Sermons on John

Snapchat Discipleship

Preached FCCW on April 29, 2018 (Confirmation Sunday)

John 15:1-8

Have you ever noticed that whenever you are about to part company with someone you really care about, and it’s going to be a long while before you see them again, there just doesn’t seem to be enough time to say everything you want to tell them? It must have been like that for Jesus and his disciples on the night before he was crucified.

In John’s gospel Jesus has a real long and deep conversation with his disciples that night. In the course of that conversation, Jesus uses one word over and over. That word is “abide.” He said to them, “Abide in me as I abide in you.”

What does that mean?

Love in Action

1 John 3:16-24 and John 1-:11-18

Preached FCCW April 22, 2018

In the immediate aftermath of World War II, London was a royal mess. Many buildings had been reduced to little more than piles of rubble. But the worst damage was not to structures but to families. Many children had become orphans, some of them starving in the streets.

Early one cold, foggy morning, an American soldier was returning to his barracks in London. As he rounded a corner in his jeep, he saw a little boy standing in front of a pastry store window. His nose was pressed against the glass as he watched the baker kneading the dough for a fresh batch of donuts. The soldier pulled the jeep over to the curb, got out and walked quietly over to the little boy and stood behind him. They both watched as the baker pulled out a fresh batch of donuts from the oven and meticulously placed the piping hot pastries onto the glass-enclosed counter. The boy was literally drooling. An unconscious groan escaped from deep within him.

Trade-Offs

Preached April 15, 2018

Acts 3:12-19 and 1 John 3:1-7

 

A woman was driving toward home in Northern Arizona when she saw a Navajo woman hitchhiking. Because the trip had been long and monotonous, she stops the car and the Navajo woman climbs in. In the course of their small talk, the Navajo woman glances surreptitiously at a brown bag on the front seat between them. “If you’re wondering what’s in the bag,” says the woman, “it’s a bottle of wine.  I got it for my husband.” “The Navajo woman is silent for a while, nods several times and says, “Good trade.”

There are good trades and there are bad trades and then there are notoriously bad trades that never get lived down. Like trading Manhattan Island for a bushel of trinkets. Or trading Babe Ruth to the Yankees. But, hands down THE worst trade off EVER was when a crowd demanded that the life of Jesus be exchanged for the life of a murderer named Barabbas.

Life-Marks

Preached FCCW, April 8, 2018

John 20:19-31

When I was in junior high I had a friend who had a prominent birthmark. It was one of those strawberry colored stains and it covered the entire lower half of one side of his face. While I don’t recall anybody making a big deal about it then, it’s hard to imagine him making it through childhood without having to endure a lot of teasing and humiliation.

There are many old wives’ tales to explain where birthmarks like the one my friend had come from; including superstitions that they are the result of some fearful or traumatic experience suffered by the mother during pregnancy.

While only a tiny fraction of babies enter life bearing external birthmarks on their bodies, not a one of us goes through life without acquiring invisible blemishes on our soul. Since we are not born with these blemishes, they aren’t birthmarks. Perhaps a good name for them would be Life-marks, because we acquire them over the course of our life experiences.

We Would See Jesus

John 12:20-33

Preached FCCW March 18, 2018

 

The time for the festival of Passover was approaching, and as was typical on the eve of such an important holy day, Jerusalem was swarming with people.

Many in the crowds that filled the streets were faithful Jews who had made the pilgrimage to worship at the city’s great Temple.

Many, but not all.

Following Jesus

Preached FCCW, January 14, 2017

John 1:43-51

How do you define the word “Christian?”

If I asked you to complete this sentence: A Christian is someone who _________,

how would you fill in the blank?

Given the number of people here, I bet we would could come up with a whole gamut of responses before we were through.

By Truth Set Free

Preached October 26, 2017           Reformation Sunday

John 8:31-36

 

Jesus said to some Jews who believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

By his own admission, the people he was talking to believed in him, which probably meant they accepted on an intellectual level that he was the Messiah that the Jewish people had been waiting for. But that did not quite make them disciples. To be truly his disciples, they had to, as he said, continue in his word. That expression, to continue, is related to the word abide, which means to make someplace or something your abode. Your home. It implies permanence and continuation and relationship. To become a disciple of Jesus requires something more than intellectual belief in him. It demands a commitment to a relationship to him that shapes all our other relationships and determines our choices.

Touchy Feely

John 20:19-31 Preached FCCW, 4/23/2017   The Sunday after Easter is sometimes referred to as Holy Humor Sunday. The reason for that is, on Good Friday, when Jesus died, the Devil thought he had won. But on Easter Sunday, God played the biggest joke ever by raising Jesus from the dead. So, the Holy Humor more »

Thirst Quencher

Text John 4:5-42 Preached FCCW 3-19-2017 The anthem that the choir just sang is based on this morning’s gospel story, which tells of Jesus’ encounter with a woman at a well in Samaria, where Jesus offers her “living water.” “Living Water” sounds like it could be the brand name for any of the varieties of more »

Nick at Night

John 3:1-17 Preached FCCW 3/12/2017 The story of Jesus’ encounter with Nicodemus is comical. Really, it is! In fact, I liken it to one of the all-time classic comedy routines: Abbott and Costello’s, “Who’s on First?” You know – that skit that revolves around a confused conversation about the starting lineup for a baseball team more »

Pluto’s Demise and Other Discoveries We Never Saw Coming

John 1:29-42 Preached FCCW, January 15, 2017 For all of us who were born in the 20th or 21st centuries, the one constant in life has been impermanence. The last hundred years or so have witnessed an acceleration of scientific exploration and technological progress unprecedented in the history of human civilization. We’ve gone from Kitty Hawk to more »

Giving Thanks for What We Don’t See

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John 6:25-35

Preached at the Ecumenical Thanksgiving Eve Service, St. Edward’s Church, 11/23/2016

I can’t say for sure, but I’d be willing to bet that on Thanksgiving there are more households in America where a prayer will be offered over a meal, than on any other day of the year.