Sermons To Go

Sermons To Go

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

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…
wisdom

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…

Faith That Works

James 2: 1-10, 14-17 and Psalm 146                       In the church where Sue and I were married, if you lifted up the pew cushions you would find antique brass plates affixed to the wooden seats below. Each of these brass plates was engraved with a name and a number. The name identified the person for whom that seat was reserved. The number indicated how much that person had pledged to the church. The higher the pledge, the closer to the pulpit…

Nourished by the Bread of Life: A Whole New You

John 6:56-69 This morning we come to the conclusion of this sermon series on being Nourished by the Bread of Life. Together, we have journeyed through the 6th chapter of John’s Gospel, and been fed with Jesus’ unfolding teaching on the Bread that comes down from Heaven. We’ve witnessed Jesus feeding over 5000 people with just three loaves of barley bread; and sailed with the crowds who followed him across the Sea of Galilee the next day, hoping for another…

You Are What You Eat

John 6:51-58 and Ephesians 5:15-20 It’s kind of funny how certain random childhood memories can be recalled in distinct detail many decades later, when some days I’m lucky if I remember what I had for breakfast. Like a memory I still have of a conversation with my Portuguese Vavo (grandmother). I couldn’t have been more than seven or eight years old. Yet I remember her words as clearly as if they were spoken to me this morning. I can’t say…

The Bread That the Lord Has Given You to Eat

John 6:24-35 As far as most material things in life go, you get what you pay for. What seems like a great bargain at Dollar General, sooner or later has its flaws exposed during the wear and tear of everyday usage. Then there are purchases which, while initially expensive, in the long run prove to be a better investment because of their durability. You pay more, to get more quality and use out of them. L.L. Bean is a company…

Enough Is Enough

John 6:1-21 Enough is enough. Those three simple words can mean something completely different depending on the punctuation mark that follows them or the tone of voice with which they are expressed. An exclamation point at the end of that sentence, or a frustrated tone of voice in the speaking of the words, can signal that one has reached the limits of one’s tolerance for an ongoing, unwelcome circumstance, and an urgent demand for redress. If the exclamation point is…

The Foundation and the Cornerstone

2 Samuel 7:1-14a and Ephesians 2:11-22 King David wanted to build a house for God. Which, as good ideas go, seemed to be a no-brainer. Even to Nathan the Prophet, whose job description included pointing out to the king when something was NOT such a great idea in God’s eyes. It seemed a shame to David that he himself lived in a stately cedar mansion, while the Ark of the Covenant—the holy artifact which symbolized God’s presence—continued to be housed…

Too Far, Too Fast

1 Kings 19:1-15 Once there was a group of tourists on a safari in Africa. They had hired several locals as porters to carry their gear as they traveled. Three days into what was fast-paced excursion, the porters informed the tourists, that they would have to stop and rest for a day. It was not that they were physically tired. They explained that they had walked too far, too fast; so that they needed to pause and wait for their…

The Wounds That Make Us Open to Grace

Mark 5:21-43 Last Sunday, our journey through the Gospel of Mark gave us a lesson about believing in God’s grace when we feel powerless over some chaotic circumstance in life. Mark delivered that message through the story of Jesus calming a sudden storm that threatened to sink the boat that he and the disciples were using to cross the Sea of Galilee. Even though the details of that perilous journey were graphically presented in the story, most of never have—and…

SOS

2 Corinthians 6:1-13 and Mark 4:35-41 When I was young—about third grade, or so—my father often worked multiple jobs and irregular hours. It seemed to me that he was always either away at work or getting some much-needed sleep before heading out to another job. Looking back, it was totally logical that the household rule was never to wake him up when he was sleeping. But, to an eight-year-old who had recently received his first ever fishing pole for a…

Like Watching Grass Grow

Mark 4:26-34 and 2 Corinthians 5:6-10, 14-17 Today is Children’s Sunday, which is typically a day for celebrating the young people of the congregation and the church’s ministry of planting the seeds of Christian discipleship in their young hearts and minds. Of course, there was nothing typical about this past year. The pandemic erased any chance for holding Church School classes or group activities. Appropriate to how the year unfolded, the theme for the Church School year was “We Walk…

Call Me Crazy

Mark 3:20-27, 31-35 In the factory where I once worked, someone had a sign over their workspace that said, “You don’t have to be crazy to work here… but it helps.” Sometimes, I think we should hang a sign like that over the entrance to the church. Or… print it on our worship bulletins. You don’t have to be crazy to fit in here…but it helps. After all, Jesus himself was labeled crazy. In the story I just read, Jesus…

Outside the Box Experiences

John 3:1-17 and Romans 8:12-17 In the early 1960’s, an academically unremarkable Yale student, with the unexceptional name of Fred Smith, submitted a term paper for his Economics class. The paper outlined his idea for a company that would guarantee overnight delivery of time-sensitive goods. The professor was not impressed. He gave Smith a grade of “C” for his work, with the comment that the idea was not feasible in the real world. Fred Smith pursued his idea nonetheless, and…

No Vacancy That God Can’t Fill

Acts 1:15-17, 21-26 One of the ways that I fulfill my ordination vows in the setting of the wider Church outside of our Westminster congregation, is by serving on the Central Mass. Association, Committee on Authorized Ministry. Also known as CoAM. The main function of any CoAM of any Association in the United Church of Christ, is to provide support and accountability to women and men who feel they are called to Ordained ministry. And to ultimately discern whether they…

Platinum Grade

John 15:9-17 Today, in case you needed to be reminded, is Mother’s Day. And if you did need reminding…you’d better act quickly because the clock is ticking; and the florists and card shops inventories are going fast. Did you know that Mother’s Day runs neck and neck with Valentine’s Day as the biggest generators of sales for flowers and greeting cards? Which shouldn’t be too surprising. Not everyone has a sweetheart, but everyone has a mother. And, in virtually all…

Fruit of the Vine

Fruit of the Vine John 15:1-8 and 1 John 4:7-21 Years ago, Sue and I spent a week in Napa Valley, California, along with another couple. One day we all visited a winery, even though only the husbands had any interest in wine. Because, who goes to Napa Valley and doesn’t experience at least one winery, right? On the last night that Jesus would have to spend with his disciples before his arrest and execution Jesus made use of winemaking…