Sermons by Dr. Bruce Epperly

PENTECOST IN A TIME OF PANDEMIC

Acts 2:1-21 It’s May 31 and we’re still holding zoom services.  It’s likely we will continue these zoom services long after we will have returned to our sanctuary or the church lawn just to ensure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to worship. We want to be back in our sanctuary, singing hymns, […]

Don’t Look Up, Look Around

Acts 2:1-11 The Ascension stories give us pause in a world where the earth is no  longer seen as the center of the universe and where we don’t typically see heaven in the sky, geographically located, and hell in the core of the earth. According to Acts of the Apostles, the Risen Jesus dwells with his […]

God’s Global Witness

Acts 17:22-29 In college I had a good friend, who seemed to follow a new religion each month or so. When I first met him, he was a Hari Krishna wearing a robe and chanting and dancing “Hari Krishna, Hari Rama” throughout the day, often annoying his friends.  A few months later, he found Jesus and […]

A journey without distance

Luke 24:13-35 Do you remember that old standard, written by Duke Ellington and Bob Russell, and covered by Etta James and Louis Armstrong, and more recently by Tony Bennett and Michael Buble, “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.” These lines sound strangely familiar: “Thought I’d go to the club.  Made it far as the door.”  Now I […]

Got Doubt?

John 20:24-28 Today, I want to reflect on the importance of doubt in the life of faith.  Nearly everyday I see at least fifty false statements – mostly memes or short comments – posted on Facebook.  They are patently false and I do my best to resist correcting my friends for their violations of the commandment “not […]

Practicing Resurrection: Breathing Space

Psalm 150, John 20:19-22 In her inspirational book on ministry in South Bronx, Lutheran pastor Heidi Neumark tells of a tree in front of her parsonage that toppled over one day without any warning.  On further examination, Neumark discovered that the tree had rotted from within, suffering from a type of arboreal cancer, resulting from the […]

Getting in the Easter Spirit

John 20:1-18 You often hear people in the middle of the Christmas season confessing, “I just can’t get into the Christmas spirit this year.”  Some add, “Since the kids grew up, Christmas is different.” Or, “Since my husband or wife died, this is a tough time for me.”   I think many of us are saying a […]

Palm Sunday – Life on a Roller Coaster

Matthew 21:1-11 It was a week like none other.  When they marched into Jerusalem, to fanfare and adulation, for a moment the disciples’ concerns were relieved.  “Look at the crowds.  Hear the Hallelujahs.  Our fears were unfounded. Nothing could possibly go wrong. Everything’s gonna be alright.”  But in less than twenty-four hours their leader is […]

Beyond Tragedy

John 11:1-6, 17-44 We are now entering the twilight zone.  We are now entering the world of the walking dead, the realm of zombies, spirits, ghosts, and near-death experiences. The world of the paranormal that lies beyond the rational mind and human control. (Of course, in this time of pandemic, we already feel as if we are […]

When Bad Things Happen…Where’s God?

John 9:1-7 Do you know what a theologian is?   Did you know that everyone here is a theologian? A theologian is someone who asks questions about the way things are in the world.   You know some of those questions – you’ve asked them yourself…Why was I born a boy and not a girl? Or a […]