Mark 9:14-29: Faith and Faithfulness

In today’s Gospel, Jesus triumphs in a spiritual miracle, casting out a demon.  For us, this is almost unrelatable because we can explain, in some way, people’s bizarre conduct.  In our world, people exhibit many weird behaviors.  Still, we almost always come up with some explanation, often traceable to an illness—Bipolar disorder, Alzheimer’s, a horrible […]

A Lesson on Grieving

With two deaths within a week, a lesson like this made sense.  For when someone you know and love dies, you suffer an enormous sense of loss.  It is like an amputation. Initially, there’s a sharp pain. Eventually, there’s healing—but there’s always a loss. Grief is the expression of this loss, which someone can express […]

Sandy Webb’s Funeral Homily: Baptism Does What?

John 3:1-7, 14-17; Genesis 7:11-13, 22-23; 8:1, 9:8-15; 1 Peter 3:18-21 Sometimes, someone enters your life who speaks the truth, flowing from a heart of love, without pretense or agenda.  Whenever a friend like this becomes part of your life, don’t let him go.  Such people are rare.  Don’t allow being comfortable to obstruct genuine […]

Mark 7:24-37: Knocked Down by Sin and Death

In less than a week, two deaths—Sandy Webb and Donna Kind-Gappa.  So close together, we are left unable to make sense of this.  Inside, we are a mess of emotions, disturbed and rattled. Somehow, this smacks of betrayal.  For if God is real, how can he let this happen, a few days apart?  Only a […]

Ephesians 5:22-33: Love and Submission?

Such a reviled word, submission.  Given a different worldview, which concerns itself for others, we set aside our desires and rights for the benefit of another.  Now, this is part of following Jesus because He did the same for us.  The rights and privileges of being God, He put away, becoming human, walking the road […]

Psalm 68:6, Dean Webb’s Funeral Sermon: God Brings Those in the Prison House to Where?

“The two ways—one of life and one of death, and a vast chasm exists between the two” (Didache 1:1).  So begins a 1st-century document, meant for Gentile converts entering a Church filled with Jewish Christians.  Such are the subjects Dean delighted in learning during my time as his pastor. Today, you will not find yourself […]

John: Lesson 9: The Food of God’s Kingdom (John 6:25 – 71)

Jesus is back in Galilee with another Passover soon approaching.  He crossed over the Sea of Galilee and a crowd follows Him there.  Hungry, Jesus took five loaves and seven fish and multiplied them to feed a crowd of 5,000 men, plus women and children. Both Jesus and His disciples leave and the crowd follows […]

Lord of the Sabbath: Mark 2:23-28

The disciples and Jesus are walking through a barley or wheat field.  Some Pharisees, a group of legalistic Jews, are standing by, ready to ambush them.  For Jesus chafed them the wrong way, going against their grain.  In the other Gospel accounts, we learn they are hungry.  So what are they to do? Tired and […]

Holy Trinity: John 3:1-17

So naive is Nicodemus.  In the concealed obscurity of night, he visits Jesus.  Though seeking to remain undetected, he offers Him the highest praise, “Rabbi, you must be a teacher come from God.  For no one can perform the signs you do unless God is with him” (John 3:2).  Swept away by His miracles, such […]

John: Lesson 8: Jesus Feeds a Crowd to … (John 6:1 – 24)

In John 2, Jesus went to Jerusalem for Passover (John 2:24, 4:43-44).  Now we find almost a year has elapsed and Jesus is back in Galilee with another Passover soon approaching.  This shows us John leaves out a lot, including the more important points we need (John 20:31).    Jesus Feeds a Crowd  Read John […]