiveness is not a feeling. Jesus isn’t commanding us to “like” our enemy, or to “feel good” about the person who hurt us. After forgiving, I may still have terrible feelings about the offender, but that does not mean I haven’t forgiven! 2. Forgiveness means not

When Jesus Came Among Us As We Prayed

Pastor’s Column 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time September 10, 2017 “For where two or more are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20 Do we really believe that the Lord is present whenever we pray together in his name? Notice that he says “where two or more are gathered…” This is why we pray together and not only individually. The Lord expects us to be in fellowship with other Christians to support and aid them as well as to receive support. The Lord never envisioned a church of one, but expects us to come together regularly, especially on Sundays. We see this clearly in the Our Father. Notice Jesus doesn’t say My Father, but Our Father! Of course, our Lord i

Now We Work for a Short Time

Pastor’s Column 22nd Sunday Ordinary Time September 3, 2017 “What profit would there be for a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay all according to his conduct.” Matthew 16:26-27 This quote is one of my favorites, and one I try to live by. Jesus is right around the corner, and when we do see him face to face he will reward us according to the measure of our conduct on earth (yes, it’s right in the gospel quoted above!). Keeping this in mind can help clarify many things and help us daily to cultivate fields that will produce goodness, and hel

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