Sermons To Go

Sermons To Go

To view entire worship service look for the video icon in each of the weeks Sermon’s.

The Second Most Important Person in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday

Preached FCCW on April 6, 2022 Luke 19:28-40 and Luke 23:13-25, 44-47     Everyone knows who the most important person in Jerusalem was on Palm Sunday, right? Jesus, of course! After all, he had his own parade following him into the city! People were laying palms and the cloaks off their backs on the road before him like a red carpet. People were shouting and singing with such enthusiasm that it rattled the religious leaders, who pleaded with Jesus to pull…

Of Scents and ₵ents

John 12:1-8 Now that some of the worst effects of the Pandemic seem to be receding, one that still lingers with some of those who were infected, is the loss of their sense of smell. Given the worse possible outcomes of COVID, some might say that losing the ability to smell is getting off easy. Recently though, science has suggested that there is more to the sense of smell than once thought. Some research indicates that certain aromas can actually…

My Three Sons

Luke 15: 1-3, 11b-32 In case you are wondering about the title of this sermon—My Three Sons–yes, I did borrow it from the old Fred MacMurray TV show of the same name. If you remember that show, you may also remember the iconic logo at the start of each episode, that focused on three pairs of men’s feet—one wearing sneakers shoes, one wearing wing tip dress shoes, and the third wearing penny loafers. The different styles of shoes were indicative…

Uncommon Sense

Luke 13:1-9 One of the most highly valued attributes a person can possess is common sense. Common sense is considered to be an intuitive kind of intelligence. One that is grounded in personal observation and experience; and deductions stemming from obvious causes and effects. Lacking common sense tends to have its consequences. For instance, someone who goes to a restaurant and orders a pizza. When the pizza is brought to their table straight from the oven, there is steam rising…

Walkabout

Luke 4:1-13 Among the indigenous peoples of Australia, there is a rite of passage that adolescent males undertake. This rite of passage is known as a Walkabout. The walkabout is a journey to help “transform” them into adults. During this journey, which can last for up to six months, the individual is required to live and survive all alone in the wilderness. In order to survive this long hike, the participant in the walkabout must be able to make their…
Ash Wednesday

Disfigured Faces 

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 Have you ever noticed that Jesus had plenty of tolerance for all kinds of sinners, but no patience at all for religious show-offs? In Matthew’s gospel, we hear Jesus’ condemnation of any acts of piety performed for the superficial reward of impressing others instead of to experience God more authentically.   Jesus has a harsh word for those people who put on holier than thou airs in public: hypocrites. Their behavior might impress others, and thus get…

Who’s Listening?

Transfiguration Sunday When Admiral Richard Byrd explored the South Pole, CBS had the contract to transmit over the airwaves all of the reports he made from his expedition. The world eagerly awaited the first radio broadcast from Antarctica. But something went wrong. Byrd’s’ transmission began alright, but the quality of the reception rapidly deteriorated. Only one person possessed the necessary expertise to correct the problem. That person was an engineer named George. A frantic call was placed from CBS to…

Dearly Beloved

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 and Luke 6:27-36 Dearly beloved, we are gathered here to witness… Where have you heard those words before? If they sound familiar, it is most likely because they were the opening words at many a wedding at which you were a guest. Or perhaps they are the words that were spoken at your own wedding. The words of the Apostle Paul that were read for us from his First Epistle to the Church in Corinth probably also…

Planting Trees on Level Ground

Luke 6:17-26 and Jeremiah 17:5-10 Location, location, location. Any real estate agent will tell you that where a house is situated is the critical feature that can make or break a sale. Location is also important when it comes to gardening. Some plantings thrive in places that receive direct sunlight. Others need shade or they will wilt and wither. Soggy soil can cause problems for some plants, while others demand to be well watered. Location also determines whether our spiritual…

I Know You Are, But What Am I?

Due to technical issues with the camera, video is not available for this service. 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 The Apostle Paul—also known as St. Paul—is credited with having written more of the New Testament Books of the Bible than anyone else. His writings give us the most enlightened interpretation of the meaning of Christ’s life, death and resurrection. His teachings do more than anyone else to help us to understand how the church should function if it is to reflect the…

Church Anatomy

1 Corinthians 12:12-31a A bright yellow highway department truck crept along a city street. A worker slowly climbed out of the truck and dug a large hole in the grassy strip between the sidewalk and the curb. A few minutes later, a second worker got out of the truck. He filled the hole that was just dug and tamped down the dirt. A few yards down the street, they repeated the procedure, then again and again. An elderly woman was…

60% H2O

Luke 3:15-17, 21-22 and Acts 8:14-17 (This service involved a Reaffirmation of Baptism, which is included at the end of this sermon.) On a wall in my office, hang several framed reminders of significant milestones in my journey to becoming an ordained minister. From Andover Newton Theological School, there is my Master of Divinity degree and my certificate of induction into the Jonathan Edwards Honor Society. There is my Certificate of Ordained Ministerial Standing which was conferred upon me by…

What Ifs and What Is

Luke 1:39-55 About three decades ago, this week, on the 16th of December to be precise, Apartheid in South Africa came to an end. The word apartheid means ‘apartness’. Apartheid was a system for keeping white people in South Africa separated from everyone who wasn’t white. Remarkably, Apartheid’s end was not followed by vengeance taking on those who had defended and maintained it all the while it was the law of the land. Archbishop Desmond Tutu was among the black…

Joy at Arm’s Length

Luke 3:7-18 This morning we celebrate the lighting of the Advent candle of Joy; always recognizable as the pink candle in the Advent wreath. Like Hope and Peace—the themes of the first two Sundays of Advent—Joy resonates deeply with us. Perhaps more than ever during this pandemic. We have felt the frustration of experiences that brought us joy in the past, being unavailable to us now. Including the joy of sharing Christmas with friends and family. Meanwhile, on the timeline…
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Peace in the Wilderness

Luke 3:1-6 When the Bible introduces important people, particularly prophets, it is not uncommon for them to be framed by a shortlist of famous people or events that create a context for understanding their place in history. In the case of John, son of Zechariah—better known to us as John the Baptist—that list includes the Roman Emperor Tiberius, Pontius Pilate who was the Roman procurator over Palestine, a trio of puppet rulers named Herod, Philip and Lysanias, and a pair…

Jesus Rules

Colossians 1:11-20        In case you missed it, last Monday was National Clean Your Refrigerator Day. Which may sound silly to many of you, but for anyone whose fridge tends to do double duty as a museum of expired products and overdue-for-the-compost-heap leftovers, National Clean Your Refrigerator Day is actually a very helpful public service announcement. Today is Christ the King Sunday. Which may sound like it has nothing in common with National Clean Your Refrigerator Day, but it actually…

The Urgencies That Deserve to Claim You

Mark 13:1-8 and Hebrews 10:11-25 On Wednesday mornings, I get together with the Worship Connection group to delve into and discuss the scripture readings for the upcoming Sunday. It’s an opportunity to dig deeper into the passages and to engage in dialogue about what we read. An opportunity that a sermon alone doesn’t always provide. We try to remember the importance of not only being attentive to what is going on in the story—the actions and reactions of the characters…

Keeping In Character

Mark 12:28-34                In a church that I previously served, there was a small group of members who shared an interest in the dramatic arts. A few of them had experience performing with a local theater group. Others had no experience but a lot of interest and enthusiasm for acting. So, we decided to create a “drama ministry” in the church. The director would periodically submit scripts for me to review, and those that were a good match for a particular…

On the Way, By the Way, or In the Way?

Mark 10: 46-52 The four Gospels all tell the same story of Jesus’ life and ministry, but each one tells it in its own unique style. Reading Mark’s version can feel like sitting in the back seat of an Uber whose driver is careening down city streets and running red lights to get you to your destination as quickly as possible, while avoiding any small talk on the way. Jesus is portrayed as always active, always on the move. Some…

Frequently Asked Questions

Job 38:1-7, 34-41 If life in the digital age has taught me anything, it is that I don’t need to know everything. And that’s OK, because there is always someone else who knows whatever I think I need to know. The place where I learned that lesson is on the “Frequently Asked Questions” pages of websites. Whether it is figuring how to reset the clock in my car twice a year or how to recover a lost password, or any…

A Naked Intent Toward God

Job 23: 1-9, 16-17 and Mark 10:17-31 There’s an old story, more of a parable really, that is attributed to the philosopher Heidegger. It tells of a carpenter who owned a well-equipped workshop. The carpenter never had to worry that he might lack the right tool or the right material for any project he had to do. Until one day when the carpenter is working and his hammer breaks. Despite all the other equipment in the shop, the carpenter’s work…

What’s in Front, What’s Behind

Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12 We have already made our silent, personal prayers of confession before God this morning. But I have a public confession to make. I’m not a big fan of preaching on the Epistle to the Hebrews. It’s not the easiest reading book of the New Testament, which doesn’t exactly make it “preach well.” Hebrews relies on obscure Biblical characters like Melchizedek and high-churchy words like Sanctification to gets its message across. So, the challenge of making that message…

People Like Us, for Times Like These

Esther 4:6-14 Have you ever thought about how many choices and decisions you make in the course of a day? Probably not, because most of them are pretty inconsequential. Other choices though, can be life-altering. For ourselves and others. For Christians, there is an added consideration when it comes to making choices. Not only how will this decision affect me, or someone else – but what is God’s will for me in this situation? Figuring out where God is in…

A Children’s Sermon for Adults

Mark 9:30-37         Even though this is not a Family Sunday, and the kids are enjoying their first day of a new Church School year, I’ve still got a Children’s Sermon for today. Only this is a Children’s Sermon…for adults. You might not think so, but sometimes, the most challenging part of preparing a worship service is preparing the Children’s Sermon. It’s not like preaching to adults, who have a longer attention span than the youngsters who join me up here…
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Wisdom Cries

Proverbs 1:20-33 and Mark 8: 27-38   Today is one of the rare Sundays that the Lectionary offers a passage from the Book of Proverbs as one of the readings. If you look up the word “Proverb” in a dictionary, what you will find is some variation of this definition: “A proverb is an easily memorized nugget of wisdom.” And that is exactly what you can expect to find when you open the Biblical Book of Proverbs. Page upon page of…