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Showing posts from April, 2018

Sermon, "Strengthen Your Core: Presence," Hebrews 10:19-25

Sermon 4/29/18 Hebrews 10:19-25
Strengthen Your Core: Presence

On a scale of 1-10, how present are you today? In early 2016, this photo of young people at a museum in Amsterdam, in front of Rembrandt’s painting Night Watch, went viral.[1] It was taken in 2014 sometimes, but in the way of the internet, somehow sparked interest in early 2016. “Oh, young people and technology!” people lamented. “They aren’t even paying attention to the beautiful artwork that is right next to them.” Of course, the true story was a little different than a bunch of teens ignoring the art around them. There at the museum on a school trip, they had been instructed to read more about the artist on an app on their phone. Other photos of the class show them absorbed in looking at the paintings. A picture taken out of context, it seems. There was a provocative article written in response to the quick criticism: “This Photo Went Viral Because We Love Shaming Teens For Using The Technology We Give Them.”[2] (emphasis …

Sermon, "Strengthen Your Core: Service," Matthew 14:13-21

Sermon 4/22/18 Matthew 14:13-21
Strengthen Your Core: Service
We’re in the midst of our sermon series on strengthening our core, strengthening our spiritual practices that will help us grow in faith, grow as disciples, deepening our faith practices so that we have strong core to rely on as we navigate life. And this week, we’re thinking about how we can strengthen our core practice of service. In our baptismal liturgy we say, “As members of the body of Christ and in this congregation of The United Methodist Church, we will faithfully participate in the ministries of the church by our service.” How are you, how will you cultivate your faith and follow Jesus by serving others? What, specifically, will you do to serve God and neighbor? To help us answer these questions, we turn to our gospel lesson. There are very few events, particularly outside of the death and resurrection of Jesus, that appear in all four gospels. As similar as Matthew, Mark, and Luke are to each other, still they each h…

Sermon, "Strengthen Your Core: Prayers," Nehemiah 1

Sermon 4/15/18 Nehemiah 1
Strengthen Your Core: Prayers

Some of you know that our RipIt folks in our exercise ministry have been participating in a challenge since January, a challenge that draws to a close in the next few weeks. Folks have been trying to eat in healthy, wholesome ways, and been pushing themselves to be more physically fit, all the while trying to build each other up in teams, encouraging each other, challenging each other. Amber, our fearless leader, and some of our other fitness buffs will tell you that one of the areas of focus in physical fitness is having a strong core. There are lots of exercises that emphasize strengthening your core muscles, because with a strong core, so many other areas of fitness are enhanced, and, reciprocally, you’ll have a harder time having strong arms and legs if you don’t have a strong core of your body to support them. And so Amber is constantly reminding us to focus on our core muscles when we exercise. It’s not easy, of course. But it…

Sermon for Easter Sunday, Year B, "That's How It Could Have Happened," Mark 16:1-8

Sermon 4/1/18 Mark 16:1-8
That’s How It Could Have Happened

In 1985, the movie Clue was released. Unlike movies based on books, the movie Clue was strangely based on the popular board game. You’ve probably played the game, where you race other players around the board, trying to solve the murder. You have to make accusations: “I think it was Miss Scarlett with the Rope in the Conservatory.” The movie brought these characters to life in a campy comedy film that did very poorly at the box office. In fact, the film did not earn as much as the movie cost to make. If you went to see the film in theatres and compared notes with your friend who attended a different showing, you might find that you’d seen a different ending. The film has three different ending – three different “solutions” to the mystery – and theatregoers were treated to one of the three endings at random. Like I said, though, the film wasn’t very successful in theatres. Eventually though, when released for home viewing, the mo…