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Video Series: What I’m Thinking

Each week, Pastor Eric Anderson shares just a minute or two of his thoughts on the upcoming week. But the most important part of “What I’m Thinking” is what you’re thinking. Please share your ideas in the comments, and see how they become part of Pastor Eric’s thinking, too!

What I’m Thinking: Active

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In Jesus’ parable of the talents, he commends activity over caution, industry over stillness. Faith at its best grows.

Here’s a transcript:

I’m thinking about talents today: Jesus’ parable of the talents, found in the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew (Matthew 25:14-30). You may remember the story about a wealthy man who goes away and leaves his servants with money to invest. One has five talents, one has two, and the last has one.

At the end of the story, we find that the ones with five and two both did extraordinarily well. The last, with one, didn’t lose anything because he buried it – hid it away – but the master is still displeased, and in fact fires the servant for mismanagement.

I think that what we hear in this story is that faith is to be active. We’re not given this treasure that we’ve received in order to hide it away. We’re to spread it around. We’re to make faith grow, not for ourselves, but for all those around us.

It’s also worth noting that what we’ve been given is in fact not just extraordinarily precious but also extraordinarily abundant. Even that one talent was a gigantic amount of money in that day. We are truly and thoroughly and richly blessed.

And having been blessed, our calling from our Savior is to bless others through what we have.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious about what you’re thinking, so leave me your thoughts in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you.

Categories: What I'm Thinking
Tags: #activity, #video

What I’m Thinking: Ready with Light

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I’m struggling to think this week, because I feel so deeply at the news of so many killed during worship at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas. In the story of the bridesmaids and their lamps, Jesus told his followers to be ready: with light.

Here’s a transcript:

I’m not thinking about Sutherland Springs, Texas, today, but I am certainly feeling it. That a man could bring both the will and the means for horrific violence into a church at prayer: Well, that goes deep for me.

I’m trying to think about the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew (Matthew 25:1-13), where ten bridesmaids are getting ready to welcome the groom, and they need to welcome him with light. Five of them brought enough oil; five of them ran out before he arrived.

It’s about being ready: being ready for something that’s wonderful that’s coming, but also, I suppose, about being ready for things that are horrific, as happened in that little church on Sunday.

We are called to be ready: Ready to receive the grace of God, but ready also to respond when evil comes.

We are called to be ready, and I must emphasize this point, we are called to be ready with light. With light. It is brightness that will dispel the darkness. It is not shadows that will do that.

Violence: When we meet it with violence, we get more violence. Light and love: They have the power, in the end, to dispel the night.

That’s what I’m feeling and thinking. I’m curious about what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you.

Categories: What I'm Thinking
Tags: #light, #preparation, #video, Violence

What I’m Thinking: Leadership (Jesus’ Idea of Leadership)

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Jesus’ harshest critique of the religious leaders of his day was “Do as they say, not as they do” – because they told people to do difficult things, and then didn’t help them do it. The true leader, said Jesus, is the one who serves.

Here’s a transcript:

I think we’re going to be very blessed this coming Sunday, because we’ve got a guest preacher. The Rev. Dr. Gary Augustin will be with us. 

He’s the executive director of the Samaritan Counseling Center on O’ahu, and most recently has been in Puerto Rico helping the survivors of the terrible hurricane that so afflicted that island.

But I am still thinking! I’m thinking of the 23rd chapter of Matthew. In it, Jesus delivers one of his most pointed critiques of the religious leaders of his age. He tells the people, “Do what they tell you to do, but don’t do what they actually do themselves.”

What they do, it seems, is they create burdens for others to carry, but they do not help them with the carrying. Unfortunately, I suspect that has been true of religious leaders in a lot of places and a lot of times through the history of the world. And that includes me.

Jesus closes by saying that the greatest among you will be your servant. Well, that’s nice. It implies that the world will be reversed.

But I think it also says something about what leadership is supposed to be like in the Christian Church (and which it all too often is not): Leadership is servanthood. Those who serve, those who are considerate of others, those who practice each day to help their friends and companions on the journey meet their needs: these are the true leaders of the Christian Church.

And I pray that I, and that all of us, may be true leaders through our service.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious about what you’re thinking, so leave me your thoughts in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you!

Categories: What I'm Thinking
Tags: #leadership, #service, #video

What I’m Thinking: Blessed

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Jesus began his Sermon on the Mount, as Matthew relates it, with a series of declarations: If you are in a state of need or sorrow, God is with you to bless you.

Here is a transcript:

I’m thinking this week about the beginning of the fifth chapter of Matthew. Now, that is the opening of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, but the first twelve verses have their own title in the lore of Christendom. We call them The Beatitudes, from the Latin word for “blessing.”

You’ve probably heard them: “Bless are the poor in spirit.” “Blessed are those who mourn.” “Blessed are the meek” – and so on.

Well, what I think about these is: in them Jesus shows the comprehensiveness of God’s care and compassion for us. Whether we are in mourning, or whether we find ourselves among the meek of the earth, God is with us to bless us, to care for us, to comfort us, to lift us up.

Each of the Beatitudes is a situation in which human beings find themselves at a loss – at a sad or sorrow point – and to each of those circumstances, says Jesus, God comes with blessing.

That’s what I’m thinking! I’m curious to hear what you’re thinking. Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you.

Categories: What I'm Thinking
Tags: #blessed, #blessing, #video

What I’m Thinking: Examples

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The Apostle Paul commended the Thessalonians for imitating himself and the Lord. That’s not very humble of him, but it is true: Christians, all Christians, serve as examples to others of what discipleship is all about.

Here’s a transcript:

I’m thinking about those who are grieving after violence today. Last night at Church of the Holy Cross we lit fifty-eight candles at an interfaith prayer service honoring those who died in Las Vegas two weeks ago. We came home to learn that a bombing in Mogadishu has claimed the lives of at least two hundred more.

Our prayers are with the grieving and with those who have been lost. But our prayers must also become action. We must create a world in which these horrors are no more.

We must create a world in which peace reigns.

And I’m thinking about being an example. When Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica, he commended them for imitating himself and the Lord. Paul and the Lord – well, Paul was not a particularly humble person at times. Nevertheless, he’s on to something.

Each of us, as followers of Jesus, serves as an example, not just to the young people, who we tend to think about, but to everyone who is around us. If we can do the best we can at kindness, at humility (unlike Paul), at compassion, at love, at insisting upon justice for all, well, then, I think we are people worth imitating. And we will be faithful followers of Christ.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear about what you’re thinking. Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you.

Categories: What I'm Thinking
Tags: #example, #video
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(The Rev. Sunia) Sunday 4:00 pm (Sanctuary)

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