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: Bread of Life

Minolta DSC“Bread of Life”

(March 9, 2014) This Lent, we are looking at different names for Jesus. Today’s story invites us to imagine what it means to be fed and nourished by Christ, the Bread of Life. What would it be to trust on this most fundamental level? (Matthew 4:1-11)

The Names of Jesus series is inspired by a series from Logos Productions.

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 Miracles and Mystery Grumps

Screen Shot 2013-12-22 at 9.30.29 PM“Christmas Miracles and Mystery Grumps”

(December 22, 2013) One last sermon in a series about how love breaks into our lives. This time, it’s my story. God surprised me with love; Christmas came early this year for me, and opened my heart, bringing me joy. May you be surprised by love as well. (Matthew 1:18-25, Isaiah 7:10-16)

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, George Bailey!

Bulletin Ad 3“Christmas is Coming, George Bailey!”

(December 15, 2013) George Bailey is at the end of his rope, unable to see a way forward, when Hope breaks into his life, against all odds. Can we learn from his story that hope can enter again, in unlikely places and through unlikely people, and to respond with compassion and love to those for whom hope is elusive or altogether lost? (Isaiah 35:1-11)

As I reference in my sermon, this week a student at Montpelier High school ended his life, and I pray these words and others like them remind us to respond in love and care. And as always if you are in a place where hope seems gone, or if you suspect a friend might be in such a place, say something. It’s hard and scary, but you don’t need to be afraid or ashamed. People will listen.

I name this portion of the film “It’s a Wonderful Life,” although of course you should watch the whole thing since it’s that time of year. ;)

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, 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.

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