Sermons from 2014

Waiting for a Vision

Luke 2:22-40 Have you ever seen a six week old baby? They are pretty helpless and dependent on the care of parents, grandparents, and other care givers – they are beginning to reach out to the world, to grasp shapes, and make cooing sounds….they still cry and they need lots of milk and tummy time, […]

Advent 2 – Preparing Your Spirit: Seize the Day

2 Peter 3:8-13 Mark 1:1-8 Less than three weeks to Christmas. Are you prepared? Or will you rush into the holidays with last minute cooking and shopping, and then wonder why you are stressed out by Christmas Eve? A “merry Christmas” isn’t accidental nor is a joyful life. Perhaps, we can discover Christmas joy and […]

Preparing Your Spirit: Faithful Waiting

Corinthians 1:3-9 Mark 13:24-37 Only twenty five days till Christmas and in this brief moment, we will be spending four Sundays in Advent. Advent is a tough season and is easily lost in the busyness of Christmas. Hallmark Channel began two months of Christmas movies on November 1 and Black Friday sales now begin in […]

Leading with Love

Matthew 25:34-40 Bible scholar Terence Fretheim asserts that there are two key questions related to our faith: Do you believe in God? What kind of God do you believe in? How we answer can be a matter of life and death, it can shape foreign and domestic government policy, give us hope, fill us with […]

For Just Such a Time as This

Esther 4:13-14 There are crucial moments when you need to make a decision, when your future or the future of something important to you stands in the balance. This was Esther’s situation. According to legend, she ascended to the throne of Persia, during the 5th century before Christ, the wife of King Xerxes I. Although […]

Steadfastness and Adventure

Lamentations 3:22-26 I have to confess that I am a big fan of Facebook. I usually post something on my personal page every day and send out church notices on Facebook as well. One of the greatest joys of Facebook has been reconnecting with classmates from the James Lick High School Class of 1970. Once […]

Everyday Saints

I Thessalonians 2:9-13 Matthew 23:1-12 When I was a young boy, growing up among the Baptists, I used to hear my dad and other pastors refer to folk in the church as “saints.” I heard phrases such as “I’m going to visit one of the saints of the church this afternoon,” or “she was truly […]

Always Reforming

Galatians 6:14-18 Matthew 22:34-40 Today, I want to be a bit professorial and give a little lesson in the fundamentals of the 16th Century Reformation. Our parents in the faith, Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin, and others did not initially intend to provoke a church split. They believed that they were calling the Western […]

On Worshiping the Right God

Exodus 32:1-4 Philippians 4:4-9 The bible is as much a tale of dead ends and poor attempts at discipleship as heroic and faithful actions. In some ways this is consoling. When we see how badly the disciples misunderstood Jesus or the prophets ran in the opposite direction or doubted their calling despite the intensity of […]

The Graceful Law of God

Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20 Philippians 3:4b-14 For many people, religion is all about rules: the “do’s” and “don’ts” of life, especially the “killjoy” do’s and don’ts that come into play whenever we want to have a little fun.   At first glance, today’s readings might leave that impression as well. The Ten Commandments tell us what […]