Uncomfortable Blessings-Week 4 // Rest, Work, Repeat // Pastor Kate Murphy

Scripture: Exodus 16:21-36

Dear Church,

The first thing the people had to learn how to do was–trust God.

The second the people had to learn was how to do was–rest.

Once you’ve mastered the first, the second is easy.  Without the first, the second is almost impossible.
If you want to measure how much you trust God, try to rest.  

You can’t keep sabbath until you trust God.  And if you can’t keep sabbath…

I hope you can join me for worship this Sunday. Together with the Holy Spirit, we’ll co-create a culture of sacred sabbath rest.


Pastor Kate

Uncomfortable Blessings-Week 3 // If only… // Pastor Kate Murphy

Scripture: Exodus 16:1-21

‘if only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted…’

That’s what the Hebrew people said to Moses just 30 days after the Lord liberated them from Egyptian enslavement.  Isn’t memory a funny thing?  We compare the worst of what is to the best of what never was–and then we are swallowed up in despair.

It was a tricky moment for the soon-to-be-Israelites–they were camped out in the Desert of Sin and stuck between the life they had, and the life God was creating for them.  They were living in in-between times. The past was gone, and the future was unknown–they were scared and sad and so, so far out of their comfort zone.  So they grumbled and they complained, and they turned on Moses and God and one another.

And Moses told Aaron, ‘Say to the entire community, ‘Come before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.’

The people gathered in terror to find out what God would do to them.  And what happened next reveals everything about the nature of our God–whose goodness is far more beautiful than we ever dare to imagine.  

I don’t think I’m the only one struggling with fear and despair these days.  The pandemic should be over, but it isn’t.  I do a lot grumbling and complaining and creative remembering.  Sometimes, when I remember God hears, my heart fills with dread.  And then the Spirit leads me to stories like this one, and I remember–God is better than I expect or deserve. I remember, God’s goodness is for us, not against us. God meets us where we are, not where we think we should be.

If you are seeking hope and strength and grace in these days, I hope you join us as we gather to worship the God who met our ancestors in the Desert of Sin and fed them with the bread of heaven.


Pastor Kate

Uncomfortable Blessings-Week 2 // I Will Be With You // Pastor Kate Murphy

Dear Church,

All the hip young cool pastors have tattoos of their favorite Bible verses.  I am none of those things, and for this and many reasons I will never get inked.  But, if I did–it would be Exodus 3:12: And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”

When he was young, Moses had dreams of being a revolutionary.  Though he grew up as Pharaoh’s son, he believed that he could set his people free.  And he tried and he failed, and he ran for his life and found…a comfortable one.  Minding his own business, a productive middle manager in his father in law’s shepherding business.  Until the day God pulled him aside and called back into the fight for freedom and justice–right back to the place of failure he’d spent his whole adult life putting behind him.  And when he asked God for a sign that God would make sure he wouldn’t flail and fail again, God said–and I’m paraphrasing Exodus 3:12–when you’re done, you’ll know it was me who did it.


Life with God is abundant–it’s freedom, it’s flourishing, it’s receiving the grace to become the person you were created to be.  AND–it’s also deeply, deeply uncomfortable.  It’s walking toward the deepest places of suffering and pain in your world.  It’s facing all the parts of yourself and your past you’d rather run from.  It’s never going alone again.


Pastor Kate

Uncomfortable Blessings–Week 1 // Blessed are… // Pastor Kate Murphy

Scripture: Matthew 5:1-12

Dear Church,

…poor – …meek – …mourning – …hungry & thirsty
…persecuted – …merciful – …peacemakers

Jesus climbed up a mountain and sat down to teach about his kingdom.   He began by saying that those were the blessed ones–the poor, meek, sad, longing, wounded, conflicted, persecuted ones.  How strange the realm of God is to us.  Most of us come to God seeking blessings–but these are not the blessings we desire.  If these are blessings, we pray for an empty cup.

This Sunday we begin a new worship series called ‘Uncomfortable Blessings,’ exploring the ways that God meets us, grows us, heals us and–yes–blesses us in the most difficult and painful times in our lives.  The irony is not lost on me that we’re turning to these ideas as many of us are living in one of the most prolonged seasons of discomfort and loss of our lives.  

But I promise you, church–this is good news.

Because Jesus has no need to lie to us.  Here he is reassuring us that even in our most broken human moments, God’s goodness hovers over us.  When our hearts are shattered by this fallen world, God’s goodness gathers the shards and binds us back together in grace.  Even when we are forced to walk through the valley of the shadow of death, God’s goodness and mercy chase after us.  Wherever we are, however we are–God’s goodness follows and finds and frees us.

Jesus is announcing that the goodness of his Kingdom lifts up and restores those the world grinds down.  If your heart is heavy, if your soul is weary, this good news is especially for you.


Pastor Kate