content top

Mother’s Day 2017

Sermon May 14, 21017  Risky Hospitality   by Rev. June Fothergill  Acts 17: 1-15 A man’s wife was in labor with their first child and suddenly she began to shout, “ Shouldn’t, couldn’t , wouldn’t ,didn’t , can’t”  He asked the nurse what was wrong with her. The nurse said, “ She’s having contractions.” It being Mother’s Day and all,  I was thinking about being a mother  and the process of welcoming a new baby.  It’s exciting and fulfilling but there is also an underlining risk- will I be up to it? What sort of person will he/she be?    Any act of hospitality- welcoming a new person into your sphere involves stretching our hearts and minds. It can involve risks.    I think of Jason and those women of high standing who not only welcomed Paul and Silas but welcomed the word about Jesus and became believers.  They welcomed a new person with a new perspective into their lives.  And it changed even disrupted their lives. How do you deal with disruption in your life?  Are you one that is good at going with the flow?  Or are you more apt to get distressed and worried about things?   Or maybe you’re one who plans and anticipates possible pit falls and “be ready” is your motto.  Or maybe you’re someone who runs away and hides at the first hint of trouble or the one who stands up and fights.   Maybe some of us have done all those things at different points of our lives depending upon the situation.    One of the things we learn as we read the book of Acts is that the early church was not immune to disruption and troubles, internal and external.   The coming of Jesus the Christ has brought something new and life giving to the world- but the world has not always been able or ready to receive it.  And even among the disciples themselves the way forward wasn’t always agreed. Yet this story of disruption and conflict is also a story of growth.  The community of believers grew in numbers and places. It grew in faith and  commitment.  It grew beyond its own comfort zones to reach a wider world with the good news of  Jesus Christ and his love and grace.   Choosing to be a believer and a disciple meant a new spiritual relationship and hope but also it could shake up your life! For example,  Jason.   Imagine what it might have been like to invite someone to your home and then to have the local authorities arrest you for harboring that person.  I would be scared and shocked. Even though they were soon released,  Jason and the other...

Read More

Mother’s Day 2016

May 8    Women’s Stories by  Rev. June Fothergill  Scripture: Acts 16: 16-34,40 Mother’s Day The kids next door told their mother she wasn’t to lift a finger this morning for Mother’s Day. They were going to do all the cooking. So they took out three pots, two frying pans, a double boiler, three mixing bowls, a chopping board, six measuring spoons, eight serving dishes- and Mom was delighted.  She said it was the best Jell-O she ever tasted.  ( p. 134 An Encyclopedia of Humor ed. Lowell D. Streiker, Henrickson Publ. 1998) Today we invited each of to make a name tag honoring our mother’s.  As we do this I realize that each of us has a different experience of our mothers.   On this day we tend to talk about the tender, loving aspects of our experience.  Yet, we know that how we experience our parents can vary a lot.  For some of us memories of our mother’s are not easy ones.  Erma Bombeck quipped  one time, “I came from a family of pioneers. My mother invented guilt in 1936”  ( p. 141 Encyclopedia of Humor..) The truth is that people even mothers are multi faceted.  We have more than one story about  our lives.      Recognizing that about each other and our parents is part of our growth in maturity of faith and life.    A small example of what I mean.  When I was growing up I tended to place my parents into two catagories. My mom was the one who I went to for emotional issues (romantic struggles) and my father was the one I went to about intellectual issues ( what do I write for my history paper).  Yet, I as became an adult and spent time with my folks, I was blessed with some important discussions with my father about emotional issues and discovered my mother was a pretty darn smart woman!  There was more to them than I had seen initially. This morning as we look at this story from Acts and hear the mother poems folks want to share- we also discover that the person we meet have more than one story. They show us a variety of ways we human beings encounter Christ.   Let’s look at the three women in our story as an example.  Three women you say? Come and see. 1. Lydia   Lydia was a merchant of purple cloth.  I can imagine her running her business, efficient, thorough,  maybe even a little bossy.   That is one story about her. One that intrigues us today, for we know so little about the lives of such women in the ancient world.  But that is not her only story. ...

Read More
content top