“Healing from the Inside Out”

Isa. 2:3, 5 (MSG), Mt. 3:1-6,11 (MSG) South & New Life Presbyterian Churches – December 4, 2016 – ADVENT 2 HEALING SERVICE The Reverend Deborah Fae Swift Matthew 3:6-12 The Message (MSG) 4-6 John dressed in a camel-hair habit tied at the waist by a leather strap. He lived on a diet of locusts and wild field honey. People poured out of Jerusalem, Judea, and the Jordanian countryside to hear and see him in action. There at the Jordan River those who came to confess their sins were baptized into a changed life. 7-10 When John realized that a lot of Pharisees … Continue reading “Healing from the Inside Out”

“Carrying on as Usual”

Isa. 2:1-5 (MSG), Mt. 24:36-44 (MSG) South & New Life Presbyterian Churches – November 27, 2016 – ADVENT 1 COMMUNION The Reverend Deborah Fae Swift   Isaiah 2:1-5  The Message (MSG)  There’s a day coming     when the mountain of God’s House Will be The Mountain—     solid, towering over all mountains. All nations will river toward it,     people from all over set out for it. They’ll say, “Come,     let’s climb God’s Mountain,     go to the House of the God of Jacob. He’ll show us the way he works     so we can live the way we’re made.” Zion’s the source of the revelation.     God’s … Continue reading “Carrying on as Usual”

“A Model for Thanksgiving”

Deuteronomy 26:1-17 South & New Life Presbyterian Churches – November 20, 2016 – THANKSGIVING SUNDAY The Reverend Deborah Fae Swift My reflection today is going to be in a little different format.  I’m inspired by the thought of a Thanksgiving buffet … so many things to choose from, and so we sample a lot of little portions as we make our way through the buffet table. Our primary reading – our primary food to dish up for us today – comes from Deuteronomy 26:1-17.  So let’s review a little bit first … what do we know about Deuteronomy? Old Testament … Continue reading “A Model for Thanksgiving”

“God as the Wisdom Healer”

Isaiah 65:17-25 (MSG), Luke 21:5-9 (MSG), with references to Rev. 21 and 22 South & New Life Presbyterian Churches – November 13, 2016 – POST-ELECTION SUNDAY The Reverend Deborah Fae Swift  Isaiah 65:17-25The Message (MSG) 17-25 “Pay close attention now: I’m creating new heavens and a new earth. All the earlier troubles, chaos, and pain are things of the past, to be forgotten. Look ahead with joy. Anticipate what I’m creating: I’ll create Jerusalem as sheer joy, create my people as pure delight. I’ll take joy in Jerusalem, take delight in my people: No more sounds of weeping in the city, … Continue reading “God as the Wisdom Healer”

“Stingy Pawnbrokers”

Luke 6:24-34 (MSG), Ephesians 1:11-14 (MSG) South & New Life Presbyterian Churches – November 6, 2016 – ALL SAINTS DAY The Reverend Deborah Fae Swift  Ephesians 1:11-14The Message (MSG) It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone. It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your … Continue reading “Stingy Pawnbrokers”

“Where’s Your Tree?”

Romans 1:16-17 (MSG), Luke 19:1-10 (MSG) South & New Life Presbyterian Churches – October 30, 2016 The Reverend Deborah Fae Swift  Romans 1:16-17 (MSG) It’s news I’m most proud to proclaim, this extraordinary Message of God’s powerful plan to rescue everyone who trusts him, starting with Jews and then right on to everyone else! God’s way of putting people right shows up in the acts of faith, confirming what Scripture has said all along: “The person in right standing before God by trusting him really lives.” Luke 19:1-10 (MSG) Zacchaeus 19 1-4 Then Jesus entered and walked through Jericho. There was a … Continue reading “Where’s Your Tree?”

“Tattoos and Other Markings”

Jeremiah 31:31-34 (NIV), 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5 (NIV) South & New Life Presbyterian Churches – October 16, 2016 The Reverend Deborah Fae Swift  Jeremiah 31:31-34New International Version (NIV) 31 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel     and with the people of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand  to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. 33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel … Continue reading “Tattoos and Other Markings”