Pastor Tom Murray, Baptism River Community Church
A young boy was once walking down a country road on his way home from school.
The congregations I serve in Finland and Lutsen recently read the story of Joseph together, a story many of us remember from childhood.
One of my favorite parables was told many years ago by the architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life." John 3:16
When I struggle to describe the tumultuous times we are living in, a word that comes to mind is "koyaanisqatsi," which in the Hopi language means "unbalanced life" or "life in disorder."
On the night of November 9, 1938, an outbreak of violence aimed at Jewish citizens swept across Germany. Homes were ransacked, synagogues destroyed, cemeteries desecrated, and sacred books burned. The sidewalks of Jewish neighborhoods were so covered in shards of glass that the night became known as Kristallnacht; the night of shattered glass.
I stumbled across a website some time ago called "Six Word Memoirs," which invites people to tell a story, explain a philosophy, or describe who they are using just six words. The idea comes from Ernest Hemingway, who was once challenged to write a tragic novel using only six words. It's said that he thought for a moment and then replied, "For sale, baby shoes, never worn." Sometimes when I'm bored I compose my own six word memoirs about being a pastor, things like, "Walleyes are biting, sermon can wait," and "Oh! That wedding was today? Oops."
One of my favorite snippets of verse in all of scripture is when God comes to Abraham and invites him to look up and imagine that his descendants will one day be like the constellations that grace the night sky. I love this because this is such an audacious promise. It's crazy, really, when you think about it. It's a promise made to a couple who have long since given up the hope that they will bear children of their own.