Jesus says that he is the gate. Gates open and close. Gates keep sheep in, and thieves and bandits out. Gates close to death and open to life. I’m attracted to the gate metaphor because it fits what is happening in our country, our state, our town, your life and my life. I’m talking about reopening.
Last week we stood in the valley of the shadow of death. This week we stand in the valley of dry bones. They’re not two different valleys. Both are the valley of COVID-19. How fortunate are we that today the valley of dry bones is one of our assigned scripture readings? It’s exactly what we, our country, and our world need to hear.
"All shall be well. All shall be well. Every manner of thing shall be well." I hope you will hold on to what those words say. Let them bind you to faith, hope, and love, and connect you to one another. The theme of those words - all shall be well - is the thread that runs through today’s psalm.
What God creates, God loves; and what God loves, God loves everlastingly. I hope that you will hold on to those words. They are the thread that runs through everything we will do here today. They are the thread that…
Does my life matter? Do I make a difference, and if so, how? I suspect we all struggle with these questions or questions like them. I’m pretty sure that at some level they are always with us. And we don’t just want someone else to say yes. We want to be able to say yes for ourselves.
Regardless of when or how those questions come up I think they are grounded in a deep longing and desire for abundance in our life. We want to be an abundant people. We want to live an abundant life.
Today we “walk through the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23). Today the familiarity, poetry, and beauty of the 23rd psalm have a different tone. The shadow is dark and the valley is long and deep. I will not mislead you by denying that reality or letting platitudes and sentimentalities echo off the valley’s walls. That doesn’t help anyone. The valley is real and the shadow is here. That does not mean, however, that you and I are without hope. Let me be clear about this. That does not mean we are without hope.
Easter 4A - John 10:1-10 “Jesus used this figure of speech with them but they did not understand what he was saying to them” (John 10:6) Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever listened to the gospel reading…