Monday Morning Meditation 6-29-20

When he said this, all his opponents were put to shame; and the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing. Luke 13:17

This is one verse of a great Gospel story.  Jesus heals a woman on the Sabbath and the religious authorities go after him.  He did, after all, break the Sabbath law, didn’t he?

But Jesus reminds us often that the Sabbath is for humanity – it is a time of rest and a time to remember what God has given us.  Sabbath is a great gift from God.  It is more than just a worship service, more than “going to church”, rather Sabbath is a day to get away from the grind, a day to live into God’s promises.  Sabbath is important.  Sabbath is healing and that is what Jesus did.  He healed people on the Sabbath.

And they rejoiced.

Today as we begin a new work week, today as we near the end of another month, today as we live under the current conditions, think about all the wonderful things Jesus is doing among us.  Get away from the tiring bad news.  Consider God’s presence.

And rejoice.


Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 6-22-20

Summer officially began yesterday and that was evident in our neighborhood.  It seemed quieter than normal.  Looked like a lot of families went away, maybe for a Father’s Day weekend, maybe for a week’s vacation.  There was certainly less going on yesterday than most Sundays.

And that is always the description of summer, a slower pace, time off, time with family, time away.  Even with the current situation, many people are talking about their planned vacations.

For us, however, things are not slowing down.  The weekly worship continues as we ponder how and when to return to the sanctuary.  The daily ministry continues, although greatly changed since mid-March.  And I look at the continuing pile of reading, writing and other spiritual endeavors I’ve yet to get to do.  It can be overwhelming.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” Ps. 46:10

I cut down some tree branches, and have much more yardwork to do.  There are some bushes that just need to go, and others that need to be trimmed.  We have a spot where a tree came down that needs something planted and we still need to tend the garden.  Lots to do.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” Ps. 46:10

Our basement needs to be cleaned out and we need to get rid of unneeded items.  It is a daunting task that will take some time, and it is always before us.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” Ps. 46:10

Brothers and sisters, the summer can be a time of rest for all of us.  And yes, it can be a time to get a lot of things done as well.  It can be a time of change (rather it WILL be a time of change), and a time of growth.  And if we are still, if we recognize God among us, if we allow God to take charge, it can bring us peace.

Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 6-15-20

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”

“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”  Genesis 4:9

Another morning, another round of news. Another day of questions regarding the public health versus personal freedoms.  Another day of protests.  Another day of confusion.

Yes, I am confused.  So much information is flooding us that we are never sure what to believe.  Should we continue to practice social distancing?  Is it okay for my daughter to play with a friend closer than six feet?  Is this all just overkill?  Or are the rising numbers a concern?

Honestly, I do not know but I’m not willing to take unnecessary chances that could affect hundreds of people my family comes into contact with in “normal times”, many of which are health compromised.

I thought of this Sunday morning when outside speaking (at a distance) to a neighbor.  Her church resumed in person worship, but she is not going yet.  She has a health issue that concerns her regarding Covid-19.  And it should.

It should concern everyone that many in our population is vulnerable.  That does not mean that everyone has to hide in the basement, but to be concerned, to remember that we are our brother’s (and sister’s) keeper means we should have an open mind regarding wearing masks in public, or giving people space when we are out, or even what we say and how we say it regarding reopening our communities.

Being our brother’s keeper is aligned with another scriptural thought:  Love your neighbor as yourself.  If we truly love one another, if we love our neighbors, we should be willing to keep them in mind as we go out into our communities.

Basically, we are their keeper.  God said so.



Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 6-8-20

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…” Genesis 1:26

The Imago Dei…The Image of God.

If you have listened to me preach, teach or talk, you should have heard me say that term “imago Dei” and talk about being created in the image and likeness of God.

It seems pretty simple to me.  According to Genesis, humanity is created in the image and likeness of God.  Not that God looks like a mid-50’s overweight white-haired Presbyterian pastor (or insert your own likeness here), but that we are created with God’s “Image”, God’s “likeness”.  Perhaps the second account of creation from Genesis 2 says it better:  “Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”  We are created in God’s image – we have the breath of life (Hebrew ruach) from God in us.  God’s breath or spirit (in Greek, it is the same word pneuma) courses through us.

Why do I speak of this today?  Simple.  Our nation is in turmoil over the ongoing sin of racism.  There is still a belief that one race is better than another, and people are judged according to the color of their skin.  Or as I see it, some continue to deny the image of God in others.

And we have another sin in this nation.  We continue to demonize people of different beliefs, politics even thoughts than ours.  Horrible terms are applied by one political party to the other (and both do it).  Don’t believe as I do?  Then you must be a (insert terrible label here).  Don’t vote as I do? You must be mentally defective.  Yet that kind of thought denies the image of God in the other person.

You see, we can disagree on politics, we can disagree on economics, we can even disagree on the pronunciation of caramel but still care for each other when we recognize the imago Dei in each other.  But when we begin to demonize each other, or hate others according to race, creed, color, gender or even sexuality, we deny God’s image in the other.  And we deny God’s image in ourselves as well.

But when we acknowledge God’s image (and God’s presence), we treat each other better.  We accept our differences with that servant love Jesus spoke of.  And we take steps towards peace.

Brothers and sisters, pray for our nation.  Pray for each other.  Pray for those who deny God’s image in others.  And pray hard.  Our nation needs it.


Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 6-1-20

Today’s Monday Morning Meditation:

 New International Version
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

New Living Translation
Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

English Standard Version
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Berean Study Bible
If it is possible on your part, live at peace with everyone.

Berean Literal Bible
if possible of you, living at peace with all men;

Contemporary English Version
and do your best to live at peace with everyone.

Good News Translation
Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody.

Not much more to say than this today.

With thanks to Bible Hub ( so I didn’t have to type each of these.


Pastor Bill