Noise

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text: 1 Kings 19: 8-13

Let’s begin with a quick survey.

How many of you would consider yourself an extrovert? How many would consider yourself an introvert? Just checking. I suspect this message will be more popular with the introverts. We’ll see.

This sermon is called Noise, but really it is about silence.

Silence? Those of you who grew up in large families or have a large family as we speak, may wonder what this thing silence is that I speak of. Some of us like to crank the music up high or for some reason need movies to blast at us through the surround sound. I went to a movie a few weeks back at Tinseltown and I went into their RPX theatre with the speakers all around. It was cool, but almost too much. Some of us of course will leave the room when that happens to seek some peace and quiet…See full sermon here.

Fish Sandwich

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text: John 6: 1-14

One of the defining moments of my youth, and maybe one of the most self-indulgent stories I could tell. The 1978 World Cup, Scotland V Holland. Scotland had a terrible World Cup, losing to Peru and tying with Iran. They needed to beat Holland, one of the world’s greatest teams at the time, by 3 goals to qualify from their group. An impossible task. Somehow Scotland found themselves 2-1 up. Archie Gemmill picks up the ball with 5 Dutch defenders in front of him. He slips it past the first guy. Plays it between the next 2, suddenly it has all opened up, just the goalkeeper to beat. He delicately chips it over the keeper and he scores. It was a beautiful thing.

A soccer ball, that’s all it is, I can kick it around and make it look OK, but put it at the feet of Archie Gemmill with the whole Dutch defense in front of him and he does something extraordinary with it.

A simple paintbrush. I can use this and make some form of painting that will not be too pretty, but in the hands of a master, it produces the Mona Lisa. Something that is adored by millions for generations to come.

In the hands of the master, something beautiful and wonderful can be done with the most limited resources. And yes, I did just put Archie Gemmill’s goal against Holland on the same level as the Mona Lisa…See full sermon here

All The Good and Bad

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text: Job 1:1, 2:1-10

I wonder if there is anything in scripture as strange as the conversation between God and Satan in chapters 1 & 2 of the Book of Job?

The Lectionary provides us this World Communion Sunday with the passage in Chapter 2. But we must look at the happenings of chapter 1 for context.

But first a quick Job 101. It is one of the books of wisdom in the Old Testament. It is a piece of poetry, bookended with 2 narratives that introduce and conclude the book. It tells of a man called Job, a man who is blameless and right. He has a large family and owns many animals, in fact he is the greatest man among all the people of the East.

Let’s begin with Chapter 1…see full sermon here

Toothpaste

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text: Proverbs 1:20-30 and James 3:1-12

Chris was a junior high student in the first church I worked at in Ohio. Chris was one of those kids who would not shut up, who wanted to bug everyone. Always something to say, appropriate or not. He had days when he was popular and days when he was not. There were days when the other kids wanted nothing to do with him. I loved Chris. I loved hanging out with him hearing his stories, listening to what he was into. Youth leaders obviously don’t have favorites, but if I did Chris would be one of them… See full sermon here

Build It Up

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text: Ephesians 4:25 – 5:2

Today’s passage is taken from the letter to the young church in Ephesus. As some of you know I was a high school soccer coach for many years. I have given hundreds of team talks through the years. As I read through Ephesians I sometimes think it reads like a coach’s team talk. And it’s a young team, some are new to the game, some need coached on the basics, some need reminded of some of the things they already know. There is a feel of, “Ok, we’ve had a good start to the season, here is what as a good team, we need to work together on, and here is what we need to do to take it to the next level. C’mon everyone let’s get this going, time to lift our game.”We have had these letters all our life to read over and ponder, discuss and debate, but I wonder if we can put ourselves in the place of the early Christians in Ephesus as they were read this letter in church for the first time. A letter written by the top coach of the time, The Apostle Paul, written specifically to their situation. I wonder if it pumped them up to go out play a great game. That we will never know, but as I read through the letter this week I felt the inspiration to change, the word of God still speaks to us today. Feel free to consider this a little team talk for our spiritual journey...See full sermon here
 

Healing in His Wings

Audio Sermon

Sermon text: Mark 5:22-34 and Numbers 15:37-41

Most of us are at least a little familiar with the story from Mark 5 concerning the woman who reaches out and touches Jesus’ garment looking for some kind of healing. I have paired it this morning with a passage from Numbers that may help us understand what is going on in the mark story. I hope so anyway.

Numbers is the 4th book of the Hebrews scriptures, part of the Torah, the first 5 books. Torah was given to the Jews by Moses at Sinai. They saw it as life, how to live. Pre-eminent in the life of a Jew, in Jesus' time, Torah was everything. It was sometimes referred to as the Way, the Truth and the Life. In Numbers 15 God tells Moses to attach tassels to the corners of their garments. They were to look at and to remember the commands of the Lord, a visual reminder if you like. Kind of like we look at a cross. An observant Torah following Jew would wear a prayer shawl, even today you will see these shawls... See full sermon here
 

Mark the Spot

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text: Joshua 4:1-17 and Acts 2:1-4

Today is a special day in the life of our church. It is a special day for many of our families as we have celebrated our 4th graders and our seniors. In a few minutes, two of our youth will confirm their faith and become our newest members. Special memories will be made today. Our Church family celebrates with them today. It is also Pentecost Sunday, the day we celebrate The Holy Spirit being given to the disciples. God often shows up in the quietest moments, but on this day, God shows up in the flame and wind...See full sermon here

Wrestling with God

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text: Genesis 32: 22-29 

Today’s message is about wrestling. In particular the story we just heard from Genesis 32 about Jacob wrestling with God. 

When you think of wrestling your thoughts may automatically go to WWE or one of the many wrestling entertainment associations. You may love that stuff. When I was a boy the wrestling was always on TV on Saturday afternoon and I took it very seriously. My favorite was a guy called Big Daddy. He was the good guy. He was also pretty old and big, when I say big I don’t mean well built, I mean, he was overweight, I never questioned the fact that this old overweight guy always won. I just accepted it. I mean it was a legit sport, right? ... See full sermon here
 

Jesus and Thomas

Sermon text: John 20:19-31 

This morning’s passage is one of this week’s lectionary texts and tells us of Jesus’ interaction with the disciples as they hide following the crucifixion. This, of course, includes his interaction with the disciple Thomas. 

I have got to be honest, I feel a little sorry for Thomas. He was a man who followed Jesus throughout his ministry, and if we follow some of what we read of his life after Jesus, he was very influential in the growth of the early church. He traveled far and wide to spread the word. Yet he is known forever for this one moment in time. We don’t talk about Peter the denier or Moses the Mumbler, but we all know about Thomas the Doubter...Read full sermon here