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John Keener
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“Let's Get DIrty” (John 9:1-41)
Jesus spit on the ground.  Then he reached down to the spot where he had spit, picked up the wet soil, and manipulated it until it had become mud.  Then he reached out with the muddy paste and smeared it on the eyes of the man who stood before him . . . a b...

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“Ungrateful Faith” (Exodus 17:1-7)
The setting for our scripture reading this morning is the wilderness of Rephidim.  The Israelites, newly freed from slavery, have been traveling from place to place as commanded by God.  They have seen pillars of cloud and fire.  They have seen manna rain d...

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“Temptation Stories” (Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7; Matthew 4:1-11)
It arrived in the mail on Friday . . . the AARP Bulletin .  It arrived with the usual postal flyers, junk mail, and bills.  Typically it does not grab my attention and usually ends up in the house “library”; but, this time, it caught my attention.  The bold...

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“Until . . .” (II Peter 1:16-21)
In the Good News Bible , Today’s English Version , our scripture reading begins with these words: “We have not depended on made-up stories . . .”  In our version of the Bible , the New International Version , it reads: “We did not follow cleverly invented s...

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“The Paradox of Faith” (I Corinthians 3:1-9)
It’s a lie. When I graduated from kindergarten I truly believed Robert Fulghum and what he wrote about everything I needed to know I learned in kindergarten.  But, it was a lie.  They made me go back to school.  Told me there was more that I needed to learn...

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"The Purpose of Salt" (Matthew 5:13-20)
Salt has taken a bum rap for quite a while now.   It has been demonized.  It has been called the single most harmful substance in the food supply.  This understanding of salt is so rooted in the minds of many that even my own children have picked up this ma...

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“The Foolishness of It All” (I Corinthians 1:18-31)
“For the message of the cross is foolishness . . .” The ways of God are not the ways of the world.  Nor are the ways of God our ways.  I cannot imagine a single one of us sitting in this sanctuary disagreeing with that assessment--God’s ways are not our way...

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“The Common Denominator” (I Corinthians 1:10-18)
Diversity . . . “the condition of having or being composed of differing elements . . . the inclusion of different types of people in a group or organization.”  We, as a nation, community, and church speak of diversity as a positive thing . . . as something ...

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“Whew . . . Oh, NO!” (Isaiah 49:1-7)
My grandchildren love movies and stories in which there is always a happy ending . . . an ending in which “everyone lives happily ever after.”  As adults, we know that life is not that simple.  One of the myths of life is that there are “happy endings” in w...

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“Servant--That is My Name” (Isaiah 42:1-9)
To understand the morning’s reading one must set the scene in its context to the story of Israel.  In the story of Israel we know that God delivered the people from bondage in Egypt, made a covenant with them, and brought them through the wilderness to the ...
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