God of our Descendants

Edina Morningside Community Church
Today’s scripture reading: 1 Corinthians 12:1-13 Sermon audio:

“Now concerning spiritual gifts… I do not want you to be uninformed,” Paul writes to the Corinthian church. Once in Bible study on this passage at my previous congregation, one of our readers mispronounced that last word. She said, “concerning spiritual gifts… I do not want you to be uniformed”! This brilliantly expresses Paul’s point here: bring together diverse talents and spiritual gifts together, but don’t try to flatten them out or make everyone the same. “I do not want you to be uniformed.” What Paul does want—and what the church in every place seeks—is to affirm our different gifts, our unity in the Holy Spirit, and our determined commitment to the common good.

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Perpetual Change

Edina Morningside Community Church
Today’s scripture reading: 1 Corinthians 15:19-26, 51-57 Sermon audio:

One of the gifts of springtime is watching our ferns grow. They’re in a side garden of our house, beneath an overhanging crabapple tree. For days we watch tightly curled fiddlehead ferns, stubbornly pushing their way up from stubby, apparently dead husks that were last year’s stumps. But every year there’s one morning when they all open up into these gorgeous fronds, broad fans lifted skyward in praise. The bare ground has been transformed to the springtime green of new ferns.

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Enduring Love

Edina Morningside Community Church
Today’s scripture reading: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 Sermon audio:

Annie Dillard writes nonfiction and contemporary American novels. She got her start with a memoir called A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, which begins by describing her home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. She writes, “I think of this house clamped to the side of Tinker Creek as an anchor-hold. It holds me at anchor to the rock bottom of the creek itself and keeps me steadied in the current, as a sea anchor does, facing the stream of light pouring down. It’s a good place to live; there’s a lot to think about.”

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The World Turned Upside Down

Edina Morningside Community Church
Today’s scripture reading: Acts 17:1-9 Sermon audio:

Several weeks ago, the other church staff members gathered online for a check-in. We took turns naming our sorrows, joys and sightings of God in the midst of these times. The conversation shifted to a question of what we are learning in this time, what in our ministries might be forever changed because of our experiences right now. We are starting to see life-altering, church-transforming impacts of the pandemic, and that the future will look drastically different from what we have known to this point. Laurie Eckberg reminded us of what church historian Phyllis Tickle has suggested, that every 500 years or so the Christian church goes through a great rummage sale of sorts, deciding what to keep and what to let go of, how to be church in a new era. Could our current global transformation be on the same scale as the fall of the Roman Empire, or the upheaval of the Reformation in Europe? Truly, we do not know what will come of this time, only that it will be remarked upon in the histories of the world that are told generations from now. The pandemic has turned the world upside down.