"What If We Were Convinced?"
Text: Luke 5:1-11
The story seems straightforward enough. Leading up to this morning’s episode, Jesus has begun to preach the good news of the Kingdom of God to the people of Capernaum. He’s defined the liberating character of the Kingdom by exorcising a demon from a man and by healing Peter’s mother-in-law from the ravages of a high fever.
"Out With the Old, In With the New"
Text: 1 Peter 2:1-5
I begin by wishing you all a slightly belated happy new year, now five days deep into 2014. I trust that you enjoyed your New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day celebrations, in whatever manner you chose to celebrate. The people of the Italian village of Sulmone, from where come my paternal family roots, have a unique, albeit odd, way of ushering in the new year.
"Drama of the Coming-Elizabeth"
Text: Luke 1:36-56
On this Third Sunday of Advent, we continue our series “Drama of the Coming.” Sunday two weeks ago, we focused our attention on Mary, and what she would face in her role as mother of the Christ Child. Her favor among women, when viewed purely through lenses of this world, seemed to be anything but. Yet a deeper understanding of God’s favor in Mary’s life finds that favor expressed in a depth of character and strength of spirit which makes Mary a true hero in the drama. She proves to be a woman of remarkable courage and conviction with great reserves of strength – well-favored to be called “blessed among women.”
"Drama of the Coming-Zechariah"
Text: Luke 1:5-24, 57-79
This morning, we continue our Advent sermon series “Drama of the Coming” by considering a player whose role in the Christmas story usually remains out of the spotlight. Most of us have some knowledge of his son John, also called “the Baptist.” But by-and-large, Zechariah is a character in the drama who seems relegated to a behind-the-scenes role. Yet Zechariah is the very first person we’re introduced to in Luke’s account of the Christmas story.
"How Do We Offer True Thanksgiving?-II"
Text: Psalm 92:1-4
On this Sunday preceding our national observance of Thanksgiving, we turn to the second part of a sermon entitled “How Do We Offer True Thanksgiving?” Last week, we considered two ways that we express our thanks to the Lord for His awesome provisions. One way is through our public worship – our community offering of music, song, praise and proclamation. A second way is by testifying to others God’s greatness and generosity – telling people what God has done for us, and what God has promised to do for all who call upon God’s name. In both of these ways, we in a sense count our blessings – before the Lord, and then before others.
"You Give Them Something to Eat"
Text: Matthew 14:13-21
I so enjoyed using an illustration from the Peanuts comic strip a few weeks ago that I’d like to do it again this morning. Beyond that, I find the late cartoonist Charles Schultz to have been quite a theologian in his own right. In the middle of the first frame sits Charlie Brown’s dog Snoopy.