"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.
"Of the Temple of Artemis, and Stepping on Toes"
Text: Acts 19:23-27
When I was studying to be a minister, I remember some advice I received from an elderly gentleman who was a member at a church I served as a student intern: “Sonny, when you preach, talk only about Jesus. Talk of spiritual things. If you talk about worldly things like money, culture, and politics, it will only get you into trouble.”