On a clergy retreat I read an article by a Buddhist monk. The article was titled: “talk or resent.” At the time he said this, he reminded us that two small boys laid in an Israeli hospital. One was Osher Twito, 8, an Israeli boy seriously wounded by shrapnel from a rocket fired by Palestinian militants from Gaza. The other boy next to him was Yakoub Natil, 7, a Palestinian who was brought there weeks previously from Gaza City after he was badly hurt by shrapnel from an Israeli Air Force strike in January. The Monk said, “Here, the conflict’s pain has been compressed into an improbable intimacy.” To the leaders of those countries in conflict he said: “Talk or resent and remember the cost of
resentment as you look at these beat up kids.”
As a last ditch effort 7 years ago, I referred a man and woman to a counselor. She complains that he never talks. He complains that she talks too much. She wants him to be more outgoing. He wants to spend more time in his workshop. After many moments of listening the counselor brings them to this reality: “Talk or resent. Together lets find a better way.” And the three of them begin a long journey.
Third Sunday in Advent
James 5: 7-10
A Sermon by Dr. Richard A. Wing, Co-Pastor, December 15, 2019
Driving with my one day, she asked, “What are you preaching on Sunday?” I said, “Patience.” She started laughing so hard; glad she was not driving or we would have driven off the road. She said: “Please, don’t use yourself as an example.” “Of course not” I said. “I always preach about things that are my own weaknesses.” In the book of Hebrews it says that the only priest worthy of that name is the one who “misses the mark” in life as much as those he/she preaches to. The point is that you never give a “you” message, but only a “we” message. From priest and everyone else are in need of God’s grace. “There is none righteous: no not one.” Minister need to remember that when entering the pulpit. I remember one sermon only from my teen years. The minister said “there are 44 virtues. If you mastered just one, all the others would take care of themselves.” The one to be mastered was patience. When called a genius, Michaelangelo answered: “Genius, is eternal patience.” That deserves contemplation.
Isaiah 11: 1-4a, 5-7, 9-10; Matthew 24: 26-44
A Sermon by Dr. Richard A. Wing, Co-Pastor, December 1, 2019
INTRODUCTION: The Bible is about people longing for a future better than the present moment – Why? —because, with few exceptions in the Bible, the present was the pits! In Isaiah there is LONGING for a Peaceable Kingdom. “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion . . . . . and a little child shall lead them. ”Someone said: “The wolf shall lie down with the lamb but the Lamb won’t get much sleep” Our New Testament text has Jesus talking to people who are LONGING for better times. Jesus is telling of the in-breaking of God JESUS DOES NOT mean that the world as you know it will stop/explode/evaporate. HE MEANS, WE ARE ABOUT TO SEE THE END OF THE WAY THE PRESENT WORLD DOES BUSINESS! AND THE NEW ORDER WILL BE MORE JUST, MORE LOVING, AND MORE KIND. I observe two things as we think about such in breaking moments.
Our world’s religions all emphasize hospitality and kindness to the stranger. Christians can’t claim those values solely. Because most of us get few chances In life to spend significant amounts of time with members of other faiths, we don’t get to experience being on the receiving end.
Earlier this month Clint and I were privileged to travel throughout a large chunk of Turkey, a country that is 98% Islamic. Because of that and the current geo-political environment, well-meaning friends and family expressed fear for our safety. All I can say is that we felt safe and well cared for—and completely delighted by a gracious, hospitable people. One incident that struck me was when a Muslim man on our bus tour surprised Clint and me
PART 2 – FROM HOSTILITY TO HOSPITALITY – Luke
A Sermon by Dr. Richard A. Wing, Co-Pastor, October 13, 2019
INTRODUCTION: I suggest that we are never so ARROGANT as to think we can find God. However, there are places we can go Where God can find us.
Thomas Merton said: GOD COMES TO US
- In scripture
- In the
The biblical word proclaims: when hostility toward the stranger is translated to hospitality, God comes near. Henri Nouwen describes all of us: “In our world full of strangers, we witness a painful search for a hospitable place where life can be lived without fear and where community can be found.” If
we go way back in our family history, all of us will find relatives who came to
this land as strangers. The Mayflower
arrived in 1620 and just eleven years later four brothers and their mother came
to the new land from Banbury Cross, England.
For a strong 15-year period, the newcomers found tremendous hospitality
from the native people who had been there for 10,000 years.
Part 1: FROM LONELINESS TO SOLITUDE
A sermon by Dr. Richard A. Wing, Co-Pastor, October 6, 2019
Inspiration from Matthew 14:23; Mark 1:32-37
we worship at the altar of instant measurements, levels of progress and
results. This week I was in the hospital
for hip surgery. Every 30 minutes I was
asked to “evaluate my pain level.” “On a 1-10, what is your pain level,” I was
continually asked, for which I am grateful.
week I called Verizon wireless. At the end of my time on the phone, “please
take the very brief survey following by staying on the line. I know it’s asking
a lot but please do it.” This week while
my wife was driving me home from the hospital, we followed a truck. On the back
was written, “How is my driving?” Then an 800 number where I can tell someone
how the stranger in front of me is driving.
Anything I experience or purchase wants me to give immediate feedback on
the product or service, or speed of delivery.
Read this line very slowly; then repeat again. Without success, we bring that same set of questions to our spiritual life. Have
I matured spiritually? On what level am I and how do I move to the next level? When
will I reach the moment of union with God like Jesus and experience
illumination and enlightenment like both the Buddha and Jesus achieved?
John 8: 1-11; Romans 15:7
A sermon by Dr. Richard A. Wing, Co-Pastor, September 15, 2019
On Nantucket Island, they had a lifesaving station.
People would risk their lives to save shipwrecked people. They had a motto for
the life savers: “You have to go out, but you don’t have to come back.” How is
that for a recruiting slogan? Good luck with that! Eventually the Coast Guard took over. The
lifesaving people disbanded. Now members meet for dinner monthly. They are not
in the life saving business any longer.
Galatians 5: 1, 13, 14 (The text is at the end of this sermon manuscript)
A sermon by Dr. Richard A. Wing, Co-Pastor, September 8, 2019
Jesus changed everything when he said: “Turn around and believe the good news.” Mark 1:15. What is the good news? The good news is the end of
bookkeeping religion. My friend Robert Capon said: “Jesus established once and
for all a right relationship between us and God and there is nothing you can do
to earn it, deserve it, or revoke that
which has been given.” That’s the good
news. That is the main message that I take in my visits with prisoners.
We always need 7-8 individuals to serve dinner at this United Methodist Outreach Ministry (UMOM) event and we welcome families with teenagers 14 years old or older to join us. We leave CCOV at 4PM and are usually back around 7:30 PM.
“Preach the gospel, and if necessary, use words.” This is your invitation to live and love as our faith calls us to do.
Plan to meet at CCOV and then carpool to Halle Women’s Center, 3424 East Van Buren. Contact: Janet at 480-391-3905 if you have any questions or need more information.
This summer I filled out 24 pages of an application in order to teach contemplation and mediation to inmates in the prison system in Florence, AZ. When announcing I was entering the prison, some of my friends rejoiced that I was finally found out! Very funny friends. Actually, they remind me that “religion without humor is deadly.” Continue reading