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?
11th Sunday After Pentecost, August 16, 2020- Isaiah 56:1, 6-8, Matthew 15:10-28- The Reverend Dr. Arnold Isidore Thomas - Jesus most certainly knew that food improperly prepared could be harmful to one’s body and life but, as often if the case, Christ did not have a spin doctor to interpret his words in less offensive… Continue reading Where Is the Heart of Your Faith?
10th Sunday After Pentecost, August 9, 2020- 1st Kings 19:9-18, Matthew 14:22-33- The Reverend Dr. Arnold Isidore Thomas - The Prophet Elijah, in fear for his life, fled the wrath of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel and wound up in a cave on Mount Horeb, where God confronted him with a question: “What are you… Continue reading What Are You Doing Here?
9th Sunday After Pentecost, August 2nd, 2020- Isaiah 55:1-5, Matthew 14:13-21- The Reverend Dr. Arnold Isidore Thomas - Not long ago, I was invited to the home of two former parishioners of a church I served. They are retired and spend half of the year in Florida and the other half at their home with… Continue reading Dinner!