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God’s Glory Reflected In Us

In the passage, Moses saw God’s back. When he came down the mountain, the skin of his face was shining, and people were afraid of him. Whenever Moses went back to speaking with God
and came back to tell the people what God had said, Moses removed the veil so everyone could see his shining face. People might not be able to see God directly, but they could see God’s glory reflected in Moses. God had given them someone they could look at and listen to, someone who walked around in his own personal spotlight.

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February 11, 2024

Prayer is Beyond Our Words and Expressions

The good news we are reminded of from Paul’s letter is that we have not one but two intercessors for our faith journey—the Holy Spirit, who teaches us how to pray, and Christ, who sits on the right hand of God. Paul says that most of us do not take full advantage of them. It is because we do not know how to pray, Paul tells us. We often do not know how, or what, or why, and consequently, we are likely to avoid prayer altogether because we would rather not pray at all than do it wrong.

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February 4, 2024

Whatever Blindness We May Have

In today’s passage, Bartimaeus shouts, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” How in the world does that blind beggar recognize what no one else can see, that the man on the road in front of him is indeed the Messiah? Although the crowd tried to make the blind man silent, he cried out again more loudly, “Have mercy on me.”

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January 28, 2024

Speak, O Lord, For Your Servent Is Listening

In today’s passage, someone called Samuel in the middle of the night, not once but three times. Three times, Samuel answered, “Here I am,” and “I am coming,” running to see the priest, Eli. It was not Eli who called him, however, by the time Samuel awakened him for the third time, Eli had a hunch who it might be. So, the priest Eli told Samuel what to say the next time when he heard the voice, saying, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”

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January 14, 2024

If Only We See A Burning Bush

As I begin today’s message, I invite everyone to think about the idea of the voice of God. In the holy stories, God’s voices are often delivered by the Holy Spirit, by angels, by prophets, by creation, by God’s people, or by Jesus Christ. In some stories, God’s voices seem soft, tender, and lovely. By contrast, in other parts, God’s voices seem powerful, majesty, and almighty but destructive sometimes.

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January 7, 2024

Can We Linger Around the Christmas Story?

Although the church prefers a romantic and warm Christmas story, we prefer to skip over this brutal story a week after Christmas; this story tells us about the reality of what happened to the holy family after the first Christmas and what is happening to us today.

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December 31, 2023

Watching For What Is New

Today’s passage was given to God’s people, who were mired down, beaten, and about to give up, especially for those who needed hope, peace, love, and joy. Of course, that means all of us. The two lessons and the wisdom from the passage are simple and clear.

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December 24, 2023

God's Great Divine Drama

Today’s passage is Paul’s love and didactic letter to his friends in the church in Philippi. Like a love letter, in today’s passage, we may sense that Paul cares for his people dearly and gives a lesson and celebrates them with their best dreams and visions of their future well-being, and encourages them about the ongoing faith journey of their lives. If Paul had known about us, the FCCSville, he would no doubt have written us such a letter.

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December 17, 2023

Beyond Our Capacity and Our Imagination

In today’s passage, the Prophet gives us a vision that we, as believers, should dream dreams and keep them inside of us—new heaven, new earth, and new Jerusalem. A new world and a new heaven, where is it? Is it only a place we will go after the end of life? Isn't it a place where we might see a glimpse of what it may look like in God’s kingdom on earth? Where and how do we find a new world and a new heaven today?

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December 10, 2023

Slow Down and Stay Awake

Today’s gospel lesson, “Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming,” helps us to create a time to prepare for the birth of God’s son to come and live with us and among us once again, the time that we not only reflect on the past time of 2023 but also to look forward to what the coming year of 2024 will bring, even though it sometimes seems daunting and unknown.

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December 3, 2023

To Watch and Wait for God’s Vision

Today’s passage, the poet from the prophet Habakkuk, still seems very reliable. The passage uses the term “violence” twice to characterize a failed neighborly society--—the times people were caught by anxiety, institutions were failing, and people took matters into their own hands and turned against their neighbors. And today’s passage could be our poem as well--the level of rage, the tone of anxiety, the deep fear, the thirst for vengeance is all right here.

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November 26, 2023

Reforming and Reshaping Us

Today’s passage, we just read about one of the most dramatic re-form stories in the Hebrew Bible. In today’s passage, King Josiah decided to renovate the temple in Jerusalem to make it look compelling. While the workmen were renovating, they found an old scroll. What I’d like to focus on is how Josiah responds to this scroll, the one seemingly left over at the corner.

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November 12, 2023

Facing the Future With Our Saints

We believe that we come into communion with all those saints and souls who have gone before us, with all whom we are related by Christ’s blood. The belief in the communion of Saints can give us what we need the most—an acceptance of both sides of the bereavement coin—the pain and longing for the loss and the continued connectedness with the departed In addition, this belief still shapes our identities, gives meaning to our lives, and directs our futures and our purposes that entail being enrolled in God’s story and God’s big picture that is much larger than our own story.

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November 5, 2023

We Are Carriers of God’s Newness

I invite us to see the Pharaoh in the passage as a stand-in for every dominant system of power and wealth that believes it is legitimate to accumulate endless money, food, land, and human resources, which is the business of scarcity. Yes, Pharaoh is a good metaphor for every political and social economy in which every big one who eats little one, and the powerful take advantage of the vulnerable-- today’s Pharaoh can be everyone who has many names and many faces.

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October 22, 2023

The Business of God's Abundance

Consider the familiar world in which we live every day. It is a world of scarcity and anxiety. It is a world that thinks there is not enough to go around and that we cannot share, but we must get all we can for ourselves and get more as we are able because we never have enough yet. That familiar world of scarcity is grounded in a deep fear of running out, generating wide and deep anxiety about our lives with others.

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October 15, 2023

An Inconvenient and Unwelcome Voice

In today’s passage, the prophet Amos was an inconvenient and unwelcome voice in ancient Israel. Like the other prophets, Amos had no credentials, no royal genealogy, and no ground on which to stand. But Amos had hard words that came to him that burst out.

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October 8, 2023

The Story of Nobody to Somebody

Today’s story goes like this: King Saul, who was Israel’s first king, had been a huge disappointment in office. So, God told Samuel to go and find and interview another king. God sent Samuel to Bethlehem, to the house of Jesse. When Samuel blamed himself for failing his mission to find a new king when he was about to leave after seeing the seven sons, he said to Father Jesse—“Is that all of your sons?”

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October 1, 2023

Our Dresses Are Made from the Whole Fabric of Our Lives

We usually dress nicely and comfortably on Sundays, which may be why we react so strongly to today’s story in the passage about the underdressed guest. What did the king expect in today’s story? No one walks around in wedding robes just in case they happen to be invited to a royal banquet.

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September 17, 2023

People Know Us By What Our Lives Say

In today’s passage, we just read the story of the “Yes” and “No” brothers that Jesus gave to the chief priests and elders. Their main concern was Jesus, who was a “no” guy. Instead of answering them, Jesus asked them a question—“What do you think?”—and he told them a story.

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September 10, 2023

To Hunger and Thirst for the Good News for the People of God

In Amos’s context, the nation had enjoyed forty years of peace and prosperity, mainly because the empire of Assyria had been busy with troubles of its own. In the meantime, the rich had gotten richer while the poor had become poorer. The worst part was the alienation between the two. They had forgotten they were kin and friends. And the imbalance and chasm between them
had become broader and deeper, preventing them from being one community.

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September 3, 2023

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