Sunday, January 30, 2022

Sermon: “What the World Needs Now”, Jeremiah 1:4-10/1 Corinthians 13:1-10 (January 30, 2022)


Even though I stopped today’s New Testament reading at verse 10, chapter 13 actually goes on for another three verses. It compares the knowledge we have as children to the knowledge we have as adults and draws a parallel between our intellectual growth and our spiritual growth, explaining, “When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, reason like a child, think like a child.” As children, we can’t possibly know all there is to know, because we don’t yet have all the information that’s available.

When *I* was a child, everything I knew about love came from what I heard on the radio.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Sermon: “The Word’s Effect”, Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10/Luke 4:14-21 (January 23, 2022)


I want everyone to take a minute and look at your bulletin. Take a look at where the scripture readings and sermon are in the order of worship. Also, take a look at the time (this may be the only time I will EVER encourage you to do so). We are LITERALLY right smack dab in the middle of worship. This isn’t a coincidence or accident. It’s built into our polity. The Book of Order says, “Where the Word is read and proclaimed, Jesus Christ the living Word is present by the power of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, reading, hearing, preaching, and affirming the Word are central to Christian worship and essential to the Service for the Lord’s Day.” (W-3.0301)

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Sermon: “The Gifts of Miracle Workers”, 1 Corinthians 12:1-11/John 2:1-11 (January 16, 2022)


As some of you know, I collect nativity scenes. I used to pull them out at Thanksgiving and display them on my mantle at home through December, but that spot quickly proved insufficient for containing my growing collection (plus it seemed a waste to only enjoy them for one month out of the year). So, I brought them into my office and now they’re up year-round. While the collection is still relatively new, I’ve already got an impressive assortment: snow globes and ornaments and music boxes, some made out of wood or porcelain and others metal or plastic, some with traditional depictions of the holy family and others with beloved cartoon characters standing in for Mary and Joseph. 

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Sermon: “The Voice That Isn’t Quite”, Psalm 29:3-9/Luke 3:15-17, 21-22 (January 9, 2022)


“Why doesn’t God talk to us anymore?” It’s a question that most people of faith have had at one time or another. I remember wondering it as a child as well as reflecting on it as an adult, and I’ve been asked it multiple times as a pastor. And to be honest with you, I don’t think I usually offer a particularly satisfactory explanation. Throughout scripture, we read about ordinary, everyday people seeming to have entire out-loud conversations with God on a regular basis, as if God had called them up on the phone. And yet, while hundreds or even thousands of different messages make their way into our consciousness each day, very few (if any) of them come to us as words booming down from heaven.

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Sermon: “Let Us Build a House: Home By Another Way,” 1 Samuel 20:27-28, 30-31, 35-37, 39-42/Matthew 2:1-12 (January 2, 2022)

(This is the seventh and final sermon in our Advent and Christmas series, "Let Us Build a House", based on the Advent theme from A Sanctified Art. The others can be found herehere, here, and here - the third and sixth were given by a guest preacher.)


Since late November, we’ve been figuring out how to build the home that God calls us to build—God’s kin(g)dom—both for ourselves and for the world. On Christmas Eve, we heard the good news that God has come to dwell with us even though the home we’re building together still isn’t finished. We were challenged to welcome all that Christ is into our hearts (even the parts that make us uncomfortable) because God knows better than we do what it will take to see this project through to completion. We have the blueprints, and the architect has arrived to help us finish construction; the kin(g)dom is imminent. But as we enter a new calendar year with yet another wave of COVID making headlines, national unity still feeling impossibly out of reach, and so many unknowns ahead of us, we may start to wonder if maybe God has changed the plan on us.