Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text: Luke 7: 36-50

One of my very favorite hobbies and please don’t judge me is to collect autographs. Especially Scottish football players. When I was a wee boy, I would stand outside football grounds and collect autographs when the players came out. I never outgrew it; when I go back to Scotland I usually go to the stadium and pick up a few. In fact, when we were back over there in March, after a game, Brennan, my brother in law and my nephew all patiently waited while I collected autographs. Eventually they said, we’ll wait in the car. One thing I don’t do very often is buy autographs, you never know if it’s a fake or not and usually they are overpriced. I did break that rule for this though. This piece of paper has been folded, it’s not in great shape but it has the signatures of many of the Celtic team that were European Champions in 1967. That is the only year Celtic have won what is now the champions league, so these guys are legends and a few of them have passed away. So, this was a big deal to meSee full sermon here

Sowing and Reaping

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text Galatians 6

On this day 11 years ago, I had my first baby, Virginia Catherine. Back then, I did what a lot of eager new parents do. I bought and read parenting books. Reading parenting books is a good idea, but I naively thought I could just follow the instructions in the books and then my child would just give me the result that the books told me they would if I followed them. Well, I found out that trying to follow the instructions in a parenting book ends up being a lot less like Martha Stewart baking a perfect cake and more like an episode of that show Nailed It where people try their best to recreate their own versions of professionally made cakes that come out looking pitiful and hilarious. You read the instructions and do your best, but it doesn’t always work like they say it’s going to in the bookSee full sermon here

Christian Freedom

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text Galatians 5:1 and Galatians 5:13-26

It is good to be back with you this morning. I missed you while I was away and was thinking of you and praying for you last Sunday morning, but I have to confess to you that while you were here in worship last Sunday, I wasn’t worshipping in another church as a visitor. I admit to you that while you were in worship, I was watching the US Women’s Soccer team play in the FIFA Women’s World Cup final. This confession is not, by the way, the equivalent of me giving you permission to miss worship so you can watch sports, but I was on vacation and it was a big game so I gave myself over to World Cup fever and watched the game. Of course, the US women won, and this week the news has been filled with stories about the team and the players and interviews and public appearances and speechesSee full sermon here

Apostle to the Gentiles

Sermon Text: Galatians 2:15-21

Today we are looking at Galatians chapter 2 in our What’s in Galatians? sermon series. Last week we learned that a problem had come up and there was some confusion in the churches and Paul’s reason for writing this letter was to clear up the confusion. His big point as he opens the letter is that he is a trustworthy teacher, and he makes the case that the gospel that he first preached in the churches in Galatia and the gospel that they had received through him was the true gospel as opposed to the teachings that had been introduced and were causing confusion since his departure. Today, we’re going to find out exactly what the big point of contention wasSee full sermon here

Paul's Passion

Sermon Text: Galatians 1:1-21

Today we are beginning a new sermon series called “What’s in Galatians?” which will be a study of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the churches in Galatia. One of the reasons for preaching through this book at this time is because we are in the season of Pentecost, and it was after Pentecost that the gospel began to spread beyond Jerusalem into places like the province of Galatia and the non-Jewish people living in those places accepted the truth of the gospel and became part of the new and growing Jesus-community. So, I liked the idea of preaching during Pentecost from a letter that Paul wrote to people who were part of the expanding new church, and in this letter, we get some insight into some of the growing pains that the new church experienced. A second reason for preaching “What’s in Galatians?” is because what’s in Galatians is good news- a lot of good news- and not only do I like preaching good news, but it is to our benefit as Christians to know and understand the good news that this letter contains. In this series we are going to go through all 6 chapters of the letter- not verse by verse, but we will get the picture of the book overall and we’ll look at the key ideas and some key passages that are in Galatians. As we go through this over the next 5 weeks, I invite you to take some time with the book on your own, too. We won’t read every verse here in worship, but you can follow along and read through the whole book at home in whatever fashion works for you- maybe read through it once a week on Sunday evening, or read a chapter a day, or read a chapter a week. It’s a short book so I think you’ll find that reading through it is not an impossible challenge, and with that said, let’s get started on finding out what’s in GalatiansSee full sermon here

VBS Sunday - Life is Wild, God is Good

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text: Nahum 1:7

Today we have two things converging that make this kind of a special Sunday. The first is that it is Pentecost Sunday. I love Pentecost because I love the Holy Spirit, and I love talking about Jesus, and I love the church, and Pentecost Sunday is the day we remember how the Holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples and they proclaimed the news about Jesus’s life, and death, and resurrection and the church was born when thousands of people responded to their message with repentance and faith. I’m not going to read the whole story this morning, but here are a couple highlights. “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” After this Peter stood up and preached to the crowd and at the end of his sermon Luke tells us that they were “cut to the heart” and asked what to do. Peter told them, “’Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off- for all whom the Lord our God will call.’ With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’ Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.” It’s such an exciting story and you can read the whole thing in Acts 2. The second thing that is special about today is that we are celebrating the completion of another wonderful week of Vacation Bible SchoolSee full sermon here

Alive in Christ - United

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text: John 17:20-26

According to the church calendar, we have reached the final Sunday of Easter which means we have also reached the final message in our Alive in Christ sermon series. The goal has been to think about how our lives really are different because of Jesus’s resurrection than they would be otherwise if we remained dead in our sins. The new life is marked by all kinds of things that we’ve talked about – a mission, freedom from our past, a secure future, our personal transformation, and a relationship with Jesus in the person of the Holy Spirit. Today we are looking at one final thing that we receive when we are raised to a new life with Christ, and that is our spiritual family. When we are joined to Christ through faith, we aren’t just joined to Jesus. We’re also joined to all of the other people that are part of him, too.

Being part of God’s family can feel like one of the biggest blessings in our lives, but sometimes it can also leave us feeling like Kevin McCallister feels at the beginning of the movie Home Alone. The house is full with his brother, and sister, and parents, and aunts, and uncles, and cousins, and after being picked on, and overlooked by, and in trouble with his family he’s fed up and he shouts, “When I grow up and get married, I’m living alone!”See full sermon here

Alive in Christ - Spirit Filled

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text: John 14:23-29

I wonder if anyone here remembers that last time that you got a personal letter. I have gotten some nice cards with short messages on them in recent weeks, and those little cards are always a welcome interruption in the steady stream of junk mail, but I don’t know for sure when I last got a real handwritten, multi-page letter that contained news or a story about a friend’s life or their thoughts on some subject that they wanted to share about. I’m thinking it was probably sometime in the early 2000’s while I was in seminary in CA. I know for sure that I wrote and received lots of letters during the years between Jr. high and the year after my graduation from college, but in the early 2000’s when email was big and cell phones were becoming even bigger, my letter writing and receiving days began to drop off drastically and I’m sure your experience is similar…See full sermon here

Alive in Christ - Changed

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text: John 13:31-35

I couldn’t believe it this week when I realized that today would already be the 5th week of Easter, but it is, and we’re continuing today and for 2 more weeks with our Easter season sermon series, Alive in Christ. In this series we’re thinking about how our lives are affected by Jesus’s resurrection- not just in the future when we go to heaven, but now. As a quick review we’ve said that when we are alive in Christ we are sent. We are raised with him to a life meant to be lived on mission. We have said we are free- free from anything in our past that would disqualify us from being included with or used by Jesus. We have said we are secure. When we are united with Christ in his death and resurrection through faith, nothing can break that union and we can be confident in our salvation because God is faithful. That brings us to this week, and I have to tell you that I had a difficult time coming up with a one-word title that would describe the aspect of Easter life that we’ll see in the Scriptures this morning. I went with “changed,” and it is a good word to describe what happens in our lives when Jesus comes into them, yet it’s also true that even as we are changed right away- becoming new creations as Paul says- we also begin a process of changing that is ongoing…See full sermon here