Sermons

Sermons

Holy Land Trip 2020

Dreaming of Heaven

For as long as I can remember,  heaven has had an enchanted image in my mind. Not the “streets of gold” image of Revelation,  just a wonder about a place that was utterly differently  than the orb we currently occupy. And I have long wondered why,  given the choice to live in heaven versus any other locale,  why someone would write it off. Turns out, this is a common experience. The writing off part. The reading from Hebrews on Sunday…

God Will

As I said last Sunday,being a person of faith can be difficult,especially when we misunderstand what that means. In our culture of “get what you want when you want to get it,”engaging faith can be confusing. Tag to that a propensity for our minds to think that the theology of the “God wants you to be wealthy” crowd has something to itor that, for some reason, thinking we deserve this or that,and we can set ourselves up for problems. Faith…

Who We Are

Different.That’s who we are.At least, that’s who we are supposed to be. Different.Other.Unique.Peculiar.Holy.Righteous. But, different than what?The world. What does the Bible mean by the world?The things opposed to God’s justice and peace.The things that keep us focused on us and not the other. In Sunday’s sermon, I tried to show and communicate that we have an opportunity to invest in the things that will last. The readings from this week encouraged us both to see what is true about…

Out of the Blue

Last Sunday, I shared an encouragement from Luke 10.We are to focus on the “being” part of lifeas opposed to the “doing” part.This thought is taken from the Gospel reading from Luke 10:38-42. It is the story of Martha fulfilling her hostess duties(which were always done by the women)and Mary, her sister, neglecting to help Marthaby sitting at the feet of Jesus, listening to His teaching. In that story, Jesus praises Mary for having “chosen the better part.”This act of…

Come to the Table

Greetings friends! Sunday our lectionary readings focused on seeking and pursuing—both God seeking us and our seeking of God. We learned that he seeks and invites us into a relationship with him “just as we are” in all of our goodness, weirdness, and not despite of, but because of, our weaknesses. He invites us to be his children, and to be a part of his very own kingdom. For some of us, that offer is hard to imagine. We focus…

What We’re Due

What is really ours in this life?What do we really earn for ourselves?And can we really take credit for much of anything? We,together,are largely where we are because of others that have come before us. Yes.Our efforts help and put is in the right places,but without the help of others, we would not be where we are. The image from Scripture is, Since we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses,let us run the race before us with perseverance.”…

Invitations

Invitations We get them all the time. Birthday parties.Weddings.Holidays.Baby showers.Bridal showers.House warming gatherings. And when we get them,we have to decide whether or not we want to receive the invitationand involve ourselves in what is being offered. We can decline an invitation.And whether we do or not isn’t the point.The point is that with an invitation comes a decision. Yes or no.In or out.Leaning in or leaning out. On Sunday,I shared that the disciples had received an invitation from Jesus.“As…

Preparing for the Inevitable

Last Sunday, I talked about death.Maybe too much for some of you. Death can make us uncomfortable.It should make everyone stand up and take notice.Death is the great equalizer.No one escapes. Not to worry.God provided the “anti-death-sting” solution.Jesus.Paul writes of it, “When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable,and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’ ‘Where, O death, is your victory?Where, O death, is your…

Mystify Me

As I mentioned on Sunday,much of our society is built around dualistic thinking. Good – EvilRighteous – WickedHot – ColdIn – OutSaved – CondemnedRight – Wrong It is natural for us to talk and think in this way.It is normal to understand things in light of their opposites.We are beings who are constantly evaluating the world that we live in.We are curious.We like to define who we are and where we are.And much of the time,this is in direct contrast…

Not Forgetting Where We Have Been

Remembering is the key to life.From the time we are infants and all throughout the rest of our lives, being able to remember is the key to successfully navigating life. When we are toddlers, we learn to walk.We have to remember this throughout our life. When we are toddlers, we learn to speak.We have to remember this throughout our life. When we are a young child,we learn how to do math, read, spell and develop social skills.We have to remember…

The Sincerest Form of Flattery

When my oldest was about 3, he was my buddy.By buddy, I mean that he went everywhere that I went…I had to be careful I didn’t run him over if I was in a hurry in the house. If I was working in the yard, he was working in the yard.If I was working in the house, he was working in the house.If I liked broccoli, he liked broccoli.My buddy. Like the child’s doll jingle from the mid-eighties: “My buddy,…

The Unexpected Life

On Sunday,I spoke about how God works in unexpected ways. This was illustrated through the story of Joseph.· Sold by his brothers into slavery.· Sold into Potiphar’s house.· Falsely accused and sent to jail.· Languished in jail after helping his cell mates out.· Second in command to Pharaoh.· In the power position when his brothers are in need. And to this, Joseph proclaims to his brothers,“What you meant for harm, God meant for good.” That’s unexpected.Both in Joseph’s response (the…