Sermons from 2020

Sermons from 2020

Christmas Has Just Begun

Psalm 148   December 27, 2020   Colossians 3:12-17 I want you to imagine that you are going to a really wonderful concert.  You’ve been standing in line for a long time, and the outside speakers have been playing music from the featured group to really get you in the mood for the concert.  Vendors have been moving up and down the line, selling souvenirs that focus on this concert, and your whole group is loaded up with fun items. The expectations…

He Broke the Yoke

Isaiah 9:2-7   December 24, 2020   Luke 2:1-20 Do you remember that old TV show, “Laverne and Shirley”?  There were two funny characters in their apartment building—Lenny and Squiggy—and their moronic voices added a lot to the show.  When one of them would tell the other to do something, the response would be, “I’m not your SLAVE!”  That was actually a very accurate rendering of a phrase that was popular in the 60’s—and I can clearly hear my sister saying the…
advent candles

Greetings, Favored One!

Greetings, Favored One!                   4th Advent Romans 16:25-27   December 20, 2020   Luke 1:26-38 Don’t you just love Christmas Pageants?!  Over the years, I have seen some doozeys!  Like the year Joseph picked up the Baby Jesus and the doll’s head fell off and rolled across the floor—or like the year the innkeeper got all choked up and offered Mary and Joseph his own room, rather than sending them to a stable!  But the one that came to mind this week depicted…
manger

A Humble Witness

A Humble Witness            3rd Advent Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11   Dec. 13, 2020   John 1:6-8, 19-28 There’s a movie that I like to watch every February.  It stars Bill Murray, and it’s called Groundhog Day.  He plays a hotshot weatherman with a “big future,” but he got stuck re-living the same day, over and over again, until he was able to //:release his sense of self-importance and begin to care about the people around him.:\\ Gradually, he became more humble, he gained…
Advent Wreath Banner

Prepare the Way of the Lord

2 Peter 3:8-15a  Mark 1:1-8 I want you to imagine that the most important person in the world is coming to Sparks.  What would we do to get ready for this visit? I’m sure we would arrange for some special music to be performed, some welcome speeches would be written—we would do everything we could think of to make this person feel welcome!  Of course, there would be a parade, and all the buildings along the parade route would be decorated.  Of course,…
Thanksgiving

To See the Blessings

Psalm 100   Ephesians 1:15-23 There’s an old song I know, much-loved but not much-used any more.  The refrain goes like this: “Count your blessings, Name them one by one; Count your blessings, See what God hath done; Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your many blessings, See what God hatch done.”  See what God has done.  We’re coming up to Thanksgiving Day here shortly—a day with plenty of traditions and expectations—a day when many of our familiar routines will…
Sunrise

We Belong to the Day

We Belong to the Day               24th Pentecost 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11   November 15, 2020   Matt. 25:14-30 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  And then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.  God saw that the light was good. From that ancient, ancient text to this very moment, light has been associated with all things good.  Running deep within our psyches we sense the epic struggle between the forces of light and the forces of darkness.  This imagery has been used in…
Clouds

Watching with Hope

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18   Matthew 25:1-13 Every great now and then, someone asks me about what it’s like to be a pastor.  My general answer is, “If you are called into ministry, it’s the best job in the world!”  If I am asked, “What is the worst part of being a pastor,” I would have to say, “funerals and memorial services.”  And, if I am asked, “What is the best part of being a pastor?” I would have to say that one of the best things would be funerals and…
man praying

A Life Worthy of God

1 Thessalonians 2:9-13   Matthew 23:1-12 These last few weeks, we have been exploring several events in the life of Jesus in which he was dealing with Scribes and Pharisees—the “religious experts” of Israel.  These were men who had tremendous social standing: a cushy life, and a show of respect from the common people. But they felt threatened by the teachings of Jesus—threatened because, if the people responded to Jesus and to his message, their position of power and respect would crumble!  I get…