Abba; February 18, 2018; Pastor Rebecca Ellenson; ICCM

I’m reading a book right now called, The Greatest Prayer.  In it, John Dominic Crossan says that the Lord’s Prayer is both Christianity’s greatest and strangest payer.  Prayed by all Christians it never mentions Christ, prayed in all churches it never mentions church, prayed on all Sundays but never mentions Sundays, called the Lord’s prayer but never mentions Lord.  It is prayed by all types of Christians without mention of any of the things that divide the church, doctrines and structures… It is prayed by Christians who emphasize what it never mentions and also prayed by Christians who ignore what it does. …The Lord’s Prayer is … both a revolutionary manifesto and a hymn of hope.  Revolutionary because it presumes and proclaims the radical vision of justice that is the core of Israel’s biblical tradition. A hymn, because it presumes and produces poetic techniques that are at the core of Israel’s biblical poetry.”  Continue reading “Abba”

Beyond Transfiguration

Just a few days ago I dressed up like a peacock, complete with mask and a tutu-like bustle for the Masquerade Ball. It was a fun night of music and dancing and bright colors and sparkles, and laughter. Fireworks were going off in the near distance when we got home. Then last night the major fireworks display launched right over our heads. One could say the whole city undergoes a change at this time each year, for Carnaval. But, the costumes, the sparkles and confetti don’t last. The Monigotes will come down, the stages and the bathrooms will be packed away and the noise and commotion will subside. And life will go on without the spectacular. Continue reading “Beyond Transfiguration”

Grasshoppers and Eagles

February 4, 2018; Grasshoppers and Eagles

Pastor Rebecca Ellenson; ICCM

Isaiah 40:31 is one of those verses of scripture many of us know by heart, thanks to a song.  Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength, they shall mount up on wings, as eagles, they shall run and not be weary they shall walk and not faint.   It expresses a great hope –that God would lift us up on Eagle’s wings. Who wouldn’t love the idea of soaring above it all, like a swift and strong eagle, with a bird’s eye view of life below.   Continue reading “Grasshoppers and Eagles”

Power and Authority

Mark 1: 21-28; January 28, 2018; Pastor Rebecca Ellenson: ICCM

He taught as one with authority.  Let’s talk about power today.

Biblically-speaking, there are two words for power.  One is the word from which the word dynamite comes.  That’s raw power, strength or force.  The other word is best translated Authority.  It means a power that is granted, like the power of a position, like that of an elected official. When that word is used about Jesus it means he had the authority from God and the right to use it.  Continue reading “Power and Authority”

A Big Fish Story

Jonah 3:1-5; January 21, 2018
Pastor Rebecca Ellenson; ICCM

One of Gary Larson’s “Far Side” cartoons depicts a bearded man standing at his front door. He is dripping wet and his clothes are in tatters. His wife opens the door. She takes one look at her disheveled husband and says, “For crying out loud Jonah! Three days late, covered with slime and smelling like fish. What story have I got to swallow this time?” Continue reading “A Big Fish Story”

Here I Am

Here I Am, Lord; January 14, 2018
Pastor Rebecca Ellenson, ICCM

There are times when it can seem that we have lost our vision. We can feel lost, without a sense of direction or far-seeing vision. Maintaining a sense of direction or seeing into the distance can be hard. We face times when we feel like we’ve done everything we can and we still don’t know how to proceed. Continue reading “Here I Am”

Three Kings?

Epiphany Sunday 2018; ICCM
Pastor Rebecca Ellenson; Three Kings?; Matthew 2: 1-12

Many of us have the story of the Three Wise Men all mixed up into the Christmas story, thanks to the inclusion of the three wise men in manger scenes and Christmas programs and children’s stories for the most part. Because of that synchronization of the gospels we often think of the them arriving right on the heels of the Shepherds that first Christmas Day.   Continue reading “Three Kings?”

Temmelig Godt

1 Sunday after Christmas; 12.31.17
Isaiah 61:10 – 62:3; Galations 4: 4-7
Pastor Rebecca Ellenson; ICCM

One time when I was visiting my parents, we went to their neighbor’s house for some Norwegian goodies. Their neighbor’s parents, like my grandparents were born in Norway and immigrated to the US. They had been back to see their relatives many times. Orville Haugsby, their neighbor told us a story about one of his visits to Norway. He prefaced his story by telling us that his parents often spoke Norwegian at home and he had learned it that way. When it was terribly cold his father would come in from chores and say, “Ja, na er det temmelig kaldt!” He could figure out from the context what that meant, it meant that it was very, very cold!   Continue reading “Temmelig Godt”