Broadview Baptist at the North Beach Holiday Parade

A great time was had by all at the North Beach holiday parade on December 1.

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(Dis)covery, (Im)migration, and Social Justice

33 When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. 34 The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

Leviticus 19

In recent years I have often seen political cartoons about our nation’s immigration debate. These cartoons are usually variations on the same theme. To name only a few examples, a cartoon from 2005 depicts American Indians building a log wall to block a rowboat of pilgrims from landing on shore near a large stone labeled “Plymouth Rock.” The caption reads, “They say they’re building a wall because too many of us enter illegally and won’t learn their language or assimilate into their culture.”

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Sermon: “A Remnant Theology of Hope”

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!” 9 And he said, “Go and say to this people: “Keep listening, but do not comprehend; keep looking, but do not understand.’ 10 Make the mind of this people dull, and stop their ears, and shut their eyes, so that they may not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and comprehend with their minds, and turn and be healed.” 11 Then I said, “How long, O Lord?” And he said: “Until cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without people, and the land is utterly desolate; 12 until the Lord sends everyone far away, and vast is the emptiness in the midst of the land. 13 Even if a tenth part remain in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak whose stump remains standing when it is felled.” The holy seed is its stump.

Isaiah 6:8-13

When I was a sophomore in college I took a course on the Hebrew Prophets. The final requirement for this class was a long research paper on a single passage of scripture. I was assigned Isaiah 6:1-13, which begins with the call and response that marked the beginning of Isaiah’s vocation as a prophet: “8 Then I heard the voice of God saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’”

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New Sermon: “Lech lecha”: The Journey Outward & Inward (Genesis 12)

1 Now God said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your ancestral house to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” 4 So Abram went, as God had told him; and Lot went with him…. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 Then God appeared to Abram, and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to God, who had appeared to him.

Genesis 12

Note: This sermon is part of an ongoing series tracing “The Book of J” strand of Genesis. A link to previous entries in this series can be found at the bottom of each post. Also see the notes at the end for introductory information.

Joseph Campbell, who was steeped in the area of comparative religion, once said the following in an interview with journalist Bill Moyers, about the difference between a myth and a dream:

a dream is a personal experience of that deep, dark ground that is the support of our conscious lives, and a myth is the society’s dream. The myth is the public dream and the dream is the private myth. If your private myth, your dream, happens to coincide with that of the society, you are in good accord with your group. If it isn’t, you’ve got an adventure in the dark forest ahead of you.

One of the invitations here, as we prepare to step out from the purely mythological sections of Genesis, is to remember everything we learned about Jungian Spirituality during Lent: “The myth is the public dream and the dream is the private myth.” The challenge that we have been exploring is how to mine this ancient stories for their continuing archetypal resonance.

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New Sermon: “What Troubles Your Thoughts?” (Genesis 11)

Humanity has a noble technological heritage to claim, but both the Prometheus and Tower of Babel myths remind us that technology is a two-edged sword that often has unintended consequences. The atomic bomb and nuclear energy are perhaps the most powerful examples we have today of the ways that the same technology can be used to enhance or destroy life. Wrestling with the unintended consequences of technology, Wendell Berry has written, “I knew a man who, in the age of chainsaws, went right on cutting his wood with a handsaw and an axe. He was a healthier and saner man than I am. I shall let his memory trouble my thoughts.” What parts of our culture so-called “technological progress” troubles your thoughts. Where do you see alternative paths to healthier, saner, and more sustainable ways of life?

Read the rest on Carl’s blog:

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New Sermon: “Slavery, Same-Sex Marriage, and How to Read the Bible”

From slavery to same-sex marriage, it really matter what stories we tell, when we tell them, and how we interpret them. We must learn to interpret scripture freely, responsibly, creativity, and compassionately — not only for the benefit of ourselves and our tribe, but for the benefit all people and the whole of creation.

Read the rest on Carl’s blog:

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New Sermon: “Noah’s Flood & Climate Change”

A Mother’s Day sermon on “Noah’s Flood & Climate Change.” Ensure a life-giving world even to the seventh generation:

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New Sermon: “Before & After: Cain, Abel & Archetypes”

In our postmodern times, there is much to be regained in reclaiming some of those premodern reading strategies: allowing ourselves, for examples to say both “Yes, many of these story are more mythological than historical” and “Yes, many of these stories still have significant meaning on the level of myth and metaphor, allegory and archetype, symbol and sacrament. From this angle, the story of Cain and Abel becomes the universally true story of the farmer “killing” the lifestyle of the semi-nomadic herder and moving to the city. God’s rejection of the fruit of Cain’s farm and Cain being cast out from the plains east to Eden into the city reveals that the authors and promoters of this biblical myth had an anti-city bias and were far from convinced that the move toward urbanization was “progress.” They saw many dangers in city life, and we were see a similar anti-urban bias in future texts, especially regarding the Towel of Babel.

To read the rest, please visit Carl’s blog:

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