I Samuel 16:1-13
“Believing Is Seeing”
There are many barren little towns in South Dakota, as you might well imagine. In one of these towns, named Wessington, there is a small Presbyterian church that did not start out as a church at all. It was the central South Dakota headquarters for…the Ku Klux Klan. In the early days of the 20th century, there were few African Americans within a hundred miles of Wessington, South Dakota, but it was the philosophy the Klan espoused that made a chapter viable there. Their sick beliefs applied, of course, to Native Americans, Jews, and to the Chinese people who were out there working on the railroads, as well as to the African Americans. Bigotry, it seems, can find a target anywhere. This is as true today as ever, although the language of bigotry, especially among politicians, is more creatively disguised and is expressed in what we now call dog whistles.
Continue reading Pastor’s Sermon March 22, 2020
A woman of Samaria came to draw water from a well, and Jesus said to her, basically, “May I have a drink, please?”
The most direct route north to Galilee was through the region of Samaria, yet the typical good Jew of Jesus’ day would often take the long way around just to avoid this area. The problem with Samaria was the people who lived there. They were not “good Jews.” They were not pure Jews by heredity; they were Jews who had been ethnically mixed over generations of inter-marriages with people of the Arab race. Folks in Samaria were not even faithfully practicing the Hebrew religion but were combining Judaism with vestiges of their earlier roots in pagan religions. Such religious practices made them ritually impure in the eyes of the “good” Jews of Jesus’ day, so when it came to religious matters it was best for a practicing Jew to just avoid them.
Continue reading Pastor’s Sermon March 15, 2020