A Laity Jubilee – October 24, 2010

Sunday, October 24, was a celebration of the ministry of the laity of Huguenot Church. Worship included a presentation of a pictorial Jubilee History that represented many of the ways that the people of our community of faith have been about the work of Jesus Christ in the world. Follow the link to see the images that were included in the presentation. Continue reading

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October 17, 2010 – Faith and Action: Wait for It

text: James 5:7-11
click on the link above to read the text at www.commonenglishbible.com

In recent weeks we have seen James turn to the teachings of wisdom in the Old Testament to describe the relationship between faith and action. We heard James appeal to the wisdom of Proverbs to show us what living a wise faith looks like. A wise faith leads to wise action—action that reveals the promise of God’s reign through a ministry that puts the needs of others above our own needs. We heard James appeal to the wisdom of Ecclesiastes to remind us of the importance of living our faith today—not putting off our work for tomorrow and not putting our own agenda above God’s will.

In the passage for this week, James appeals to the wisdom of Job. Continue reading

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October 10, 2010 – Faith and Action: Lord Willing

text: James 4:13-17
click on the link above to read the text at www.commonenglishbible.com

I offer some brief random reflections on this passage this week for your consideration . . .

It can be really frustrating when we make plans and something unexpected comes up and forces us to change those plans. This passage from James reminds us that it is really rather arrogant to think that we can trust our own plans. Continue reading

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October 3, 2010 – Faith and Action: A Wise Choice

text: James 3:13-18
click on the link above to read the text at www.commonenglishbible.com

The wisdom tradition in the life of Israel teaches us that the righteous prosper and the wicked perish. To a some extent this is true. If we are wise and make good choices in life, generally things will go well for us. If we are foolish and make bad choices, generally things will go poorly. That is sensible—reasonable even—except it doesn’t always work out that way.

We can all think of situations where good people suffer and foolish people succeed. Continue reading

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Pumpkins Arrive

Members of Huguenot Church, with the help of Scouts from St. Matthias and their families, unloaded nearly 1400 pumpkins on Saturday morning, September 25. A little later in the afternoon the truck returned with unclaimed pumpkins and another 250 were added to the patch. The annual pumpkin patch is traditionally a significant fundraiser for the church. We appreciate all the help in preparing and maintaining this event. Follow the link for pictures. Continue reading

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September 26, 2010 – Show-Off

text: James 2:14-18
click on the link above to read the text at www.biblestudytools.com

A show-off is someone who likes taking the spotlight—calling attention to themselves by the things that they do. A show-off will often do far more than is necessary to gain that notoriety—trying to appear to be the best at what they do even if it is really just a facade. A show-off gives little thought to the effect their display has on others. They can cause another to feel inferior, or damage a person’s self esteem, or just plain embarrass someone for their lack of ability or knowledge.

It is hard for me to imagine that anyone would really want to do bad things to others. Continue reading

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September 19, 2010 – True Devotion

text: James 1:19-27
click on the link above to read the text at www.commonenglishbible.com

Salvation is a gift from God. There is no way around that. Salvation has to be a gift because we human beings cannot do anything to earn it—we are too broken for that. So we accept salvation as a gift—not because we deserve it, but because God loves us and wants the very best for us and all of God’s children. That is what Jesus came to teach us. That is what is revealed for us in Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. To follow Jesus Christ is to understand that the gift of salvation changes the way we live our lives. To follow Christ is to know that faith leads to action.

James is very concerned about people who say they are followers of Jesus Christ, but whose lives do not reflect the influence of what Jesus taught. Continue reading

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Faith and Action

We say we are justified by faith. That’s biblical. Yet, that is not the whole story. The Letter of James reminds us that there is more. As followers of Christ we are called to follow the example of Christ. That means working to make the world a better place—working to move this world a little closer to the kingdom of God. A call to faith is a call to action. For the next several weeks we will be exploring what James has to say about living fruitful lives of faith.

September 19 – James 1:19-27 – True Devotion
September 26 – James 2:14-18 – Show Off
October 3 – James 3:13-18 – A Wise Choice
October 10 – James 4:13-17 – Lord Willing
October 17 – James 5:7-11 – Wait for It

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Jubilee in Worship, Fellowship, and Service

It was a great day. 102 souls gathered for worship on September 12, 2010. Former pastor, Mike Meloy, preached and reminded us how some of our most significant formation as a community of faith occurs in times of adversity and challenge. He says that the way to continue moving forward is to love—even those it is sometimes difficult to love. After worship we had fellowship around the table at lunch provided by the Susannah Wesley Circle. Then we donned blue gloves and went to work making some 450 sandwiches. These sandwiches, along with baggies of carrots and celery, additional loaves of bread with some fixings, and fried chicken remaining from lunch, were donated to Friends of the Homeless where they will be distributed among some of the homeless population in the Richmond area this week. Follow the link to see photos of the day provided by Fred Schneider. Continue reading

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Jubilee Continues

Since I have not been preparing a sermon for this week [Mike Meloy is preaching for our Jubilee Sunday celebration] I have had some time to reflect a little more on the meaning of Jubilee. As we have already observed, Jubilee is a fresh start—a new beginning. [You can refer to Leviticus 25 for the Biblical description of Jubilee] The name Jubilee refers to the blast of a ram’s horn called a shofar. In the fiftieth year, a shofar was carried throughout the land and blown to announce the beginning of the Jubilee year—the year of freedom—the year when all of God’s people would be released from debt and servitude. It is as if the sound of the shofar was gathering the people and calling them to return home the way a shepherd would blow the shofar to gather the sheep. In fact, Old Testament Scholar Everett Fox in a recent translation of the Five Books of Moses uses the term “Homebringing” for Jubilee.

So Jubilee is a homecoming year. Continue reading

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