Sunday, August 28, 2022

Sermon: “Make Another Choice”, Genesis 4:3-16/Matthew 5:21-24 (August 28, 2022)


I don’t know why I recall this so vividly, but when I was in first or second grade, I remember a poster that my teacher had hung front and center in the classroom. It read, “Make another choice,” and on the first day of class, we were told that if we disrupted the lesson or treated another student disrespectfully or anything like that, the teacher would point to the sign, and we’d have an opportunity to change our behavior. If we continued to misbehave after this warning, then there would be consequences. I’m not sure that my six- or seven-year-old self was able to fully grasp the lesson in personal responsibility that this sign represented, but I remember thinking how cool it was that we wouldn’t get in trouble right away. Instead, we’d get the chance to – well – make another choice.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Sermon: “What Sabbath Actually Is”, Isaiah 58:5-7, 13-14/Luke 13:10-17 (August 21, 2022)

Today, we’re getting not only a lesson in theology, but in internet culture, as well! This is a meme format that first emerged in 2012 but seems to have had a slight resurgence over the past couple of years.[1] The idea of the meme is to humorously portray a profession by visually depicting how different people or groups view it through six different images. The default categories are usually something along the lines of “What my friends think I do/what my parents think I do/what society thinks I do/what I think I do/and what clients or customers think I do”. It almost always ends with “What I actually do”, which often serves as a punchline of sorts. For example, in a version about teachers, the last frame might be a desk covered in paperwork; in one about a customer service specialist, a bottle of aspirin; in one about a nurse, a comically large mug of coffee. (I highly encourage you to google your own profession or hobby; odds are there’s already at least one version of this meme already in circulation.)

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Sermon: “Runner’s Low”, Luke 12:51-56/Hebrews 11:32-12:2 (August 14, 2022)


When I was in high school, I fell in with the wrong crowd. Oh, I don’t mean the type of kids who ditched class and broke rules; not THAT kind of wrong crowd. A different kind. The kids I hung out with all got good grades and were on good terms with school administration, but on more than one occasion, I felt peer-pressured into something I didn’t want to do: joining the track team. They were all runners, and not being on the track team made me a bit of a black sheep within my friends group.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Sermon: “God’s Embassy on Earth”, Psalm 33:12-22/Hebrews 11:1-10, 13-16 (August 7, 2022)


Over the past several years, Christian nationalism has been on the rise. And we here in the United States aren’t the only participants in this trend: the Wikipedia page for “Christian nationalism” lists Canada, Russia, the United States, and Yugoslavia as modern examples of countries that have, to one degree or another, embraced this ideology. In some cases, Christian nationalism emerges out of the best of intentions – a belief that Christian policies and laws would improve life for everyone. In others, it’s a tactical strategy – if an individual controls both the state AND the Church, then there’s very little that can stand in the way of their political aspirations. Regardless of where on this spectrum a person’s motivations lie, the objective of Christian nationalism remains the same: a blurring, if not outright removal, of the line between Church and state.