Let It Rain Down

Sermon text: Isaiah 55:1 & 6-12 and John 7:37-39

As most of you know I grew up in a country that is no stranger to rain. And Scottish rain is not like Florida rain. We get that afternoon downpour every day in the summer, and no one bothers. It’ll be gone shortly, and we will get on with the sunshine. Scottish rain tends to go all day and be a bit more drizzly and a lot colder. I remember being asked if I enjoyed my summer one year and replying that, yes, we had a nice picnic that afternoon. I exaggerate, of course, but it is rainy a lot.
We’ve all seen lots of rain in our lives; sometimes it makes us feel good, sometimes not so much. I lived in a farming community in Ohio for a while, and it seemed to me the farmers were always complaining about not enough rain or too much rain... 
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

Funny Accents

Sermon Text:  Acts 2:1-13

Today is Pentecost, the day we remember and celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples. And as we heard from Acts, chapter 2, it is not a quiet underplayed showing up of the Holy Spirit. It is Hollywood-style drama. There is wind and fire and strange languages. It’s not always the most comfortable day for us Presbyterians. We usually prefer to hear the still, small voice of God, the whisper in our ear. I love the movie Field of Dreams, starring Kevin Costner. He plays a rookie farmer who is figuring out how he can make his farm successful. I love the scene where he is walking through his cornfield and he hears the small voice in a whisper saying, “If you build it he will come.” He looks around and sees nothing and yells at his wife, “Hey, Annie, what was that, that voice?” She hears nothing, of course. He hears the whisper again, “Hey, you must have heard that.” I think that may be how we Presbyterians prefer to hear God; we love the mystery, “Hey did you hear that?” I think God may be leading us in this way.

The drama of the day of Pentecost is not always what we are comfortable with. I mean we relate all that to, well, Pentecostals. Pentecostals are that wonderful charismatic branch of the Christian Church who emphasize being baptized with the Holy Spirit which results in speaking in tongues and other physical manifestations of the Spirit. Not something we see every week at LPC.

So what does a Presbyterian make of Pentecost? Face it, we’re not very Pentecostal. Read full sermon here (PDF)