Twelve Scriptures Project

Texts #11, 12: Psalm 121, Romans 8:35-39


We have arrived at the end of the rainbow.

For the last ten weeks we have been pondering these twelves scriptures as foundational/ centering passages for our understanding of God and what it means to live a life of faith.  Next Sunday the front will look very different as the sanctuary is prepared for the wedding of Rosa W.  Even though we will be moving beyond these scriptures to focus on other things, I hope they will have a lingering presence with us in some way.  Yesterday the church commissions had a retreat and had these scriptures in front of us while talking about the kind of future we want to live into as a congregation.  And I wonder if there are other ways we can keep coming back to these passages, or to keep remembering the kind of foundation we have together.  Remembering back to my few years of construction experience with Habitat for Humanity, having the foundation in place meant it was time for the rewarding work to really start, with lots of collaboration to help something take shape.

Psalm 121 begins this way:...

Twelve Scriptures Project

Text #10: Matthew 5:1-17


Blessed are the wealthy, for they will have all they need.

Blessed are the mentally stable, for they will keep it all under control.

Blessed are the warmakers for they will pre-empt and destroy any threat that may come their way.

Blessed are the white.  For they will have the privilege of not thinking much about being white.

Blessed are those who drink Coke, for they will Open Happiness.

Blessed are those who eat at MacDonalds, who wear Nikes, who shop with Mastercard.  For they are lovin’ it.  They will Just Do It.  Their experience is “Priceless.”

Blessed are the self-sufficient.

Blessed are the well-adjusted.

Blessed are the athletic, the youthful, the beautiful.

Blessed are you when people say all kinds of wonderful things about you.  Rejoice and be glad, for your name is golden, and your reputation is your ticket up the ladder of success.

Blessed are the…

Who gets to decide who are the blessed ones?

In Matthew 5, Jesus rolls off a series of statements that have come to be called the Beatitudes – or, as the autocorrect on Robin W’s email to me this week preferred,...


Twelve Scriptures project

Texts #8 and 9: Romans 12:1-17; Philippians 2:5-11


Meditation 1: The renewing of your mind

Here is a chicken and egg type question: Which comes first? Is it that we have our minds changed and this leads to a change in our actions?  Or is it in the doing of the actions that our minds are changed?  In the case of the chicken and the egg, I heard someone say recently that this really isn’t much of a puzzle, as eggs were in existence long before there were chickens.  I guess, technically, that question should be clarified as “Which came first, the chicken, or the chicken egg?” 

But what about this other question: Does our mind form our actions, or do our actions form our mind?  Or to put it visually, does this lead to this?  Or does this lead to this?

The answer, of course, is Yes. 

Another response is that different ones of us will more naturally experience one direction of this flow more than the other.  Some of us tend to think our way into doing things.  Others of us do our way into thinking things.  In spirituality, this would...


Twelve Scriptures Project

Text #6: Micah 6:8

There’s an expression you might hear from time to time: “If these walls could talk.”  This tends to get said inside a building, a space, where we recognize something significant has happened, but there aren’t any people around anymore who would have witnessed it.  No one – except for these walls, which have been here all along – could tell us the story.    If you’ve never said “if these walls could talk,” or even knew the expression existed and was available to be said, perhaps you have thought the thought behind the expression, walking into a place – and wondering what all has happened within those walls.

When we bought our house just up the street we learned that the elderly couple we were buying it from had lived in it for 50 years, raising their children and hosting their grandchildren throughout that time.  Although we didn’t have any interest in the walls of the house divulging anything about the family, we did have a sense that the walls now surrounding us had contained the long history of another family.  As it turned out, one of our first acts of...

This sermon was given by Mark Rupp, candidate for Pastor of Christian Formation at Columbus Mennonite Church.


Twelve Scriptures project

Text #5: 1 Corinithians 13


What is love?


For the last few weeks we have been exploring this question.  As a congregation we have named three scriptures into our top twelve that attempt to dive into the heart of this question.  Yet, in many ways, it could also be argued that we have named 12 scriptures that get at this question.  Perhaps instead of “The Primacy of Love” we should have named this section “The Indefinability of Love.”  Is it any wonder that we have and need so many resources to help us answer the question, “What is love?” when one of our primary ways of understanding love is simply, “God is love.”  That settles it, right?


But thankfully we also have any number of other resources for helping us to answer this question.  Maybe it’s helpful for us to have Jesus boil everything down to “love God and love neighbor,” but we see in at least one of the scriptural versions of this account that even this answer invites further questions.  “But who...