The Stranger God:  Las Vegas and a Garden

A Sermon by Pastor Chico Martin

October 8, 2017

Matthew 21: 33-46

Last Sunday we explored the concept of hospitality, its benefits to the people who practice it, and its image in the sacramental life of the church.  In the story of the Good Samaritan, the wounded Jew was healed by a stranger’s hospitality.  In the story of Abraham and the three angels, the wounded patriarch was healed by the strangers who accepted his hospitality. We recognize from both stories the connection between healing and avoiding the hostility that is easily triggered when we face the unknown.  The ordinary circumstances and conditions of life are often traumatic, and healing enables us to turn our attention away from our own problems and assist others in need.  It makes good sense for us to be guided in our spiritual practice, not so much by the desire to see God, as by the desire to have God want to see us. Simply put, we should aim to please God by what we say and do. Continue reading


A Sermon by Pastor Chico Martin

October 1, 2017

Lections: Gen 18:1-8; Hebrews 12:28 – 13:3; Luke 10: 25-34


Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen:  if you are a foreigner from one of these countries, you are banned from traveling in our country.  The ban takes aim at “a total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the United States. The President says this ban will protect the security and interests of the United States and its people, but will it? The cultural practices of the Ancient Near East suggest the answer is “no.”  The desert people who are the direct ancestors of today’s Muslims developed an elaborate ritual of hospitality to keep foreign travelers and the people of the nations they traveled through safe from harm.   Continue reading