August 4, 2013

This Sunday in worship, we will review some of the preaching themes from the past two years.  We will explore this in light of the Journey of the Ark to Jerusalem, the spine to which the muscles and bones of the Bible are attached, the symbol of God's covenant.  We will trace this journey from before its creation in Genesis, its establishment in Exodus (Moses), its journey through the wilderness and into the Promised Land (Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Saul), its troubled entry into Jerusalem (David) and eventual its loss during the exile (era of the prophets).  We will see how, amidst the anguish of the lost Ark, God promised a "New Covenant," a "New Testament," written on the hearts of people and which lives today, each Sunday morning when we come forward and partake of the cup.

July 28, 2013

Onesimus: perhaps one of the more important characters in the Bible that you may never have heard of.  Hear the story this Sunday!  (Preview: one of the themes in the story is the equality of spirit among believers, which our denomination knows as The Priesthood (or Sainthood) of All Believers.)

July 21, 2013

How do we have intimacy with God when life presents us with too many demands?  This question we will address this Sunday.  Both Biblical stories give us a window into how we might negotiate this persistent concern.
In the story of Mary and Martha, Mary is attentive to the guest in their home, listening intently, while Martha tends to the housework, Luke 10:38-42.  How many think Martha gets an unfair rap, here?  She's taking care of the situation.  She's preparing the meal.  She's tending the house.  Isn't that hospitality?  Something else, something subtle is being addressed, here.  In the lesson from the Hebrew Bible, we see another example of hospitality, Genesis 18:1-10a.  Three strangers approach Abraham's tent.  He and Sarah prepare for their guests, but Abraham is attentive.  The three men leave with him a life-changing blessing.      

July 14, 2013

How so easy it is, to focus on the negative, to gossip, to name what’s wrong in our world!  How so difficult to be positive when we dislike a situation or have problems with a person!  How so hard, to be proactive rather than reactive or inactive!  
To make the Golden Rule work, we must move beyond our cultural conditioning about love.   "Agape love" is more a disciple of the will than a function of the feelings.  And when we chose this course, rather than a natural propensity for negativity and discounting, we introduce the necessary condition for creative change.
The title of the sermon for Sunday is "Love Thy Neighbor," drawn from the Golden Rule.  The Fruit of the spirit that will be our focus this Sunday is: Gentleness.  Our text are drawn from Amos 7:7-10, where Amos sees God's plumb line, and Luke 10:25-37, where Jesus offers the parable of the Good Samaritan.

July 7, 2013

Both texts for Sunday address how we share our gospel of grace, peace, and compassion.  The way Naaman bowed to the healing instructions of Elijah teaches us the "humility of voice."  Jesus sending out the Seventy with "how to" instructions offer us the “how to” for the "power of voice."  Both hold the necessary creative tension that makes our witnessing effective.