Thursday, July 30, 2020

COVID-19 Communion Liturgy

Invitation to the Lord’s Table

Leader: Communion is a very physical sacrament, and it’s supposed to be done when the community is all physically gathered together. But of course, it’s not safe for everyone to be gathered here, and we choose to worship differently as an act of love for one another. And we believe that NOTHING—neither death, nor life, nor heights, nor depths, nor anything in all creation—can keep Jesus away from us.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Sermon: “Make a Joyful Noise: In the Bulb There Is a Flower”, Romans 8:12-25 (July 26, 2020)


Throughout your life, every choice you make is influenced by an endless list of considerations: what the weather will be like, how much gas is left in your car, how much sleep you got last night, how close you are to payday, and so on and so on. But at this particular moment, one factor looms larger in our decision-making than any other: the novel Coronavirus. This microscopic nightmare has managed to infiltrate not only the bodies of more than 15 million people worldwide, but also the lives of every single human being on earth. It seems like every decision we make these days is dictated by the threat of this tiny adversary, from what we wear to where we shop to how we fulfill our obligations to our jobs—even how we worship has changed dramatically in our efforts to avoid catching or spreading this malicious virus. The entire world is on high alert, and we’re all working as hard and as fast as we can to figure out how to defend ourselves against this new enemy.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Sermon: “Make a Joyful Noise: Take My Life”, Genesis 28:10-19 (July 19, 2020)


Sometimes, you make plans. Sometimes, they’re great plans: they’re carefully thought-out and designed to make the world a better place. Other times, your plans are less than noble: they involve putting yourself first or running away from your responsibilities. Either way, God often has plans that are quite different than yours: as the saying goes, we plan, and God laughs.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Sermon: "Make A Joyful Noise: Go, Tell It on the Mountain", Isaiah 55:10-13 (July 12, 2020)


Do you all remember what it’s like applying to jobs? I sure do. Personally, I didn’t mind the ones that gave you an actual application form too much, but I HATED the ones that required a resume. It’s not that I had a problem sharing my employment history with potential employers (although early on, it was hard to make three years of babysitting fill up an entire page). No, what I hated about it was the fact that submitting a resume also requires writing a cover letter. Did you ever have to write one? Did you struggle with them as much as I did? As I understand it, a cover letter serves several purposes: it’s primarily a matter of etiquette, thanking the employer for their time and consideration, but it’s also an opportunity to grab the employer’s attention. A good cover letter hits the highlights of your job history and connects the dots as to why you’d be a good fit for the position. It summarizes you as an employee in a way that compels the employer to want to know more. It’s basically the Cliffsnotes of your resume.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Sermon: "Make A Joyful Noise: This Is My Song", Psalm 33, 10-16, 20-22 (July 5, 2020)


Independence Day weekend is often a complicated thing for churches to navigate, and I’m already worn out from…well, life these days. I’m sure you are too. So I’m gonna go ahead and make this easy for all of us. Instead of building up to the message with a clever metaphor or a cultural reference or something, I’m just gonna get straight to the point of telling you what the scripture reading and the hymn are teaching us today. Here it is:

It’s not wrong to love your country. It’s wrong to assume that God loves it more than others.