Sermons To Go

Sermons To Go

Glorifying God

John 11:1-45 The messenger arrived where Jesus and his disciples were staying with the kind of news no one wants to receive. “Lord, the one whom you love is ill.” It was a simple statement of fact, but an unspoken hope hovered in the silence that followed. An expectation that Jesus, who had healed countless strangers, would surely rush to cure his good friend Lazarus. Jesus, though, seemed remarkably nonchalant about his friend’s condition. He said, “This illness does not…

How Coveting Toilet Paper Became a Thing

Psalm 46 I’ve seen enough apocalyptic disaster movies to know that the plots of most of them follow a predictable formula. Most revolve around humanity’s struggle to avoid extinction in the face of a global catastrophic shortage of some resource. In “The Road” it was a shortage of food. In “Waterworld” melting ice caps covered the continents with oceans, creating a scarcity of dry land for people to live on. In “Mad Max” it was water that there was not…

If You Only Knew

John 4:5-42 Back in 2004, a guy named Frank Warren had an interesting idea for an art project. He made up some postcards that were blank on one side and on the other side were printed with his address and a simple invitation. The invitation was this: “You are invited to anonymously share a secret. Your secret can be a regret, fear, betrayal, desire, confession, or childhood humiliation. Reveal anything—as long as it is true and you have never shared…

Trick Answers

John 3:1-17 A random group of people on the street were asked to solve this word problem: “At a wedding, there were seventy-five guests and sixty-eight pieces of cake. How many didn’t” Everyone was confused because the question didn’t logically follow the information given. That’s because the question set them up to make a false assumption about what was being asked by using something called a homophone. In case you don’t remember your grammar school grammar lessons, homophones are words…

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7 and Matthew 4:1-11 I have a sister-in-law who runs her own interior decorating business, and the transformations she performs on people’s homes are borderline miraculous. But, if you have toddlers who treat freshly painted walls like coloring books, cats who like to push delicate objects off of shelves or puppies who are still learning the difference between chair legs and chew toys, you might want to consider waiting awhile before investing in her talents. The apartments my…

Unblinded By the Light

Matthew 17:1-9 The Transfiguration of Jesus was one of the most spectacular and most perplexing events that his disciples ever witnessed. Which is really saying something when you stop and consider how up until that point in time, they had already seen him restore vision to blind eyes, give voice to mute tongues, raise a dead girl to life, calm a storm on the Sea of Galilee, and feed a crowd of thousands with nothing more to work with than…

Follow

Matthew 4:12-23 The Fantasticks is the name of an off-Broadway musical that ran for a total of 42 years, with 17,162 performances throughout the U.S. and at least 67 other countries. But even if you are not one of the many thousands to have seen the play, odds are you probably have heard a song from the production’s score, titled Try to Remember. That’s because Try to Remember has been covered by everyone from Roger Williams to Josh Groban. What…

A Lamb of God

John 1:29-42                                        There’s an old Peanuts comic strip where Charlie Brown is leaning on a brick wall with a morose expression on his face. Lucy comes along and says, “Discouraged again, eh, Charlie Brown? You know what your trouble is? The whole trouble with you is that you’re you!” Charlie Brown looks at her and says, “Well, what in the world can I do about that?” Lucy responds, “I don’t pretend to be able to give advice …  I merely…

Outing Jesus

Matthew 3:13-17 The person we know as John the Baptist was born to a family with a rich priestly lineage. His father, Zechariah was a priest who served in the Temple, and his mother’s genealogy could be traced back to Aaron, who was the brother of Moses and the original priest of the Jewish priesthood. So, the assumption was that John would grow up to follow in his parent’s footsteps. But John had other plans. Or, you could say, God…

Infancy Divided by Infinity

John 1:1-20 From the most ancient myths about the world’s beginnings to the Big Bang Theory, people have always craved explanations for how the universe functions. Especially when the universe presents us with what seem to be paradoxes. That same quest for truth concerning whatever boggles the human mind is reflected in the approaches taken by the Gospels with regards to Jesus. The Christmas stories tell us that the child born to Mary was both truly God and truly human.…

X-Ray Insight

Luke 2:22-40 Appearances can be misleading. Case in point, a 400-year-old painting on wood of John the Baptist. The painting, which was housed in the Bowes Museum in England, had suffered some deterioration. Before a plan for restorative work could be begun, x-rays were taken to determine the extent of the damage to the wood beneath the paint. What was discovered has been called a “Christmas miracle.” The x-rays revealed another painting that no one knew was there because it…

Are We There Yet? -Love

Matthew 1:18-25 With the lighting of the Candle of Love this morning we have completed our circuit around the Advent wreath. We are nearer than ever to the end of our Advent journey together, and what we discover is that the best has been saved for last. And the best is love. The Bible tells us that God is love! Love is the essence of God’s nature. And since we are created in God’s image, then love is—at least in…

Are We There Yet?-Peace

Luke 1:26-38 and Isaiah 2:1-5 This morning we lit the Advent candle of Peace. Which almost sounds like an oxymoron. Because for most people, Advent is a season characterized by everything that is contrary to peacefulness. Advent, or as most people call it, the Christmas Shopping Season—is a time of high anxiety and stress. The story of the angel Gabriel’s announcement to Mary that she would bear God’s Son however, is a surprisingly peace-filled Advent moment. There is a palpable…

Are We There Yet? -Hope

Isaiah 40:1-11 and Luke 1:5-17 Zechariah had served God faithfully as a priest in the Temple for all his life.  In fact, he and his wife Elizabeth were descended from priestly families whose roots stretched back to the time of Moses and Aaron. Both Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord. There was, though, one holy act of service, that had eluded Zechariah. Until this day. When the…

This Is Your Brain on Gratitude

Deuteronomy 26:1-11 and John 6:25-35 Back when the War on Drugs was front page news, there ran a memorable Public Service Ad, where a guy stood in front of a stove with an egg in his hand, saying “This is your brain.” Then he drops the egg into a hot skillet on the stove. The camera zooms in on the egg sizzling in the pan, as the man’s voiceover says “This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?” And the…