"I Can and I Will!"
Text: Matthew 15:32-39
Philippians 4:13, 19-20
One of the most widely-recognized gospel stories is about loaves and fishes, often called “the feeding of the five thousand.” Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all record this episode of Jesus ministering to the crowds late in the day, well past the supper hour.
"God's Unmerited Grace"
Text: Matthew 20:1-16
There’s a story of an African-American man whose house had been newly painted. Within days, someone had spray painted graffiti all over it. He wondered who would have done such a thing in his quiet, peaceful neighborhood. He was, needless to say, angry, and at first thought the act must have been racially-motivated.
"For God So Loved"
Text: John 3:16
Many of us are familiar with the story of Jesus and a Pharisee by the name of Nicodemus. For the benefit of those who are not, Nicodemus was a well-respected leader within the religious community in Jerusalem. But unlike his colleagues in the temple, he was sympathetic to Jesus. He saw something in the guy.
"Joy, the Journey's End"
Text: Matthew 2:1-12
It was July of 1967. I was eleven. My sister Lore was eight. It was family vacation time, and our destination was Colonial Williamsburg. I recall it was dark outside as we stuffed our luggage into the trunk of my dad’s powder blue Nash.
"Staking a Tent"
Text: John 1:1-5, 10-14
How many of you have ever put up a tent? I’ll never forget my first camping trip with the Boy Scouts. We went to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and were actually allowed to camp on a portion of the battlefield. I remember when we arrived, the first thing we had to do was stake our tents. Our reward was the promise of Yankee Stew cooked in a cast-iron pot over an open fire.
"Child of Destiny"
Text: Selections from Matthew and Luke
Swirling around the birth of any child is a wide variety of thoughts and feelings: anticipation, pride, humility, joy, wonder, gratitude, relief; and to some degree: unsettledness, uncertainty, a sense of inadequacy, depression [often labeled a mother’s “post partum”], a fear of un-readiness [that one is especially common among dads].
"Song of the Expectant Mother"
Text: Luke 1:46-55
Among the great world religions, Judaism and Christianity are perhaps the most song-filled. While religions of the middle and far east use many chants, recitals and intonations in their worship, much of the Jewish Testament of the Bible contains songs of praise, songs of hope, songs of victory, songs of lament; the book of Psalms serving as the main source of song for the Jewish faith.