Sermon: Together in One Place

mosiac 1“Together in One Place”

(June 8, 2014 – Pentecost Sunday) The story of Pentecost– the church’s “birthday” as the disciples received the Holy Spirit– paints a picture of a diverse group all together in one place. In this gathering, differences are not erased or harmonized, but celebrated! Are we living as those who expect, celebrate, and minister with the diversity of our communities? (1 Corinthians 12:3b-13; Acts 2:1-21)

I was also inspired by this post by my colleague and facebook friend, Rev. Emily Heath.

Sermon: Empty Tomb; So What?

picture for easter e weekly“Empty Tomb; So What?”

(April 20, 2014, Easter Sunday) Easter brings us to the the greatest miracle and mystery of the Christian faith, but what’s it all about? What happens *after* the empty tomb to change our lives? God’s salvation is still happening, not accomplished all at once. Instead, we are invited into the ongoing work of God. (Matthew 28:1-10, Luke 24:1-12)

Easter Sunday, complete with the interruption object lesson from my son William.

Sermon: “King of Kings”

palm leaf tree plant 6“King of Kings”

(April 13, 2014) Jesus rides into Jerusalem as a king, but not the sort of king anyone was expecting. When we fail to live up to the expectations of others– or when they fail to live up to ours– can we cut one another a little slack? Are we willing to ask ourselves if our expectations are good and healthy ones, or simply what we want to see? (Matthew 21:1-11)

First Sunday back in the sanctuary, and mic troubles and all the distraction and pressure that comes with that!

Sermon: Love is Born, Ready or Not!

Christmas Eve“Love is Born, Ready or Not!”

(Dec 24, 2013 – Christmas Eve) Into our lives where sorrow and loneliness lurk, into the life of the world, where love was least expected, God’s presence breaks in. Christmas is not about celebrating Jesus’ birthday– or at least not primarily about that. First and foremost it is a celebration of “Immanuel,” God-With-Us. (Isaiah 9:2-7, Luke 2:1-7)

I of course take no credit for and intend no infringement upon Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I quote from it and from Anne Robertson’s blog post “Transformation in Whoville.”

Sermon: Christmas is Coming, Ebenezer Scrooge!

Bulletin Ad 2“Christmas is Coming, Ebenezer Scrooge!”

(December 8, 2013) Bah Humbug! Ebenezer Scrooge’s name is synonymous with being stingy and mean and hating Christmas. He seems quite happy with his life, but he has no peace, because he does not live with justice. That Christmas spirit can’t be contained, however; Scrooge sees some glimpses of his place in the world and how his actions and inactions impact others and experiences a change of heart. Can God’s justice break into our lives? Is there anything we can do to help seek peace and justice in our world? (Isaiah 11:1-10)

The Advent series this year is a look at how God breaks into our lives when we least expect it and whether we’re ready or not. We’ll look at seasonal grumps who find transformation breaking into their lives: The Grinch, who experiences love; Ebenezer Scrooge, who moves toward justice; George Bailey, who rediscovers hope, and a Mystery Grump, in need of some Christmas joy.

Sermon: Christmas is Coming, Mr. Grinch

Bulletin Ad 1“Christmas is Coming, Mr. Grinch!”

(December 1, 2013) The Grinch, alone and angry, despised the whole Christmas season– until love broke into his life and he found his heart growing three sizes. Can God really break in to our cold-hearted loneliness? (Isaiah 2:1-5)

Before the sermon, I played a clip similar to this from the 1966 animated version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

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The Advent series this year is a look at how God breaks into our lives when we least expect it and whether we’re ready or not. We’ll look at seasonal grumps who find transformation breaking into their lives: The Grinch, who experiences love; Ebenezer Scrooge, who moves toward justice; George Bailey, who rediscovers hope, and a Mystery Grump, in need of some Christmas joy.

Sermon: Against All Odds

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“Against All Odds”

(Christmas Eve, December 24, 2012) Jesus is born as the son of poor, unwed parents, as a Jewish man in the Roman Empire. Ours is a God accustomed to hope and love that transcend the odds stacked against us. May Christ be light to you in life’s dark places this Christmas, and always. (Luke 2:1-20)

This sermon draws source material, information, and quotations from a 2004 Christmas Eve sermon by Dean Scotty McLennan (available as a pdf here), and a blog post, “God Can’t Be Kept Out,” by Rachel Held Evans (found here).

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