Our Invitation to Grace

"For many are called, but few are chosen." These words troubled me in the process of planning a worship service that would complement this parable from Matthew's gospel. For several days, the phrase echoed in my mind. Honestly, the whole parable is unsettling, but the final sentence produces the kind of chill that lingers. I want to understand the "why?" of it all.  Why did those first invited to the wedding banquet ignore and reject it? Why did others decide to come and enjoy the feast? And still more disturbing, why did that one guy show up without a robe, and why was the fallout so severe?

Just hours before I had the

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Fellowship ChurchComment
Go Luke (Blue)!

After publicly declaring my allegiance to a basketball team on Sunday, I was left disappointed Sunday night. In case you are not a fan of college basketball, Michigan State University beat the University of Michigan (for the third time) in the Big Ten Conference championship game Sunday evening.

After worship I had a fair number of folks, with a certain smugness, whisper “Go Green.” It seems we all have a tendency to be fans of one school or

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It's Not Fair...It's Better

“You love Juliet more than you love me!”

“You know that’s not true. I love you both the same.”

“But she always gets what she wants, and I never get what I want.”

Does this conversation sound familiar to you? I often find myself in the middle of this or some version of this conversation with my 5-year-old daughter, Rose. It usually comes when my 2-year-old daughter, Juliet, gets to choose which show to watch, or when I play a game with her. Jealousy kicks in, and immediately I’m accused of having more love for Juliet. Never mind the

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Fellowship ChurchComment
The Frustrating Side of Grace

In the life span of a sermon, Tuesday is the early years…I mean, really early. It’s like a toddler who is still learning how to put one foot in front of another…and sometimes goes barreling across the room only to face plant after five steps. This is my ‘read commentaries’ day, my stew in it day…my place the text in a marinade day. And so writing about a text on Tuesday—putting thoughts in word form—is a bit of a ‘flash marinade’ if you will. And I can’t help but thinking that these thoughts are not highly seasoned.

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Fellowship ChurchComment
Belong...Grow...Serve...

This past weekend, lots of folks from our Fellowship community headed up to camp in Lake City for our Better Together All Church Retreat. At our first gathering, we met three characters who would show up throughout the weekend: Randy Rinkleson (Pastor Ross), Amber (Pastor Lindsay), and Jake (Pastor Nate). We learned that Amber and Jake were from Mope College and had gotten a great deal on a spring break vacation to Lake City. They got off the plane only to find that they are in Lake City…. Michigan, not Florida!

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To Forgive or Not to Forgive...

Do you remember the days, perhaps long ago, when you did something awful to a sibling (or they did something awful to you) and then mom orchestrated a reconciliation transaction?  So…you stole her doll…or he knocked down your tower…and, thankfully, mom intervened.  Then, after having exchanged a seemingly empty “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you” (with the threat of time-out-time now looming), life eventually continued onward.  But was it necessary?  Did it work?  And when is enough enough?  Those are the questions of this week’s text.

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Tell Me a Story

My very first class in seminary was New Testament 1. In terms of favorable conditions, the class had everything stacked against it: it met on Monday mornings…at 8:00 am…in a basement classroom at North Park Seminary. But there was one redeeming factor…the professor: a kind, brilliant scholar named Klyne Snodgrass. Dr. Snodgrass moved us through the gospels

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