Shibboleths of the Heart — Cheryl Stenson

There’s a great older lady at St. Bartholomew’s United, the congregation I’ve been serving in Brampton. Her name is Jan but I call her “Two Bits” and she calls me “Shave.” Some time ago I said something in a sermon that prompted her to share that, in times past, phrases like the one I’d used would be followed with “Shave and a haircut – two bits!” It was a popular tagline and I was familiar with it. Ever since, we’ve been “Two Bits” and “Shave” occasionally prefaced by the stamp of a foot and thrust of the arm.

If I Was A Rich Man

This is not a feel-good story of healing and restoration, is a story of rebuke for the way we as humanity treat the poor.

This is a story that seeks to name the trouble in Jesus’ time and in our time; poverty. 

If you came looking for grace in this scripture, you will not find it. What you find is an indictment of our way of life and the chasm between rich and poor that we allow to perpetuate. 

Lost and Found

Lost sheep and coins, I have to tell you only in a church will you hear someone talk about the spiritual and metaphorical meaning behind coins and sheep, well maybe on a farm you’ll hear about sheep. For many of us lost keys and phones might be more relatable metaphors. Who hasn’t at one point another taken part in the frantic and frenetic search for house or car keys, or in my case church keys.