Synagogues

The Gospel for February 3rd features Jesus reading in a synagogue – a place of worship for Jews like him. I think it is important to picture him in this space. A man of faith, in his place of worship. Like us. Every Sunday.

IMG_3015So, I went to the Holy Land this past week, and the stories will be pouring out of me in the weeks to come.

But I saw a synagogue. The synagogue in Capernaum that is referenced in Luke’s gospel. (Not this sunday’s passage, though).

And I stood looking out, at the archeological  remnants of the 4th century synagogue, and underneath that, the archeological remnants of the 1st century synagogue – the one Jesus stood in. It’s not huge. Its about as big as the church I serve now, Holy Cross. And I could imagine Jesus feeling good about worshipping there, even though he was not roundly accepted, even though he needed to talk to them about a faith that would change everything for them. IMG_3018

Look at the pictures, if you have a chance. And picture yourself there. In the synagogue. Just one of the townspeople, at their place of worship. And Jesus just starts to talk.

Wouldn’t that have been something?

IMG_3016I know Jesus lived a long time ago, in a world and a time where things were very different. But sometimes, it is good to imagine ourselves in the same spot and the same time as Jesus. Would we have listened to him? Would we have been insulted at what he said? Maybe. Who knows?

Just imagine for awhile my friends. Look at the pictures and imagine. God bless you.

Pastor Patricia+IMG_3013

The Lord Bless you

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We are blessed people. Today our lives hit a wrinkle (Pastor Joe and Pastor Patricia). We made a choice to go on a continuing Education adventure to see the Holy Land! And, we are presently stuck in Istanbul on a 7 hour delay. Well, darn. But we have food, and water, and wifi (!) so maybe we should suck it up and make the best of it.

But today I write to my friends out there enduring change, and worry, and also, imagining new things, and dreaming of possibilities for ministry. Because the Annual Meeting is at hand, and I will miss it!

Continue reading “The Lord Bless you”

Deathbed advice

This is us is back on tv. Its a show about a family of triplets – yes it is a LONG story. But in this week’s episode, Randall, who is the voice of morality, the voice of his father (both of them) the voice of vision, spoke to a pastor in a diner.

The pastor said this – “I give a lot of deathbed advice.”  And then he said, (ok I didn’t take it all down word for word), “when you make a hard decision, think about you, old and gray, laying with a pink nursing home blanket over you. Think about what you did in your life that makes you smile. That makes your dad proud.”  Well, yes. Continue reading “Deathbed advice”

Baptized in the Jordan

You never know what people are going to say – This week I was in a doctor’s office (nice guy) and mentioned I was going to travel to Israel next week. He immediately told me, “My son went to Israel and was able to be baptized in the Jordan”. He was thrilled, clearly to share that with me, and I had many questions, but kept them to myself. “How wonderful” I replied. And the doctor wished me a blessed trip.  Continue reading “Baptized in the Jordan”