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About Todd Weir

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So far Todd Weir has created 216 blog entries.

The Last Shall Be First

The last shall be first, and the first shall be last. Service is the path to greatness. Welcome children, and people who are the most vulnerable and powerless.  It all makes you wonder what kind of hippie commune Jesus was raised in.  Do you really believe the last should be first, or do you just hope the last don’t suffer too much?  Do we want the first to be last, or just knocked down a bit when they get arrogant?  What if you might be first?  What if you end up last? When I was in college, we hosted a fund raiser for world hunger. Oxfam America created an ingenious educational moment.  Everyone pays $10 to participate in the dinner. As more than 100 of us came into the cafeteria, we were randomly assigned to specific seats.  The vast majority of us were [...]

By |2018-09-26T09:46:32+00:00September 26th, 2018|Sermons|0 Comments

Jesus in Three Hymns

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir September 16, 2018 Scripture:  Mark 8:28-37                 Jesus asked, “Who do you say that I am?”  It’s a question of utmost importance, but also elusive.  We are trying to understand an historical person, reading ancient texts, translated from a different language, and sorting through sedimentary layers of previous generation of thought and belief.  I enjoy reading great biographers who seek to encapsulate Jefferson, or Lincoln, or Jonathan Edwards.  But  viewpoints change over time.  Who was the real Richard Nixon?  The diplomat who opened China, the founder of the Environmental Protection agency, the megla-maniac who saw himself above the law, who kept an enemies list?  Who was the real Bill Clinton, man from hope, Slick Willie, a gifted orator who could relate to our human struggles, or serial sexual-abuser?  [...]

By |2018-09-17T16:28:12+00:00September 17th, 2018|Sermons|0 Comments

Was Jesus Biased?

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir September 9, 2018 Scripture:  Mark 7:24-30 Listen here: I can’t believe this is what Jesus said!  Here is a woman in distress, who needs healing for her daughter, who is apparently demon-possessed.  (Aren’t you in sympathy with her already?)  Jesus helps people like this throughout Mark’s Gospel – Jesus heals blind Bartimaeus, ten lepers, a centurion’s daughter.  He heals a man with a withered hand, on the Sabbath no less. This should be a simple miracle in a long line of stories adding to Jesus’s luster.  Instead, Jesus says he has to feed the children first, and he doesn’t throw the children’s bread to the dogs.  Really Jesus?  You are going to leave her on the outside of your circle of care?  Let’s be clear-this is an insult.  There is not one single positive [...]

By |2018-09-10T09:10:47+00:00September 10th, 2018|Sermons|0 Comments

“This is My Body”

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir August 5, 2018 Scripture text: Mark 14:12-26  Click play above to hear the sermon. Have you ever been in a situation when you were discouraged to participate in communion, or unworthy, or simply not allowed or welcome at the table?  It shouldn’t be so hard to share in a sacred meal together, without all the worry of who is in or out, how we serve, what we serve.   Let us break bread together.  Sharing bread and cup is the central act of community in the Christian faith.  The word “communion” contains all but the last two letters of the word “community” and all of the word “union.”  The Latin word communiomeans “mutual participation.”  When we share bread and cup, we don’t do it alone.  To think, “I’m going to have a little [...]

By |2018-08-07T12:55:29+00:00August 7th, 2018|Sermons|0 Comments

Does Baptism Make You More Than Wet?

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir September 27, 2018 Scripture:  Mark 1:9-12   What happened at your baptism?  If you were an adult, was there a feeling of warmth in your heart, a special sense of God’s presence, or did you just get uncomfortably wet and couldn’t wait for some dry clothes?  If you were baptized as an infant, it’s unlikely you remember anything, so how does your baptism matter to you?  Does something happen beyond your conscious awareness in baptism?  Does the Holy Spirit literally descend and be present at the sacramental moment, entering you, infusing you with love and wisdom, doing some kind of mystical work?  Or is the sacrament a symbolic act, where we as a community affirm that you belong, and we love you on God’s behalf.   I was baptized at age 14, on Easter Sunday [...]

By |2018-08-08T11:56:00+00:00August 1st, 2018|Sermons|0 Comments

How Can Repentance Be Good News?

What if Vital in Religion:  Part III How Repentance Can be Good News Preached by Rev. Todd Weir July 15, 2018 (click the play button to listen) A tourist rang the church doorbell, who was an antique Bible salesman, who also loved Jonathan Edwards.  I lead them to the meeting house for a tour, but what he really wanted was stand in the pulpit and shout “Repent!” Once is fine.  Twice is awkward.  The third time is disturbing.  He was enjoying this too much.  He explained to his wife how people would gather down front, “Right here!” and they would groan for their sins.  I thought of explaining this is the fifth meeting house and that was the third, which burned down, but that might be unkind.  Besides he was committed to the story and likely to keep telling [...]

By |2018-07-24T13:54:54+00:00July 24th, 2018|Sermons|0 Comments

Holy Ground

Part II:  What is Vital in Religion? Holy Ground Exodus 3:1-15                                                                         Rev. Todd Weir -   July 15, 2018  (click above on play to listen) I you were to make a Top 10 list of stories about spiritual encounters in human history, Moses and the burning bush would be on it. You might include the Buddha experiencing enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, Mohammad meeting Gabriel in the cave of Hira, Saul being struck blind on the road to Damascus, Joan of Arc’s visions or St. Theresa of Avila’s vision of an interior castle.  Moses would have to be near the top due to the impact of this brief moment on three major world religions.  Moses and the book of Exodus are foundational for Judaism. The liberation from slavery is the fundamental act of God, that reveals who God is, God’s [...]

By |2018-07-24T15:34:01+00:00July 17th, 2018|Sermons|0 Comments

What is Vital in Religion? Part I: The Fruit We Bear

Rev. Todd Weir Sunday, July 8, 2018 Click play for audio: John 15:1-5 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) Jesus the True Vine 15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. 2 He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes[a] to make it bear more fruit. 3 You have already been cleansed[b] by the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.   I’m departing from the lectionary during the summer [...]

By |2018-07-12T13:27:59+00:00July 12th, 2018|Sermons|0 Comments

Jesus Confronts the Propagandists

Sermon By Rev. Todd Weir June 10, 2018  Scripture:  Mark 3:20-35      Mark’s Gospel lesson today shows us how propaganda works.  Set the terms of a debate by labeling your opponent first, and attach them to something abhorrent.  Here is how Jesus’s opponents do it.  “You are in league with Beezlebul.”   You’re working for the devil, aren’t you, that is where your power comes from!  We see variations of this regularly.  Since 9/11, an effective smear is to say your opponent is supporting terrorism.  This works well against pro-immigration policies.  “We can’t just have terrorist flooding in from Muslim countries!  And drug dealers and murderers too.”  New NRA President Oliver North recently took this strategy to new heights,  calling Parkland student gun-control activists “terrorists.”  Imagine how North can say this with a straight face, after famously trading with a US designated terrorist state of Iran, sending anti-air and anti-tank missiles to [...]

By |2018-06-11T14:53:45+00:00June 11th, 2018|Sermons|0 Comments

Trinity Sunday: “God is Love in Alignment”

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir May 27, 2018 Scripture:  Isaiah 6:1-8 (click above to listen) Today is known as Trinity Sunday.  In talking about God as three persons in one substance, we can get lost in the intellectual challenge of defining how the creator, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are inter-related.  A neglected topic is how more images of God creates a depth and balance to our understanding of God.  Our imagination of God has implications for how we live, our ethics, self-understanding and purpose.  Religious dreams, like Isaiah’s vision of God and flying seraphs, are strange and wondrous things, that shape our view of God.   St. Theresa had a vision of the soul as a diamond in the shape of a castle, with seven mansions, which were symbolic of seven stages of spiritual development. This vision became a [...]

By |2018-05-29T16:50:34+00:00May 29th, 2018|Sermons|0 Comments