Sermon: Life All Around

flower crocus snow“Life All Around”

(April 5, 2015 – Easter) Life is all around us, and death never has the final say! (Mark 16:1-8; John 20:1-18)

I was without my direct mic wire– sorry for the poorer quality recording; I think the point comes across.

Sermon: Shout Out!

palm leaf tree plant 6“Shout Out!”

(March 29, 2015 – Palm Sunday) Jesus says that if every voice of his supporters were silenced, the very stones themselves would shout out. We reflect on how rocks are powerful metaphors for God’s presence and provision, God’s protection, and God’s cry for justice. How are we, the church built on the Rock, responsible to cry out for those whose voices are silenced? (Luke 19:28-40)

For young black men shot in cities and towns across our country, whose voices are silenced by death, we must shout out. We must shout out “peace;” we must shout out “gentleness.” For transgender youths, ending their lives rather than face one more day of re-inscribed, systemic, soul-crushing oppression, we must shout out “hope;” we must shout out “safety.” For those living in fear as hate crime and discrimination and segregation are packaged as legislation to protect religious freedom… we must shout out “equality;” we must shout out “justice.”

Sermon: “Heart-Deep”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“Heart-Deep”

(March 22, 2015) God promises to write God’s covenant on our hearts, but what does that mean? What does it really look like to learn God’s love and grace by heart? (Jeremiah 31:31-34)

This sermon describes an event from early in my ministry that was challenging and disturbing. Trigger warnings: death, murder, violence, fear of hell, questions of forgiveness.

Sermon: Subversive Salvation

404908_10200695914301791_1257083917_n“Subversive Salvation”

(March 15, 2015) God’s grace has a mysterious way of turning upside-down our expectations and subverting the things of pain and loss into opportunities for transformation. Rather than take from us the pain of life, God transforms pain into hope. Where are we in need of that promise today? (Numbers 21:4-9)

Sermon: Prohibitions and Promises

flower fence freedom“Prohibitions and Promises”

(March 8, 2015) Not only do we tend to resist being told what to do, but we strip faith of its power when we reduce it to a series of do’s and don’t’s. What if, instead, we viewed the Word of God as a promise and a vision of who we are called to be? Might we see it not as something that constrains us, but as something that helps us grow and flourish? (Exodus 20:1-17)

Sermon: When All is Lost

fire big use

A fire consumed the building in February of 1992

The original structure of LUMC

The original structure of LUMC

“When All is Lost”

(March 1, 2015- 23rd anniversary of the burning of Lebanon UMC) Church member Jeanette H. remembers the burning of the church more than two decades earlier, and the congregation that worked together to rebuild afterward. As we reflect on loss, we hear again God’s promise of hope– sometimes the hardest promise to hold on to in the face of loss. Can we see the promise of the future in one another? (Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16)

 

Sermon: The Valley of Transfiguration

valley1 sm“The Valley of Transfiguration” 

(Feb 15, 2015) The disciples encounter a revelation of who and what Jesus is on the mountaintop, but this is not the only story of God’s revelation in Jesus? Can we expand our understanding of God and of ourselves by hearing and telling multiple stories? (Mark 9:2-9)

This sermon (preached with a substantial cold) is based on the Huffington Post piece “Forsaking the Whiteness of the Transfiguration” by Keith Anderson, and the TED Talk “The Danger of the Single Story” by Chimamanda Adichie.

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