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Sermons from Willow Glen United Methodist Church

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The Good Wine Now

And when we get to the wedding, remember that the bride and groom aren’t the only ones who make vows. We have replaced the old bit about “giving away the bride” with a new bit that asks everyone to promise that they will, by God’s grace, do everything in their power to uphold and care for this couple because they cannot hope to love each other very well or for very long without a lot of help. In the same way, the Church will fail to keep her vow to Christ and will fail in her mission to bring his love into the world without all of us keeping our vows to uphold and support her for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health and forsaking all others until death do us part.

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What Would Jesus Say About the Divisions in Our Country?

We come to the table confessing the truth that by ourselves, we can’t do anything about the divisions in our country or world except exacerbate them. On our own, we really can’t love our enemies. But if we can accept the fact that Christ loves us—that he loved us even when we were enemies of God [Rom 5:10]—then we can let Christ love our enemies through us. This is the way the division ends. This is the way the world begins again.

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Why Do You Sit Alone?

Sometimes it takes an outsider to help us see the obvious: that we are in way over our heads. While none of us is Moses, we have all been in situations where we are way overextended, stretched to the limit and beyond the limit. Often we’ve been in that position long enough to forget that we ever had a limit. This can happen at work, in our job of parenting, or in the task of caregiving. It can happen as we struggle with divorce or job loss or chronic illness. In fact, for many of us, this is just daily living. The thing is that the more overwhelmed we get, the more isolated we become. Even when we are surrounded by people, we can feel very much alone. But often we don’t admit it until someone else notices it. Jethro noticed it and called Moses on it. “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone…?”

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Let Go of My Ego

To those who still can’t let go of their ego, Jesus says, “Let me welcome that child in you who was always afraid to be last, always worried that someone would think they were least, always waiting for someone to tell them to get lost. Give that child to me, and then I will give you the strength to welcome every such child in my name. By loving and serving the last in your world, you will come to know what it’s like to be first in mine.”

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What Would Jesus Say About Our Current Incivility?

I think we should require everyone who wants to hold public office to read the Letter of James, especially the third chapter: "How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire…a world of iniquity…a restless evil, full of deadly poison." And then we should issue every voter a fire extinguisher.

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