A Tiny Sermon: Welcomed Home

  • First reading
    • Joshua 5:9-12
  • Psalm
    • Psalm 32
  • Second reading
    • 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
  • Gospel
    • Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

Whether you were baptized by immersion as a teenager, or baptized by sprinkling as a baby, we entered a new life at baptism.  Like the Israelites when they crossed the Jordan River, they tried the food of the land.  This marked a new life for them.  They were no longer a wandering people: they were home.  Likewise, when we are baptized at any age, we are no long a wandering people.  We are home.

This Sunday, we celebrate the Lost Son. After confessing his sins and realizing that home is always better than being away, he comes into the arms of His Father.  He is embraced in love, while his brother is scornful that he gets a celebration.  

When we come to the Lord for the first time, or are coming back after a long hiatus, we are welcomed into loving arms.  The Father welcomes us by embracing us in the arms of His Son, Jesus, through the Holy Spirit.  As Unitarians, I know we are welcomed by the Father and the Son. 

Because Christ died on that cross for us so that we could be reconciled to God.

While my stories of family members returning to God after being atheists for so long are too personal to share, I want you to know that God welcomes you into his loving arms, always.  

We are lost, and then we are found.  We were dead, and then we were made alive in the waters of baptism.  We are home.

And when we pass away, we will enter our Eternal home as children of God in Heaven.  

Ponder on that, my friends.  We are always welcome in the arms of our Father.

Amen and Amen

Let’s be honest: I’m exploring the Trinity (for now)

Hi everyone,
I just wanted to give a little bit of a life update.

For most or all of winter, God has felt so far away from me. The Unitarian God, that is.

I’ve also felt tugged toward another faith orientation, Trinitarianism, for a while now.

While I’m not sure if I’m gonna stick with it, I’m gonna try it out. Maybe it’ll feel good on me.

Heavenly Father will always be there, but as him being a Spirit? He’s felt so far away, yet so close. I know a God is there; I can feel His presence. But a God that made me feel so isolated from the rest of Christianity – it’s not something I’ve been up to dealing with.

Again, while I’m not sure if I’m gonna stick with it, I’ve decided to give God this season to Him: I’m gonna try out the Trinity for a season or two (Spring and Summer).

Yes, a part of this is because of the isolation I’ve felt due to being Unitarian, but it is also because I feel this is season is the next step in my life. I’d hate to give away my individuality (that stems from my Unitarian faith), but I also don’t want to feel so alone anymore. It’s more than just wanting to fit in, though: It’s wanting to feel close to a Savior, Redeemer, Spirit, Father, Almighty LORD, God. I want to get closer to this Triune God, and all this different roles as Almighty Father, Redeemer and Savior, and Enabler and Spirit.

This’ll sure be a journey, that’s for sure.

P.S. I deleted my new website, The Orthodox Unitarian Faith, because I just don’t want to continue down that road.

Thanks, Leigh Todd

Amen and Amen.

New Blog – Describing Faith!

Hi everyone,
I just wanted to let you know that I have created a new blog for my faith called The Orthodox Unitarian Faith. It’s still in it’s infancy, but its my way of evangelizing my faith and spreading the Unitarian word!

It’s at orthodoxunitarian.wordpress.com!

Hopefully by this summer I’ll have my own domain for it!

Thanks so much for the listening and everything. And sorry I deleted my last post – I regret that (the post was about my dance with the Trinity), so that’s pretty crappy. I just was getting attention from trinitarians because they thought I was converting to the Trinity! Nope! I’m still my Unitarian self, and now I want to evangelize!

I’ll still blog here, but this will be my personal blog! Here, I’ll give life updates, sermons, and testimonies of Heavenly Father, Jesus, and God’s Holy Spirit!

Thanks,
Leigh Todd

LORD? You’re there, right?

Hi Beloveds,
Today is the first Sunday in Lent. We lost an hour due to daylight savings time, which made me late to church (37 minutes late to work, to be exact!), but I still got to sing to my Jesus and pray to my Father in Heaven, being enveloped in the arms of His Holy Spirit.

Today’s readings have a common theme: Calling upon the name of the Lord. In Deuteronomy 26:1-11, the Israelites are commanded to give the first fruits of their labors to Heavenly Father, in remembrance of what God did for them when they called out to him in Egypt. He rescued them, as they were in a desperate situation. In the Psalms, David (as tradition says he is the author) cries out to God the Father in hope. He declares that the Lord is his “refuge and fortress” and that he “rests in the shadow of the Almighty.” He declares, further, that we can call upon the name of the Lord, where he will not only be ever-present with us in our troubles, but will “deliver us and honor us.”

In the New Testament, Jesus becomes the Arm of the LORD (Isaiah 53:1). He is a refuge, our hope, our fortress. He becomes the way in which the Father interacts with the world, through God’s Holy Power. In Luke 4:1-13, this Jesus walks through the desert for forty days, fighting temptations from the devil. He says to only serve Heavenly Father and to not test God Almighty.

Then, finally, in Romans 10:8b-13, Paul reminds us that EVERYONE, not just Jews like in the past Exodus, can be saved by calling upon the name of the LORD. As Disciples, we are saved by calling upon the name of the Lord via baptism (Acts 22:16).

Calling upon the LORD in past times was reserved for trouble and praise. Surely, David and all the other Psalmists cried out to God in both praise and in anguish. David sinned A LOT, yet the LORD was always near to his heart. Jesus reminds us that even in the desert, we should look to God through worship, praise, and anguish. I can only imagine that he relied upon the LORD when he was tempted, hurt, hungry, and anxious for his ministry, death, and resurrection ahead. In Paul’s epistle to the Romans, Paul explains that calling upon the Lord Jesus and Heavenly Father is not just for little pains or crying glories, but for salvation itself! As David explains in Psalm 91, “I will show them my salvation,” God shows us his salvation amidst all our troubles via our sins and others sins. That, as David sinned and repented, we can erase our sins through repentance, calling upon the name of the LORD, and baptism. We can be free of our sins. We can be free.

God, are you there? Surely, he is. Jesus and Heavenly Father are there, wrapping their arms around you through God’s Holy Spirit. Call upon them, my dears.

Be loved, and share that love, Beloveds.

Amen.

Life Update: Revelation & What To Do With It

Hi everyone,
I hope your week is going well so far. Here a few life updates:

  1. Still Unitarian. Tried out the Trinity a while back, but I cannot deny some aspects of the Gospels where Jesus had real relationship with his Father, and testified that there is only one God, Yahweh. Also, I know for a fact from previous New Testament classes that Paul and the early disciples did not believe in the Trinity, as per their writings in the New Testament. When I thought I believed in the Trinity, I thought I received revelation from God explaining how the Trinity worked (Father: Mind; Son: Body; Spirit: Power/Spirit). But while I can finally understand the Trinity, I just don’t believe in it. I’ve had friends try to convert me back to the Trinity and ask me to repent and believe like doubting Thomas, but I know my faith. I know what I believe.
  2. Still in the swing of Seminary right now. I’ve thought multiple times about transferring somewhere else, but every Seminary that I like (and that seems accredited the highest standard) requires the use of Zoom or video chat in a live classroom. I’ve hated being in a classroom since at least my senior year of high school. I don’t mind doing purely online class, where I read the lectures on a PDF, watch pre-recorded lectures, and submit and connect with my peers via Moodle. That has always seemed perfect for me. Anyway, most accredited school (if not all) require at least some participation in a real-life class setting (even if by Zoom). So, I’ll just be staying at United until graduation. Most of the time I feel like I don’t fit (as Nebraskan trying to fit into Minnesota’s culture), but I absolutely love my classmates that I’m friends with on Facebook and my professors that I’ve gotten to know.
  3. Working at Walmart. Good news, I got a raise! A .22 cent raise, but whatever works. Finally starting to save up some money for the future!
  4. Thinking of the future. Kristin has hinted that she’ll be moving out when Brendan graduates so they can live together, and while I’m stressed that I’ve got all the bills to pay once she moves out, I’m looking forward to having this place to just me and Jacob. I can’t wait to decorate it as I please and turn Kristin’s bedroom into me and Jacob’s office. I’m hoping, with money saved up, to get more of my own furniture and start living like a real adult.

Well, that’s all folks!

Happy Ash Wednesday! And have a thoughtful Lent.

Alleluia and Amen.

Thanks,
Leigh Todd