Sermon Archives

January 5, 2014

Bethlehem, not Jerusalem

Bethlehem, not Jerusalem

Jesus was born in Bethlehem, not Jerusalem. Have you ever thought about the significance of that fact? Bethlehem was a small village of just a few hundred souls. The folks who lived out in Bethlehem were mostly farmers and small‐time trades people. Life in Bethlehem was pretty simple and uncomplicated, where everyone knew everyone else […]

December 29, 2013

Outfoxing the King

Outfoxing the King

With this story we have left behind what most people think of as Christmas. Gone are the cuddly sheep, the placid cows, the joyful angels, and the humble shepherds. In this story, joy and delight have given way to brutality and terror. For most North Americans, Christmas is over now except for a few lingering […]

December 22, 2013

Dreaming and Trusting with Joseph

Dreaming and Trusting with Joseph

Picture the conversation between Mary and Joseph. Mary says, “Joseph, we need to talk.” And Joseph might then be thinking, “Now what have I done?!” When she says, “I’m pregnant,” he knows that in fact, he hasn’t done anything, and in this case, that is the problem. Because if he isn’t the father, then who […]

December 15, 2013

Waiting at the door with Elizabeth and Mary

Waiting at the door with Elizabeth and Mary

All of this happens in the doorway. Mary arrives at Elizabeth’s house ‐ the cousins exchange greetings. We could ask the same question of Mary that Mary asked of the angel some months ago. When the angel came to Mary she wondered what kind of greeting this might be. Now we get a strange greeting […]

December 8, 2013

Of Kings and Justice

Of Kings and Justice

The kings of Israel and Judah were such disappointments. Take Solomon, for example. He started out well enough early in his reign. Remember the time when as a newly crowned king he prayed to Yahweh for “an understanding mind to govern your people,” a mind “able to discern between good and evil” (1 Kings 3:3-14)? […]

December 1, 2013

Wash Yourselves

Wash Yourselves

Ten years ago the state of Alabama almost took the Bible seriously. Almost. This remarkable story started in 2001 with a woman named Susan Pace Hamill. Ms. Hamill was (and still is) a professor at the University of Alabama Law School where she taught courses on tax law. In 2001 she was granted a sabbatical […]

November 24, 2013

The Visible Face of God

The Visible Face of God

For a lot of people today, God seems invisible. You may know that the number of so‐called “nones” is on the rise in North America. “Nones” include atheists, agnostics, and others who mark the option “none” when asked what their religion is. One recent poll by the Pew Forum discovered that nones now make up […]

November 17, 2013

Jesus’ Disaster Preparedness Plan

Jesus' Disaster Preparedness Plan

I can’t say that reading the scripture text for this week is a reassuring exercise. There appears to be nothing in it that will calm anxiety. It’s unsettling enough that Jesus says that the temple, known far and wide for its beauty, will be no more. But then he goes on to say that some […]

November 10, 2013

Charmed

Charmed

If you have lived a charmed life, this sermon will not make much sense to you. if things in your life have almost always gone your way, if you have had lots of money, if you have had good health, and if success has come easily to you, then the rest of this sermon will […]

November 3, 2013

How Long, God?

How Long, God?

How long, God? 1 in 7 Americans live in poverty. 14%! That’s 4% more than the 10% tithe you ask us to give you for your mission in the world! I know one of those Americans who live in poverty. His name is Sam. Lives right here in Indiana. Has a full-time job working 40 […]

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