25th Sunday After Pentecost, November 22, 2020- Luke 23:33-43- The Reverend Dr. Arnold Isidore Thomas - Why do we do this? We follow a lesson plan of biblical readings subscribed by the World Council of Churches that repeats itself every three years. And the hope is that congregations will become familiar with some of the… Continue reading Why Do We Do This?
24th Sunday After Pentecost, November 15, 2020- Acts 4:32-25, Luke 16:19-31- The Reverend Dr. Arnold Isidore Thomas - Today is Stewardship Consecration Sunday when we discern how God is calling and equipping us to give of our time and resources to the ministry and mission of our church. Stewardship means taking responsibility for the care… Continue reading There Was Not a Needy Person Among Them
23rd Sunday After Pentecost, November 8, 2020- Amos 5:18-24, Matthew 25:1-13- The Reverend Dr. Arnold Isidore Thomas - “In your face! I’m better than you are, uh huh, uh huh!” This is a very rude expression that arises in the heat of competition between two individuals where one outdoes the other and offers an in-your-face… Continue reading An In-Your-Face God
22nd Sunday After Pentecost, November 1st, 2020- Matthew 5:1-12- The Reverend Dr. Arnold Isidore Thomas - Do you remember the cartoon characters Popeye and Olive Oyl? Well, in one episode that was aired in 1948, the year of the presidential election between Harry Truman and Thomas Dewey, Olive decides to run for President. Now, the… Continue reading If I Were President
21st Sunday After Pentecost, October 25, 2020- Jeremiah 31:31-34, John 8:31-36- The Reverend Dr. Arnold Isidore Thomas - Sisters, brothers, and children of God, I’m about to share a faith statement that, at first, you may find theologically offensive, possibly even un-Christian. Yet it is nonetheless biblically based and inspired by what I consider one… Continue reading Knowing When God Shows Up
18th Sunday After Pentecost, October 4, 2020- Isaiah 5:1-7, Matthew 21:33-46- The Reverend Dr. Arnold Isidore Thomas - When reading the Bible, you will constantly come across stories of love and betrayal, be they stories of gifts that were given in love and wasted, or stories of love that one entrusted to another that the… Continue reading Sour Grapes from Hell’s Vineyard
17th Sunday After Pentecost, September 27, 2020- Matthew 21:23-32- The Reverend Dr. Arnold Isidore Thomas - The priest and elders with whom Jesus contended were religious leaders whose influence was limited by the provisions the Roman empire allowed. In other words, they, like faith leaders of our day and age, were cautioned not to get… Continue reading By What Authority Do You Live and Act?
15th Sunday After Pentecost, September 13, 2020- Matthew 18:15-35- The Reverend Dr. Arnold Isidore Thomas - In ancient times and throughout the history of Christianity, the act of forgiving and reconciling oneself with another has often been expressed through the hospitality of a shared meal, by which former adversaries are treated as members of one’s… Continue reading The Sacred Act of Showing Up
13th Sunday After Pentecost, August 30, 2020- Romans 12:9-21, Matthew 16:21-28- The Reverend Dr. Arnold Isidore Thomas - The disturbing element of any faith tradition is its desire for divine payback, the need for vengeance against callous injustice and heartless brutality inflicted on innocent lives. We wonder where the God of righteousness is when such… Continue reading The Silent Satisfaction of Divine Payback
12th Sunday After Pentecost, August 23, 2020- Matthew 16:13-25- The Reverend Dr. Arnold Isidore Thomas - The reading from Matthew’s gospel doesn’t convey the full story. After Jesus commends Peter for his confession that he is “the Messiah, Son of the living God,” and then instructs his followers to tell no one, we quickly understand… Continue reading Who Do You Say that I Am?