Things That Make For Peace: Patience and Letting God of Fear, Distrust, and Anxiety

A Sermon preached by the
Rev. Randle R. (Rick) Mixon
First Baptist Church, Palo Alto, CA
Sunday, May 20, 2018

Text: Acts 2:1-13 (The Message); Romans 8:22-27 (NRSV)

This has been a tough week. More than once my sighs have been too deep for words, punctuated by a number of guttural groans, for good measure. From the 5.5 hour City Council meeting Monday night, in which we tried to make our case to continue to be the First Baptist Church, operating at this site, to a difficult Church Council meeting Tuesday night to trying to figure out and explain all that is happening to friends and colleagues as well as to myself, it has been a tough week. I am not eager for another like it any time soon, if ever. I am guessing that this is the kind of week when a heavy dose of patience and a cultivated capacity for letting go of fear, distrust, and anxiety comes in handy. God knows I could use some peace today. Continue reading Things That Make For Peace: Patience and Letting God of Fear, Distrust, and Anxiety

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Joys and Concerns

Our Joys and Concerns for this week include:

  • Birthday Joys: Bryace Johnson (May 28)
  • Kathy Gillam for all those affected by the Santa Fe, Texas, massacre, with a prayer for change
  • Sachiko Berry for their co-housing community as they mourn the death of their member, Kate, with gratitude for her life
  • Chip Clark for his landlady, Carlene, who is in rehab
  • For Thelma Tuttle who will be having gall bladder surgery soon
  • For Eileen Conover who is at home recovering from hip surgery
  • For Ron Fredlund who fell and scraped his head
  • For Andy Kille who is dealing with terminal cancer
  • For our neighbors that we may find ways to live peacefully with them
  • For Don, Dustin, and Dylan Ha as they deal with the difficulties of serious water damage to their home
  • For all the good work of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America/Bautistas por la paz

 

Praying with the People

Our Joys and Concerns for this week include:

  • Birthday Joys: Lois Ville (May 17), Melanie Ramirez (May 21)
  • For mothers on Mother’s Day
  • Kathy Gillam for lovely baby shower for Julia and Micah with 20 friends who brought favorite children’s books
  • Melanie Ramirez for the opportunity to volunteer with Clara at the “kitten nursery” on Sunday mornings; for a good time at the Stanford Pow Wow
  • For Thelma Tuttle who will be having gall bladder surgery soon
  • For Eileen Conover who is at home recovering from hip surgery
  • For Ron Fredlund who fell and scraped his head
  • Chip Clark for Charlie who was ill with a virus
  • For Andy Kille who is dealing with terminal cancer
  • For our neighbors that we may find ways to live peacefully with them
  • For Don, Dustin, and Dylan Ha as they deal with the difficulties of serious water damage to their home
  • For all the good work of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America/Bautistas por la paz

 

Things That Make for Peace: Empathy and Economic Equity

A Sermon preached by the
Rev. Randle R. (Rick) Mixon
First Baptist Church, Palo Alto, CA
Sunday, May 13, 2018

Text: Mark 10:17-31 (The Message)

Things that make for peace. I asked last Sunday. Alan said “empathy” and Kathy said “economic equity.” Maybe I should have said, “Great. You preach next week.” But since it’s my job, let’s see what I can do. The lectionary texts for today were no help, (actually, they weren’t very inspiring at all,) so I sat down to try to conjure up a text that dealt with peace and empathy. What first popped into my head was this tale of Jesus and the one who had great wealth. Notice that the gospel of Mark gives neither gender or age to the wealthy one. No “rich, young ruler” here. Some commentators suggest this is so we can more easily put ourselves in his place. (The Greek pronoun is masculine,)

Here we have the very definition of empathy – “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” Let’s put aside any empathy we have for this wealthy one for the moment and see how empathy does and does not play out generally in this story. To begin with, I think there is great empathy between Jesus and the wealthy one. The wealthy one has detected something in Jesus that inspires him to come running, to kneel in great reverence, and to ask the question that’s burning in his heart, sure that Jesus has the answer. His empathy may not be complete, especially his understanding of what Jesus is all about, but his desire to see, understand, and share is deep and it is sincere.

Continue reading Things That Make for Peace: Empathy and Economic Equity

Praying with the People

Our Joys and Concerns for this week include:

  • Birthday Joys: Pamela Sullivan (May 15)
  • For Eileen Conover who is at home recovering from hip surgery
  • For Andy Kille in who found out this week his cancer treatment is not working
  • For our neighbors that we may find ways to live peacefully with them
  • For Don, Dustin, and Dylan Ha as they deal with the difficulties of serious water damage to their home
  • For all the good work of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America/Bautistas por la paz

Things That Make For Peace

A Sermon preached by the
Rev. Randle R. (Rick) Mixon
First Baptist Church, Palo Alto, CA
Sunday, May 6, 2018

Text: John 15:9-17 (The Message)
9-10 “I’ve loved you the way God has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done—kept God’s commands and made myself at home in God’s love.

11-15 “I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from God.

16 “You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask God in relation to me, God gives you.

17 “But remember the root command: Love one another.

“I used to think there was something in me that was too precious to run the risk of mixing with ugly, ordinary things – a kind of mystical dream of something that might grow into something very beautiful, if I kept my mind up in the clouds enough and did not allow it to be soiled. I can’t explain it, but it was purely selfish. And now I know that life is clean, dirty, ugly beautiful, wonderful, sordid – and above all love. Just fancy, I even used to think I was rather good at that. I used to think being nice to people and feeling nice was loving people, but it isn’t, it isn’t. Love is the most immense unselfishness and it’s so big I never touched it.”
Florence Allshorn, in J. H. Oldham, Florence Allshorn and the Story of St. Julian’s

The day broke, bright and clear. Maybe it was beautiful spring day like today. Jesus and his followers had made it to the edge of the glorious old city. They could see it, shimmering in the distance, its magnificence crowned by Herod’s Temple, rising atop Mt. Zion. Today was the day they would enter the city itself, but not as they might have on any other day. Today would be special. Continue reading Things That Make For Peace

Praying With the People

Our Joys and Concerns for this week include:

  • Birthday joys for Clara Ramirez (August 12) and Alex Spiridon (August 13)
  • Carolyn Shepard with gratitude for a good visit with her brother, sister and families.
  • Lynn Hunwick who was pleased to see Charlie Aker in church and noted the work he does to help feed the world
  • Charlie Clark, thankful to God and others that he was able to contact an old friend in Portland with whom he’d lost touch
  • Lois Ville for the family and friends of her long time neighbor, Tony, who died last week.
  • Melanie Ramirez for her mother and two of her grandchildren on a trip to Santa Fe
  • Pastor Gregory for all the trans people who have recently been in the political limelight for their queerness
  • For all of us living under with nuclear threat, especially in this week in which we remember the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  • For our church in this time of turmoil with City permitting
  • For the family and friends of David Bartlett as he continues to live with the effects of a severe stroke
  • For Chris Wade (the attorney who has been helping the church) who was injured in a riding accident and is now recovering at home
  • For Susan Gillies, former ABC-USA Interim General Secretary, with health concerns
  • For Tripp Fuller, who was recently terminated from his position in Los Angeles and for his family as they return to North Carolina