Unity Without the Goosestep

Sermon text:  1 Corinthians 1:10-17  Matthew 5:13-16S  

We live in a bitterly polarized society and a world that longs for peace, but is wracked by war or the threat of war. I’m reminded of an old Kingston Trio song that said:
“The whole world is festering with unhappy souls,
The French hate the Germans, the Germans hate the Poles,
Italians hate the Yugoslavs, South Africans hate the Dutch, 
And I don’t like anybody very much.”
...read full sermon here
 

The Merciful

Sermon Text:  Matthew 5:7, Matthew 5:21:26 and Matthew 18:21-35

“Blessed are the merciful,” says Jesus, “for they shall receive mercy.”

The Greek word for mercy is ELEOS, and it has a double meaning. On the one hand it means kindness .When I was a pastor in Nashville the church’s elderly nursery worker began having dementia and couldn’t work in the nursery or even look after herself any longer. She was so confused she couldn’t shop or cook or drive. She began wandering out of her apartment and getting lost. She had no family except the church. I tried in vain to get her admitted to a nursing home where she could be properly cared for, but none would take her without a doctor’s order. And I couldn’t find a doctor who wasn’t already booked up with appointments for weeks or months in advance. What would happen to her in the meantime? ...Read full sermon here (PDF)

How Do We Know Christ was Raised from the Dead?

Sermon Text:  1 Peter 1:1-9 & John 20:19-31

How do we know Christ was raised from the dead? Why do we believe it? All four gospels mention doubters among Jesus’ followers at the news of his resurrection. Matthew 28:17 says that when Jesus appeared to this disciples in Galilee, “they worshipped him, but some doubted.” How about you? Do you struggle with doubt, like I often do?

Thomas also doubted. His story begins with Jesus’ first appearance to the disciples in Jerusalem the evening of the day of his resurrection. The disciples are gathered in a room with the doors locked because they were afraid of suffering the same fate as Jesus did at the hands of the religious leaders.

But suddenly Jesus “came and stood among them, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then he showed them his hands and his side, which still bore the wounds of his crucifixion,” says John. Notice the doors are still closed. So there are two levels of meaning here. On the physical level, Jesus’ body is still a physical body but is now capable of passing through walls and locked doors, so he is already showing signs of his transition to eternal life. And on the spiritual level, his resurrection breaks through his disciples’ fears and gives them joy....Read full sermon here (PDF)

Holy Ground...You Bring Peace

Sermon Text:  Micah 5:2-5a & Ephesians 2:11-19

In a world filled with conflict, where worry often abounds … you BRING Peace.  How?  In the birth of a Babe.  Whether you realize it or not, no matter where you are or who you are with … you are standing on Holy Ground.  Even in the most unlikely of places … God is there through His Son and through each of us!...Read full sermon here (PDF)

Can't Explain It...But Tell You What It Does (Trinity Sunday)

Sermon Text:  Romans 5:1-5

Welcome on this Trinity Sunday, 2016.  Tomorrow you can start taking down all the decorations that you put up for this special day in the church year.  You did put up decorations, didn’t you?  I know the kids have been counting down the days in joyful anticipation of this day.  I can hear them now, “Mommy, how many days is it until Trinity Sunday?”  It is an exciting time.  I hope each of you got what you wanted for Trinity Sunday.  This is the last day we will sing all the Trinity carols that we have been enjoying for the past month.  Some of you are already saying, “Why can’t we keep the Trinity spirit around all year long?”

            Oh, wait, you didn’t give Trinity presents this year?  You didn’t decorate your home?  What do you mean you didn’t even know it was Trinity Sunday until you looked at the bulletin this morning?

            Okay … I’ll have to accept the fact that Trinity Sunday isn’t a very big event in the average Christian’s life.  Well … did you know that Trinity Sunday isn’t much fun for preachers, either?  Each year, on the Sunday after Pentecost, we are given the task of explaining the unexplainable … God, in three persons, blessed Trinity....Read full sermon here