Not Loved at a Distance

Maundy Thursday

Exodus 12:1-14

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

John 13:1-17, 31b-35

Have you ever had the experience of disillusionment? Have you ever had your hopes set so high, only to be extremely disappointed by the reality of a meal, a vacation, or an event? Sometimes it is easier to enjoy something from a distance, but when we get up close and experience it for ourselves, we find it much more difficult to enjoy or love.

Karole had a craving for some fast food and decided to go to Wendy’s for a burger. The commercials show delicious looking, pristine burgers and the folks eating them look like they are about the happiest people on the planet. According to the commercials, they have found a little bit of heaven in some cheap fast food. Karole made her way to the local Wendy’s and ordered her lunch. In the end she was pretty disappointed. When she returned home she left a review on TripAdvisor:

Sadly, it has really disappointed me with almost every visit. One of the main problems is that the food is usually cold or luke warm. In the mornings, the biscuits are really dry and I can barely eat them. When I told my husband about another luke warm hamburger I bought there yesterday (we both go by because it is so close to our house on the way to work) and we complain to each other all the time. He insisted I not ever go there again, and he won’t. He said not long ago he saw one of the assistant managers or manager kill a roach with his bare hands on a counter.

A gentleman in Rome visited an American style bagel place (I don’t know why anyone would do this in Rome) and was disappointed as well.
Continue reading

Jesus is Our Ruby Slippers

Third Sunday in Lent

Exodus 20:1-17

1 Corinthians 1:18-25

John 2:13-22


I want to invite everyone to do something before I start the sermon. Stand as you are able and close your eyes. Now, click your heels together and say, “There’s no place like home, There’s no place like home, There’s no place like home .” Thanks! You can have a seat now.

Dorothy, her little dog Toto, and their entire house get sucked into a tornado and dropped off in the land of Oz. The house falls on the Wicked Witch of the East and Dorothy claims the witch’s ruby slippers for herself. Dorothy wants nothing more than to return home to Kansas. She misses the unconditional love of her family back home and she feels scared, uncomfortable, and a bit unsafe in this strange land of Oz. Dorothy and her little dog Toto go on quite a journey in their quest to return home. They learn early on that the ruler of Oz, the Wizard of Oz himself, resides in the mystical and awe-inspiring Emerald City and that he has the power to return Dorothy home where she is loved and safe. Dorothy follows the Yellow Brick Road to the city and meets companions for the journey: the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion. They face many adversities as they set their sights on the Emerald City. They traverse the poppy fields that put the heroes to sleep, they flee from the pestering flying monkeys, and they defeat the dreaded Wicked Witch of the West.

Finally, Dorothy and Toto’s long journey comes to an end and they reach the massive and ornate gates of the Emerald City, home to the famously powerful Wizard of Oz. When they do meet the Wizard they find that the power to go home is not limited to the inside of this beautiful and enduring Emerald City. Glinda the Good Witch reveals that the power to return home has been with Dorothy the whole time. The ruby slippers on her feet, the footwear she acquired at the very beginning of her journey in the Land of Oz, have the power to send her back home. All she has to do is close her eyes, click her heels together, and say, “There’s no place like home.” Continue reading