Sermon: Make it So

Roll Down promo sm“Make it So”

(March 4, 2018) The church of today is not necessarily the church of which Jesus dreamed– or we might dream. How can we become a church the lives out Jesus’ call to feed the hungry, visit the lonely and sick and imprisoned, and work together for God’s vision of the world? (Matthew 25: 31-40)

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Sermon: Nothing Can Separate You

Roll Down promo sm“Nothing Can Separate You”

(February 18, 2018) When we baptize a person, regardless of age, we proclaim God’s love of them and our support and love for them, almost always before we know anything about them. Nothing can separate us from the truth that we are all beloved children of God. (Mark 1:9-15; Romans 8: 31-39)

Series: Roll Down, Justice!

Roll Down promo smLenten Series: Roll Down, Justice! 

“let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”
        – Amos 5:24

Lent is a season of remembering who we are called to be in this world, and renewing our baptismal identity. In the early church, it was a time of preparation for new believers and rededication to the Gospel message.

Worship alone is not enough; our prayer, praise, and song must move us to action, seeking transformation in our own lives and the life of the world. Otherwise, our worship becomes empty, and as the prophet Amos reminds us, God will look away from empty offerings and shallow festivals. But if we attune ourselves to God’s calling, then we produce an offering acceptable to God: justice flowing like waterfalls, righteousness rolling like an endless stream.

In our worship this Lent, we will hear and be moved by the powerful music of Mark Miller, we will be connected to our identity as God’s claimed and baptized children, and we will be inspired to live so that our lives proclaim God’s justice, righteousness, and love.

What prejudices are we challenged to “give up” this Lent? How will we be moved to “give” of ourselves to the world? Where will this journey take you, as the current of God’s love sweeps you along?

Our adult Sunday School class will be using resources from the General Commission on Religion and Race’s Lenten Study by the same name– you are invited to join the study, Sunday mornings at 9 a.m., and/or you can learn more about this study and Mark’s music in it at the Religion and Race website for Roll Down Justice.

Sermons in this Series: 
February 18 – Nothing Can Separate You
(Child of God)
February 25 – Planting Seeds of Justice,
Guest Preacher (How Long?)
March 3 – Make it So
(I Dream of a Church)
March 11 – Choosing Love
(I Choose Love)
March 18 –
(God Has Work for Us to Do)
March 25 – Palm Sunday
(The Day is Coming)
April 1 – A New World, Easter
(Welcome!)

Series: Known and Called

Known Called promoWe are water-marked and claimed as God’s own.

“Oh God, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. You search out my path any my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.”   — Psalm 139:1-3

As another new year begins, we commit to living as Christ’s followers. To do that, we need to be able to recognize the identity of Jesus. Once we discover the depth of who Jesus is, we can live as his followers, walking in his footsteps.

To know Jesus, we will look deeply into scripture, into the stories of those who were touched by him, and into our own calling as his disciples. The more we can recognize Jesus, the better we will understand who we are called to be as we live out his ministry.

Just like the early disciples, all who follow Jesus today are claimed as God’s own, sealed with the waters of baptism and set on a journey of bringing the light of God’s love to the world. God knows us—perhaps better than we know ourselves. And God calls us—often in ways we can only begin to imagine.

How are we known by the world around us? Do we bear the unmistakable watermark of God’s grace upon us? Do we live out Christ’s ministry so clearly, that Christ’s own light shines through us?

Sermons in this Series: 
December 31 – Known by the Light – Called to Joy
January 7 – Known by a Watermark – Called to Life
January 14 – Known on Sight – Called to Be
January 21 – Known as Fishers – Called to Cast a Wide Net
January 28 – Known to Stand Our Ground – Called to Justice
February 4 – Known by Touch – Called to Heal
February 11 – Known by Our Company – Called by the Saints

Series: Mary, Did You Know?

mary smallerAdvent Series- Mary, Did You Know?
Mary’s perspective on the birth of Jesus

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for God has looked with favor on the lowliness of God’s servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is God’s name.”    – Mary, Mother of Jesus

To any young, unmarried, peasant woman, the coming of God’s presence on earth in the life of a human child would be life-changing. But for his mother, that change is so much more. Could Mary have possibly grasped how her life, and the life of all the world, was about to change?

The God who lifts up the lowly and brings justice for the oppressed also draws the weary and outcast into the closest circle of blessing. God also uses the lowly, the weary, the oppressed and the outcast to accomplish God’s very presence in the world. No one knows this better than Mary. This Advent, we will walk in her sandals for a while, pondering what God’s coming might mean, exalting that God lifts up and transforms the world, and wondering at how that means God can use us.

Did Mary know that God could use even her in powerful ways? Did she know that Jesus was more than a remarkable child? Did she know that grace and love would conquer the social stigmas of her life, and would overcome the greatest pain and loss she would ever know?

I think she had an inkling. Do we?

Sermons in this series: 
December 3- Save our Sons and Daughters (Mary’s fear and faith)
December 10- One Day Rule the Nations (Mary’s Yes to God)
December 17- Kiss the Face of God (Pageant Sunday)
December 24 (10:30 am)- The Praises of Our Lamb (Mary’s joy and our joy)
December 24 (7 pm)- The Great I Am

Series: A Place at the Table

Slide5Lebanon UMC: creating a place at the table* for everyone

* tables of food, conversation,
decision-making, and communion

Together at Lebanon United Methodist Church, we are creating a place at the table for everyone. We believe this is God’s calling and vision for us, drawing on our gifts of hospitality and inclusion, and meeting the longing we see in our community for food and for connection.

In his ministry, Jesus often drew people together around a table: to converse together, to learn and listen, to feed physical and spiritual hunger, and to share in God’s presence. When we set a table as Jesus does, we invite people into deep community. In worship, we are setting a place for each person at every table: the communion table, the banquet table, the tables of friendship, conversation, and decision-making. We will especially recognize the tables of conversation during our Reconciling Sunday service (October 22, featuring a conversation-message with Pastor Becca and Jonathan V.), and the connection of communion with those who have gone before during our All-Saint’s worship service (November 5).

We also will come together around the table in other ways this month:

Saturday, October 14, noon – a place at the food table
          – Saturday Afternoon Lunch Together free meal for the community

Sunday, October 22, 3 p.m. – a place at the tables of conversation
– “Seeing Each Other: A Panel Discussion about Stereotypes and Their Effects”

Wednesday, October 25, 7 p.m. – a place for healing
          – prayer service for healing (you are invited to bring a picture or symbol
of someone or something in your life in need of healing)

It is God in Christ who invites all to this table—come exactly as you are.

Sermons in this series: 
October 8 – Whose Table Is It?
follow up action: Free Community Lunch Oct 14, creating space at the food table
October 15 – Guest preacher Chris T.
October 22 – 10 Years Reconciling: past, present and future (a dialogue message)
follow up acton: Seeing Each Other panel discussion, Oct 22, 3 pm
A place for healing- October 25, 7 pm, bring needs for healing to the table of grace
October 29 – Expanding the Table
November 5 – Save me a Place – Communion Table with the Saints

 

Sermon: Caring, Sharing

Slide6“Caring, Sharing”

(September 17, 2017) One of the defining characteristics of the People of God is the compassion and care we show one another, and that this compassion is rooted and grounded in God’s love for us. In this message, we also celebrate the deep compassion our community shared with one another during and after a horrible tragedy in our region. (Leviticus 19:9-14, 18, 33-34Philippians 2:1-10)