"The Gates of Hades Shall Not Prevail"
Text: Matthew 16:13-20
Some years ago, I got a flyer in the mail from a nearby township church. It was publicizing an event described as “an uplifting Christian alternative to traditional Halloween activities.” Sounded good. I know there are some Christian folk who are offended by the entire idea of Halloween, Trick or Treat, Beggars Night, or whatever one chooses to call it. So an “uplifting alternative” certainly seemed like a good idea for someone of who finds Halloween incongruent with their faith.
"Stirred In Heart to Give"
Text: Exodus 35:20-29
2 Corinthians 9:6-8
This morning, we turn our attention to the historical book of Exodus. As we meet up with “the congregation of the Israelites,” we find them still wandering across the Sinai Peninsula toward the promised land under the leadership of Moses. Moses had recently descended from Mt. Sinai with the second set of stone tablets of the Law. You’ll remember he broke the first set of tablets in a fit of rage when he found Aaron and the people worshiping a golden calf.
"On Account of My Name"
Text:John 15:18-21, 26-27
To set the tone for this morning’s message, I’d like to share with you a Facebook exchange I was caught up in recently. It began with a post shared by a friend of mine, who tends to be critical of Christianity. The post featured a chalk board with these words written on it in yellow: “Same- sex marriage is not gay privilege, it’s equal rights. Privilege would be something like gay people not paying taxes.” Up to that point, I was on board. Then at the bottom were these additional words chalked in blue and underlined for emphasis:
"Tour de Faith"
Text: John 14:8-14
2 Timothy 4:6-8
When I was a youngster, I used to do a lot of bicycling; not so much as a form of fun or exercise, but as a practical means of transportation. In those days, many families had only one automobile. That was the case in my family. So if I wanted to get somewhere within a reasonable I was usually on my own.
"Of Sacred Song, Memory, and Wisdom"
Text: Ephesians 5:15-20
We all have a favorite song. I have a bunch. What I find interesting is that while I may not be able to remember specific details from events in my life that took place twenty or thirty years ago, even the biggest ones, I can remember every line from a hit song from my high school or college days. For instance, a few weeks ago, I heard a song on my car radio that I hadn’t heard in I don’t know how long. Yet upon hearing the first few bars of the music, the lyrics came back to me like I’d just heard them yesterday, and I sang along:
"Jesus, What Gives?!"
Text: Luke 16:1-9
Since it’s now well into high school football season, I thought it might be time for an outrageous, but true, high school football story. 1997. The underdog Mustangs of Flinthills High in Rosalie, Kansas were facing rival Elk Village Patriots. After the opening kickoff, as the teams lined up for the first play from scrimmage, Mustang quarterback Dan Scribner and his center Tylen Hall pretended that the ball on the field was underinflated.
Text: Proverbs 24:30-34
1 Corinthians 15:58
Have you ever had the experience of working with someone who was just downright lazy? It can be frustrating, even maddening, to labor side-by-side with someone who doesn’t carry his or her load. We who work hard often seem to get stuck doing the work of two and more per- sons. And that can be a great source of both discouragement and anger.
Text: Psalm 90:1-17
2 Peter 3:8-9
Here’s a little audience participation piece. The question: What do you consider the most life- changing invention of all time? An historian and social critic from the University of Chicago by the name of Daniel Boorstin – now deceased – once stated that the most life-changing invention of all time is the mechanical clock.