Sermon Archive

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Sunday, July 9, 2017

In the absence of video for this week’s message, here is a link to the manuscript of the sermon.  Please remember that the manuscript does not fully represent the sermon as preached in worship. Pastor Don’s Blog

Sunday, July 2, 2017

In the absence of video for this week’s message, here is a link to the manuscript of the sermon.  Please remember that the manuscript does not fully represent the sermon as preached in worship. Pastor Don’s Blog

Sunday, June 25, 2017

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In the absence of video for this week’s message, here is a link to the manuscript of the sermon.  Please remember that the manuscript does not fully represent the sermon as preached in worship. Pastor Don’s Blog

Sunday, June 4, 2017 – Pentecost

The word Pentecost is Greek and it means “50th day.” Fifty days after Easter Sunday, we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and their followers, and the beginning of their Earthly ministry to make disciples of all nations. The feast traces its roots to the ancient Jewish festival celebrating the end of the grain harvest. The ancient festival celebrates a renewal of the covenant with God; it recognizes the fulfillment of God’s promises. It is the natural place for God to initiate the era of the church.

Fire is often associated in the Old Testament with the presence of God and with His holiness. Likewise, in the New Testament, fire is associated with the presence of God and the purification He can bring about in human life. God’s presence and holiness are implied in the Pentecostal tongues of fire. Indeed, fire is identified with Christ Himself (Revelation 1:14; 19:12); this association naturally underlies the Pentecost gift of the Holy Spirit, who would teach the disciples the things of Christ.

So, we find ourselves celebrating Pentecost once again; many of us are wearing red to symbolize the fire of the Holy Spirit. There is red displayed in the sanctuary and we’re doubly-blessed that we are celebrating Holy Communion today. Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place today! All of these fiery, inspiring worship images make me think that there is a pattern here that we should pay attention to—God’s presence is a fire within us, a wildfire that must spread.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Book of Acts is widely thought of as a brief history of the way the early church got started after Jesus left the earth. Here we find the story of Jesus’ final farewell to his disciples. We learn the story of the first Pentecost, when the promised Holy Spirit arrives to guide the fledgling disciples. Then we move through countless stories of new converts, life in the new community, and the conversion of Paul. This is truly an important book for the church to study.

We begin today at the beginning, where Jesus says his final goodbye to the disciples. They want to know when the time will come for the restored kingdom. Jesus tells them it is not for them to know the time. We ask the question, “Is it time?” not to defy Jesus, but to turn the query toward us. Is it time we began acting like the church? Is it time for us to pay attention to Jesus’ call? Is it time for us to listen to the voice from heaven that speaks to each one of us? Is it time?

We stand here, watching Jesus ascend into heaven. Let us consider what it means for him to have left us here to care for his people. Let us consider what we should do as we wait for his return.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

In the absence of video for this week’s message, here is a link to the manuscript of the sermon.  Please remember that the manuscript does not fully represent the sermon as preached in worship. Pastor Don’s Blog

Sunday, May 14, 2017

In the absence of video for this week’s message, here is a link to the manuscript of the sermon.  Please remember that the manuscript does not fully represent the sermon as preached in worship. Pastor Don’s Blog

Sunday, May 7, 2017

“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” In our context, it may be difficult to fully appreciate the metaphor that Jesus uses here. Most of us were not raised on a ranch and we certainly have no understanding of the nomadic lifestyle lived by herders in the ancient Middle East. Tending the sheep meant living with them 24/7 throughout the grazing season. The herders were responsible for moving the herd from place to place as they followed the grazing food supply. They were responsible for the safety of the herd at night, protecting them from predators and thieves. It was a hard life, but it was vital to the community.

Jesus uses their cultural understanding of this process to point out how the religious leaders should be caring for their followers and how they often failed. He points to himself as the true Good Shepherd who offers safety and nourishment for his followers. It is an intimate relationship that provides the courage needed for young, new followers to keep going in the face of dangers and obstacles threatening to keep them from the life Jesus calls them to. We need to find a way to embrace this metaphor in our own lives. We need to draw strength from the Shepherd so that our fears and doubts do not overcome us.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

“Now that same day two of them were going to a village
called Emmaus.”

So, here we are, on the very day that Jesus rose from the dead and two of His disciples are high-tailing it out of town. Jesus was crucified, died and was buried. This morning some of the women report that the tomb is empty and these guys just don’t believe it. They don’t believe the stories told by the women of Jesus’ resurrection – maybe because it was hearsay and not their own personal experience.

Where is the big event they had expected? Why didn’t Jesus come out and take over as the mighty King? Their world has been turned upside down and maybe they fear what could happen to them now. Perhaps they are walking away from a place of pain and loss. They’re confused and disappointed; and they have lost their faith. The problem is that they expected the wrong things from the Messiah.

For these two disciples, doubt is leading them away from Jesus and his promises. Fortunately, Jesus goes after them to calm their doubt and bring them back.

As we take this journey together, I pray that we will all find out where doubt leads each one of us.