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: July 2018

Feeding People (2 Kings 4:42-44; Ephesians 3:14-21; John 6:1-14)

After worship, today we will share some food together. We sometimes joke about one of the Baptist distinctives being food around tables, but there is a serious side to this eating together business. First, taking physical sustenance is often a biblical symbol for taking spiritual sustenance, as in our Gospel Lesson. Second, it is together that we eat and drink, thus symbolizing that spiritual sustenance normally happens as we are together, rather than as so many little self-contained units. In our culture where we lock ourselves up with the internet so much of the time, this physically corporate dimension of… Continue reading

Vocation (Amos 7:10-15; Ephesians 1:3-14; Mark 6: 14-29)

Over the last days and weeks most of us have been consumed by the story of the 12 Thai soccer players and their coach who wandered into a cave in order to do a team-building exercise. Indeed, when they became lost, it turned into a team-building exercise, not only for them, but for all kinds of volunteers from all over the world, with different languages, different political ideas, different economic systems, etc., all of them subsumed to one incredibly difficult and dangerous team effort to get them out, alive if possible. Who can forget the scene of the British diver… Continue reading

Listening to the Community (2 Samuel 5:1-5; Mark 6:1-12)

Today’s Gospel Lesson puts together two seemingly unrelated stories: the story of what’s often called Jesus’ rejection by people in his hometown of Nazareth, and the story of the mission of disciples to extend Jesus’ ministry in and around Galilee. To understand them and their relationship better, let’s pretend that we are, maybe, second or third generation Christians in about the year 75, listening to these stories from the Gospel of Mark that has recently become available for us to hear. We’re a mixed congregation. Some of us have Jewish backgrounds, some of us don’t. Our congregation isn’t doing very… Continue reading

Hope’s Song (Lamentations 3:22-29; Mark 5:21-43)

Some of you grew up singing the old favourite song “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” as I did. The title and some of the words draw on a biblical passage that stands out as something different in the midst of a complex response to tragedy that is the Old Testament Book of Lamentations. The five poems of this collection are laments that respond, at a deeply visceral and personal level, to the tragedy of the Fall and Destruction of Judah in 587 BCE that literally tore their highest values to shreds. They didn’t believe that they could lose their country by… Continue reading