Sermons on Isaiah

Sermons on Isaiah

The Greatest Miracle Never Seen

John 20:1-18 Order of Worship For a story that we think we know so well, there is a lot we don’t know about Easter. What we believe about the resurrection of our Lord ultimately comes down to a matter of faith. There is no dossier of facts that would stand up to scientific scrutiny or legal standards of evidentiary procedure. Easter is literally, the “Greatest Miracle Never Seen.” After all, there was not a single eyewitness to the blessed event…

Have You Heard?

Text    Isaiah 40:21-31 The first time that Sue and I travelled to Arizona, a chain reaction of delays, missed connections, and further delays led to an 11:30 PM arrival in Phoenix, instead of our original 2:00 in the afternoon ETA. From there it was another two hours of night-time driving up I-17 North to reach Sedona. Let me tell you, once outside the bright lights of Phoenix, there is no such thing as light pollution on I-17. The headlights of…

No Peace Without Peace Within

Luke 1:26-38 and Isaiah 40:1-11 An article in the NY Times caught my eye last week. It was titled: Pandemic-Proof Your Habits. The article was more psychological than spiritual in tone. But it had a lot to do with the topic of peace. The gist of the Times article was that human beings have a brain that is genetically wired to pursue that which gives us a sense of peace and security. We develop routines in life that make us…

A Justifiable Hope

Isaiah 64:1-9 and John 1:1-18 Newsflash. Sometimes, even the most church-goin’, Bible-knowin’, down-on-their-knees-prayin’ people lose patience with God. Take Isaiah, for example. Isaiah was a prophet of Israel during one of the darkest periods of that people’s history. Actually, the Book of Isaiah had at least two, and probably three different authors. One section of Isaiah was written to Jews who had been conquered and taken from their homes to live in exile in Babylon. Much of what is contained…

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…

The Flutist (SUMMER SERIES)

Isaiah 5:1-7 and Hebrews 11:29 – 12:2 Near the beginning of the Boynton Canyon Trail—before the desert terrain gives way to the forest of the upper canyon—stand a pair of rock formations named Kachina Woman and Warrior Man. It is said that together they represent natural manifestations of male and female divine energies. But the most memorable experience of the place might not be the sights or the sensations, but the sounds. Because it is there that you are likely…

The Water and the Word

Preached FCCW January 13, 2019 Isaiah 43:1-7 and Luke 3:21-22 In the American South, prior to the Civil War, slaves enjoyed few of the same privileges as their white owners. One of the rare exceptions was the freedom to attend church. But, white slave owners made sure that the only sermons preached to black congregations came from those Bible passages that encouraged slaves to obey their masters and accept their lot in life. On Sunday mornings slaves filled the pews…

Rise and Shine

Preached FCCW January 6, 2019 Text – Isaiah 60:1-6 The prophet Isaiah described a time of “darkness covering the earth and thick darkness over the peoples.” Which raises the question, “What is the difference between darkness and thick darkness?” Can anything be darker than darkness? On family camping trips when I was a kid, we slept in a big old Army style tent, made of thick canvas that blocked out almost every trace of light. At night the darkness inside the…

The War to End All Wars

Preached FCCW, November 11, 2018 (Veterans Day Sunday) Isaiah 2:1-4 Hebrews 9:24-28   This morning we will mark Veterans Day by joining with houses of worship in many other communities by our participation in the Bells for Peace event. Bells for Peace is a commemoration of the armistice that was signed 100 years ago this day, to bring the First World War to its conclusion. World War I was billed as the War to End All Wars. As we all…

Have You Heard?

Text    Isaiah 40:21-31 Preached FCCW, February 4, 2018   The prophet Isaiah wrote the words of hope that I just read — about God giving power to the faint and strength to the powerless — to a people who were in desperate need of both. It was a time of great trial for the nation of Israel, many of whom were living in exile in Babylon. The things that had happened to them rocked the foundations of their faith in…

Next-Year-Country

Isaiah 65:17-25 & Luke 21:5-19 Preached FCCW, November 13, 2016 There’s a place you’ve never heard of called “Next-Year-Country” It isn’t a place that has a zip code. There isn’t a GPS device on the planet that can get you there. That’s because, “Next-Year-Country” is not so much a place as it is a state of mind. It’s an expression that was born in the 1800’s when Kansas farmers and ranchers struggled to survive against natural disasters like droughts or hailstorms…

Rise & Shine

Preached Jan 4, 2015 Isaiah 60:1-6 and Matthew 2:1-12 What is the difference between darkness and thick darkness? The prophet Isaiah described a time of “darkness covering the earth and thick darkness over the peoples.” How can anything be darker than darkness? When I was a kid, my family used to take camping trips to New Hampshire. We had a big old Army style tent, made of heavy, olive green canvas that made the interior of the tent pitch dark,…

Road Work

Road Work Isaiah 40:1-11 Preached FCCW December 7, 2014 A few years ago, Sue and I got to experience some of the most scenic mountain roadways in the country while driving through the Sierra Nevadas between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite. Sometimes these roads took us over mountains, ascending above the tree-lines and approaching snow capped peaks before descending down the other side. Occasionally, they took us through mountains by way of tunnels blasted out of solid rock. One place they…

When Skies Fall

When Skies Fall Isaiah 64:1-9 and Mark 13:24-37 Preached FCCW November 30, 2014 It was the night before Thanksgiving, and the sky was falling. At least, that’s how it felt. Thick, wet, snow descended to earth, accumulating on the ground, which was rapidly disappearing beneath a blanket of white. It gathered itself on the trees whose limbs groaned and bowed beneath the weight. It piled up atop the power lines that strained under the load. In some places, the gathered…