"The Joy of Willing Justice"

The word “willing” in the sermon title “The Joy of Willing Justice” has two meanings.  Both are significant for how we live out what the passages from Isaiah and Luke have God and Jesus saying to us.

Follow this link to the Pastor’s Ponderings for August 18, 2019 for further thoughts. See you in worship at 10 AM this Sunday.

                                                              Grace and Peace, Pastor Bruce

"Impossible Possibilities"

Pastor Bruce and Susan will be out of town on vacation this Sunday, but

McKnight will be blessed and honored by the preaching of Rev. Dr. Susan Moudry, who

is the Western Pennsylvania Coordinator of Clergy and Lay Excellence. Her sermon will

be “Impossible Possibilities, from Ezekiel 37:1-14, the classic “valley of dry bones”

passage—“Can these bones live?”

Follow this link to the Pastor’s Ponderings for August 11, 2019 for further

thoughts on Susan and on “Impossible Possibilities”. Worship at 10 AM this Sunday.

Grace and Peace, Pastor Bruce

"Body (Soma)"

The Greek word for “body” is “soma”—we’re probably familiar with the word “psychosomatic” that describes how our mental health affects our physical body.  “Soma”/Body is one of the images for the church that was used in the New Testament as the followers of Jesus gathered together

Follow this link to the Pastor’s Ponderings for August 4, 2019 for further thoughts. See you in worship at 10 AM this Sunday, where we will share in Holy Communion, the “Body of Christ”.

                                                              Grace and Peace, Pastor Bruce

"Community (Koinonia)"

“Koinonia” is another of the Greek words the New Testament uses that we can translate as “church”.  It has several meanings, however, and they matter in how we understand what it means to “be” church.

Follow this link to the Pastor’s Ponderings for July 28, 2019 for further thoughts. See you in worship at 10 AM this Sunday!

                                                              Grace and Peace, Pastor Bruce

"Called Out (Ekklesia)"

We find three predominant images for the church in the New Testament, the story of the church’s beginning.  The next three weeks we’ll look at those, with this Sunday’s being the Greek word “ekklesia”—meaning in essence both “assembly” and “called out”.

Follow this link to the Pastor’s Ponderings for July 21, 2019 for further thoughts. See you in worship at 10 AM this Sunday!

Grace and Peace, Pastor Bruce

"Practice As Well As Theory"

At the beginning of his public ministry, Jesus called 12 people to be "disciples".  At the end of his time on earth, he instructed them to "go and make disciples". And in the book of Acts, we read about the growth of the church--and those who are a part of the church are called "disciples".  Clearly this word is important!

Follow this link to the Pastor’s Ponderings for July 14, 2019 for further thoughts. See you in worship at 10 AM this Sunday!

Grace and Peace, Pastor Bruce

"A Threefold Cord" Celebration of Merger

This coming Sunday we will celebrate the merger of Millvale United Methodist Church into McKnight United Methodist Church.  The joining together of these two congregations is sort of like the joining together of two lives in a marriage, and this worship service on Sunday will be sort of like the covenant expressed in a wedding.  Holy Communion will be shared as we seal that covenant with the body and blood of Christ.

Follow this link to the Pastor’s Ponderings for July 7, 2019 for further thoughts. Come worship, celebrate, covenant, and commune at 10 AM this Sunday!

                                                              Grace and Peace, Pastor Bruce

"Athens"

The theme for Vacation Bible School (VBS) this week has been Athens--that fascinating, diverse, forward-looking first-century city where the Apostle Paul sought to spread the message of Jesus to people who had very open minds.  Ar VBS, the children experienced food that would have been eaten then, and activities they would have engaged in then,  and Paul helped them understand how the message of Jesus was experienced in a very different world.

Follow this link to the Pastor’s Ponderings for June 30, 2019 for further thoughts. Come worship at 10 AM this Sunday as we celebrate the week of Vacation Bible School!

                                                        Grace and Peace, Pastor Bruce

"Where Is God When It’s Not Working Out?"

The emotional roller coaster is familiar to us.  Just when it seems everything is going great, all of a sudden something horrible happens. We have felt that we are blessed; then the blessings evaporate in a second.  How do we cope?  How does our faith help when it seems like God is against us?

The experiences of the Old Testament prophet Elijah have some insights for us.

Follow this link to the Pastor’s Ponderings for June 23, 2019 for further thoughts. Come worship at 10 AM this Sunday!

                                                               Grace and Peace, Pastor Bruce

"Delighting in the Human Race"

The Christian faith understands God as a “Trinity”. We speak of God in three persons.  Creator, redeemer, sustainer. Father, Son, Holy Spirit. It’s kind of complicated.  But what in our lives isn’t complicated?  All of our relationships are—and individual people can at the same time be a parent, a son/daughter, a sibling, the same individual but in different relationships.  Much as God is three “persons”.

Like I said, it’s complicated.

Follow this link to the Pastor’s Ponderings for June 16, 2019 for further thoughts. Come worship at 10 AM this Trinity Sunday!

                                                              Grace and Peace, Pastor Bruce

"The Advocate Will Teach You Everything"

Like a graduation, Pentecost is the completion of something, and an acknowledgment of something. Also like a graduation, it is the beginning of something new, which draws on the learning that has been happening.  We’ll explore these realities this coming Sunday.

Follow this link to the Pastor’s Ponderings for June 9, 2019 for further thoughts. Come worship at 10 AM this coming Sunday! We will be celebrating Holy Communion.

                                                               Grace and Peace, Pastor Bruce

"Things Jesus Said That Make Different Sense"

Context matters. Sometimes someone will say something confusing, and then later, after some other stuff has happened, we understand it. 

Jesus does this at the Last Supper in John’s version—he says some really confusing stuff, and tells them that later, they’ll “get it”.  He also promises that the Holy Spirit will help them “get it”.

We can “get it” too.  And we should want to “get it”!

Follow this link to the Pastor’s Ponderings for May 26, 2019 for further thoughts. Come worship at 10 AM this coming Sunday!

                                                              Grace and Peace, Pastor Bruce

“Solved by Walking” Rev. Amy Wagner

Is it possible that an energetic walk can help you figure some stuff out that has been confusing you? 

Rev. Amy Wagner will preach at McKnight this Sunday, May 19, and her sermon is titled "Solved by Walking”. It is based on the walk from Jerusalem to Jericho (and as it turns out, back to Jerusalem) from Luke 24:13-35.

Follow this link to the Pastor’s Ponderings for May 19, 2019 for further thoughts. Come worship at 10 AM this coming Sunday!

                                                              Grace and Peace, Pastor Bruce

“The Voice of the Shepherd” Rev. Dr. Donald G. Scandrol

When you know someone well, you recognize that person's voice even if you don't see him/her.  I can even recognize what my wife Susan's sneeze sounds like! Jesus, in calling himself the Good Shepherd, says that his sheep know his voice.  That image is the title for the Rev. Dr. Don Scandrol's sermon this coming Sunday, "The Voice of the Shepherd". Don will make use of Psalm 23, Revelation 7:9-17, and John 10:22-30.

Follow this link to the Pastor’s Ponderings for May 12, 2019 for further thoughts. Come worship at 10 AM this coming Sunday!

                                                                Grace and Peace, Pastor Bruce

“Now What?” Rev. Barry L. Lewis

Jesus is risen!  Now what?  That was the question for his disciples, and that is the question for us.

Rev. Barry L. Lewis will preach at McKnight this Sunday, May 5, and Holy Communion will be celebrated. His sermon asks that very question, “Now What?” from John 21:1-19.

Follow this link to the Pastor’s Ponderings for May 5, 2019 for further thoughts. Come worship at 10 AM this coming Sunday!

                                                               Grace and Peace, Pastor Bruce

“Come To Believe” Rev. Diane Randolph

Barring unexpected things, it looks like Millvale United Methodist will merge with McKnight as of July 1 this year (official action still to be taken).  In the spirit of the merger, this Sunday Rev. Diane Randolph of Millvale will preach at McKnight, and Pastor Bruce will preach at Millvale.  Diane’s sermon will be “Come to Believe” from John 20:24-31.

Follow this link to the Pastor’s Ponderings for April 28, 2019 for Diane’s biography. Come worship with her at 10 AM this coming Sunday!

                                                              Grace and Peace, Pastor Bruce

Holy Week and Easter

The Bible has four versions of this adventurous week leading to Jesus being executed and raised to new life. I encourage you to pick one and read it, so that Easter is that much more powerful: Matthew 21-28, Mark11-16, Luke 19-24, John 12-21. (Feel free to read all four if you choose!) And attend as many of the three Holy Week and Easter services as you can, to engage even more fully with this story that shapes and explains human existence. 

Follow this link to the Pastor’s Ponderings for Holy Week and Easter for further thoughts.  See you in worship at 7 PM on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, and 10 AM on Easter Sunday.

                                                              Grace and Peace, Pastor Bruce

“Sounds of the Passion: The Shouting of the Crowd”

The world we live in is not quiet.  And plenty of times there is shouting, and cheering, and jeering, and we have to listen closely to know just what it means. And the difference in those sounds between Sunday and Thursday of the last week of Jesus’ life are a pretty important difference to pick up on.

Follow this link to the Pastor’s Ponderings for April 14, 2019 for further thoughts.  See you in worship at 10 AM this Sunday.

                                                              Grace and Peace, Pastor Bruce

“Sounds of the Passion: The Splash of Water”

Rain on the roof. A stream flowing by. Washing our hands, or our clothes. We hear water splash, and sometimes it just is--and sometimes it has significant meaning. We'll look at that.

Follow this link to the Pastor’s Ponderings for April 7, 2019 for further thoughts.  See you in worship at 10 AM this Sunday. We will celebrate Holy Communion.

                                                              Grace and Peace, Pastor Bruce

“Sounds of the Passion: The Clatter of Coins”

Judas famously sold out Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. Judas was not the first person, and certainly was not the last person, to seen to prioritize money over a person. It is easy to mis-prioritize money. Money can become more important than God, if we’re not careful. 

Follow this link to the Pastor’s Ponderings for March 31, 2019 for further thoughts.  See you in worship at 10 AM this Sunday.

                                                               Grace and Peace, Pastor Bruce