First Baptist Church of La Crosse, Wisconsin
First Baptist Church of
La Crosse, Wisconsin
1209 Main Street
La Crosse, WI
(608) 782-6553

Monthly Archives: October 2015

New Vision Begins With Belonging (Job 42:1-6; 2 Cor. 5:16-19; Mk. 10:46-52)

Seeing and not seeing, blindness and vision, are fairly common metaphors in the Bible, not only for physical changes (as in the Gospel story of a blind man who is made to see), but for spiritual changes that happen, as when Saul of Tarsus, who persecuted the early church, became Paul the Apostle, its greatest early missionary. The whole story of his blindness and recovery of sight is a metaphor for a complete transformation.

Often, on the day of our quarterly congregational meeting I turn to thoughts of planning, mission, and vision. These are times for “seeing” both where we’ve… Continue reading

Not to Be Served but to Serve (Isa. 53:4-12; Heb. 5:1-10; Mk. 10:35-45)

I think I’ve told you of the small pieces of note paper that my father had on his office desk. It was one of the first things I remember learning to read. At the top was the legend “From the desk of Pastor John Herschel Ashley,” and, at the bottom was a part of our Gospel lesson: “…Not to be served, but to serve…” Even as a boy, I knew that my dad thought this saying was about him as a minister, and I thought that somebody ought to serve him at least once in a while. “…Not to be… Continue reading

The Impossible Kingdom (Amos 5:6-15; Mk. 10:17-31)

Today’s Lectionary passages make it pretty tough on “rich people.” They seem to say that God takes the side of the poor and is even against those who are rich. I have said to you before that, in the times of Amos and Jesus the overwhelming majority of people were poor, so that when they heard these words, they heard something different than we do. They heard that God was on the side of the 99% of people who were being downtrodden, exploited, and misused by the approximately 1% who assumed that the 99% existed for their comfort.

Our text… Continue reading

One Community of Love (Genesis 12:1-3; Hebrews 12:1-2; John 10:11-16)

As you know, this is the first Sunday of our World Mission Offering, in support of the work of American Baptist Missions Internationally. Today is also, fittingly, World Communion Sunday. The community of Christ is wider than we sometimes remember. Christian folks of many labels, styles, colours, and nations have already gathered or will gather around the Lord’s Table today. As well, it is no longer possible to live in our world today as if we Christians were the only people of faith. More and more we have co-workers and neighbours who are of a different faith tradition than Christian,… Continue reading