Past Foothills Messages
Crumbs From the Table
Today's scripture is the story of a Canaanite woman's confrontation with Jesus. She seeks out Jesus for healing on behalf of her daughter, but is rejected because of her ethnicity. The woman questions Jesus' response which leads to a change of mind and praising of her faith. We too are faced with similar opportunities to practice compassion and justice in our society.
Walking on Water
In this scripture from the Gospel of Matthew, the disciples are in a boat on the Sea of Galilee, rocked by high winds and waves. Jesus appears to them in the midst of the storm, walking upon the water. When Peter leaves the boat and attempts to walk to Jesus, his fear overtakes him and he sinks. Jesus saves him and teaches Peter (and us) a lesson about fear and faith.
Feeding the Hungry
Today's scripture is Jesus' feeding the five thousand. This miracle is one of the few recorded in all four gospels. In a deserted place next to the Sea of Galilee, Jesus and his disciples are faced with a large crowd of men, women and children clamoring for his help As evening draws near, the people have grown hungry. Instead of sending them away, Jesus took five loaves and two fish. After blessing, breaking and giving them, the entire crowd was fed, with a surplus of 12 baskets remaining. We continue to feed and be fed by Christ, both physically and spiritually, including the sharing of Holy Communion at the Lord's Table.
Mustard Seed-Sized Faith
Today's scripture includes two short parables describing the growth of the Kingdom of God. From the most humble beginnings (a mustard seed or pinch of yeast, the greatest things emerge. This was true of Jesus and his followers in their ministry. It only takes a little bit of faith to make the Kingdom a reality in our own lives.
Weeds and Wheat
This week's scripture is the Parable of the Weeds and the Wheat. Jesus tells his followers that weeds have been sown among the wheat. Our first instinct is to pull out the weeds immediately, but Jesus says wait so that the wheat is not uprooted in the process. When we rush to judgment, we run the risk of unfairly determining who are the weeds and who are the wheat in the Kingdom of God.
The Creator's Gardeners
In this parable, seeds are sown on different types of soil - rocky ground, thin topsoil, ground covered in thorns, and rich soil. The seed represents the Word of God, and how the Word is received and lived out determines its fruitfulness.
Today's scripture comes from the Gospel of Matthew as part of the "Missionary Discourse" that Jesus gives to the twelve apostles. He sends them out into the world with instructions to heal the sick, cast out unclean spirits, and preach the gospel. Jesus ends the discourse with these verses about hospitality: "Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me." (Matt 10:40) We continue to be called to a ministry of welcome as well.
God's Love in Christ
We continue with our reading of Paul's Letter to the Romans. In this chapter, Paul explains how we are continually saved by God's love. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, we are led from our current sufferings into hope. The Spirit helps us in our weakness, interceding for us even when we don't know what to pray for. Thus we can never be separated from God's love in Jesus Christ.
United by Faith
The Letter to the Romans is the longest and most influential of Paul's epistles. Written in preparation for his planned travel to Spain, Paul puts forth his argument that we are saved not by our own righteousness but solely by our faith in Christ. Through Christ's life, death and resurrection, we are led by faith from suffering to hope and reconciliation with God. This scripture becomes the cornerstone of the Reformation and fundamental belief of the Protestant