"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.
"Loving the Sin, Hating the Sinner"
Text: John 3:16-21
Many experts in the field of mental health are claiming that we live in an unprecedented era of poor self-esteem. Simply stated, a lot of people just don’t like themselves much these days.
“The Lordship of Christ”
Text: Matthew 7:21-23
From the earliest days of the Church, we Christians have formulated and used a two-fold declaration of our relationship with Christ. We hear it in our liturgies and prayers. We confess it on occasions of baptism, confirmation, and uniting with the church. We reaffirm it upon ordination to positions of church leadership. Most everyone hearing this sermon has, at one time or another, spoken these words before a gathered body of Christians: “Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior.” Much preaching in the mainline church emphasizes the second part of this declaration: Jesus Christ as Savior, while often neglecting the first part: Jesus Christ as Lord. Perhaps we need to re-examine and re-evaluate what it means to profess Jesus, not just as our Savior, but as our Lord. A good starting point would be to ask ourselves a few simple questions: What does Jesus’ Lordship look like in our lives? Is calling Jesus “Lord” merely a word, or does it mean something more?
“Are You Proud or Are You Humble?”
Text: Philippians 2:1-11 (R.S.V.)
Proverbs 11:2, 16:5, 18
Most of us have probably begun turning over in our minds the question posed by this morning’s sermon title: Are you proud, or are you humble? It’s a question I once put to a group of adults in a Bible study class. I asked them to be very honest with themselves and gave them a few moments to think it over. Then I asked, “How many of you are humble?” Almost every person in the room raised their hand. “How many of you are proud?” Again, almost every hand went up. I was impressed with their honesty. Are you proud, or are you humble? It’s something of a loaded question. We might define cold as the simple absence of heat, or darkness as the simple absence of light. Yet it’s not so simple a matter to define humility as merely the absence of pride, or pride merely the absence of humility. The fact is most of us are, by definition, a mixture of both pride and humility.
"No Trumpets Are Necessary"
Text: Matthew 6:1-4
We all know that in any band, the trumpet section is usually no place for musicians with introverted personalities. The trumpets are literally the brassiest instruments. They comprise the section of the marching band that most often carries the melody. In a jazz band, the trumpet players are those who most often stand – and stand out - during a performance. Trumpets were the “chops” of the big band era of Dorsey and Shaw. Trumpet stops and sections are among the most powerful and dominant on the great French and German pipe organs.