“A Mysterious God”

Dec. 3, 2017 Isaiah 64:1-9 Mark 13:24-37   These scripture words that we’ve heard this morning aren’t what we would necessarily expect as we kick off a new Christmas season that is supposed to be all holly jolly, and “the most wonderful time of the year.” Our wreathes are up, and our trees are up, […]

“Being Prepared”

Nov. 12, 2017 Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25 Matthew 25:1-13   A rabbi talked to one of my former confirmation classes about the process of conversion in the Jewish faith.  He talked about the time when his wife and he were newly married.  He was a Jewish lay person and she was a gentile.  But she was […]

“Wait for It”

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Nov. 5, 2017 Psalm 107 Matthew 23:1-12   I’ve said it before, but more and more I find these times to be incredibly confusing and unsettling.  It’s our government, it’s our foreign relations, it’s the lack of civil discourse in society, it’s alternative facts and increasing polarization, it’s environmental degradation, it’s the degradation of community, […]

“On Joy and God and Giving to God what is God’s”

Oct. 22, 2017 1 Thes. 1:1-10 Matthew 22:15-22   I have a friend who has made an important decision. He’s decided to stop watching the news. It’s not because he no longer cares about the world. Rather, it’s because he cares about his soul, and he knows what the news is doing to it. I’ve […]

“Clothe Yourself!”

October 15, 2017 Matthew 22:1-14 Timothy B. Hare   It’s easy to forget that the church existed well before the New Testament came into being.  Before Paul’s letters were gathered, before the gospels were written, before the bible looked like it looks today, people were gathering together and offering their lives and their resources in […]

“Why the 10 Commandments Matter”

Oct. 8, 2017 Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20 Matthew 21:33-46   If you preach weekly for 16 years, and monthly for another three years, and you adjust for vacations and weekends off, and you save all those sermons on your computer, you’re likely to have roughly 750 sermons saved on file, which I do. It’s useful […]

“Facebook and Philippians”

Oct. 1, 2017 Philippians 2:1-11   I think I may have mentioned before that I almost never post anything on Facebook. I’ll promote or celebrate a church event on our church’s FB page, but on my own personal page I hardly ever say anything because I just can’t think of something that I want to […]

“On Grace and Forgiveness.”

Sept. 17, 2017 Matthew 18:21-35 Romans 14:1-12   Humans behave atrociously. That, I think, is the message of the parable that Jesus shares after he instructs Peter to forgive 77 times.  The parable is hyperbole, that is, it exaggerates God’s perspective on humanity in order to make its point.  The point isn’t that our heavenly […]

“An Upside Down God.”

Aug. 27, 2017 Matthew 16:13-20 Romans 12:1-8   I’m thinking that we’re probably inclined to hear in Peter’s response a rare victory for the disciples, a moment of clarity and understanding from Peter who otherwise generally doesn’t quite grasp who Jesus is or what exactly he’s up to. In fact, I’ve heard many thoughtful sermons […]

“Weeds to Wheat”

July 23, 2017 Romans 8:12-25 Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43   I do not like our gospel passage at all. I worry about what you think when you hear it.  I worry that it robs grace and love from your understanding of God.  I worry that it tilts the theological scales of your subconscious minds so that […]