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Showing posts from April, 2020

Sermon, "Planting Seeds: The Parable of the Sower," Matthew 13:1-9

Sermon 4/19/20 Matthew 13:1-9 Planting Seeds: The Sower As is the case with many things, these days, preaching on Planting Seeds wasn’t my first plan for our post-Easter Sunday sermon series. In fact, I think it’s the third or fourth sermon series I had scheduled for this time slot, before feeling like I’d found the right fit for the right season. We celebrated Easter Sunday last week, but it’s still Easter. The season of Easter lasts for 50 days, representing the time between Jesus’ resurrection and between when we celebrate Pentecost, a day when the disciples received the gift of the Holy Spirit and were empowered for ministry by it. For 50 days, we celebrate Easter. In fact, as I’ve mentioned before, all Sundays are considered mini-Easters. We’re always people who live in the joy and knowledge that life can’t conquer death, and that new life is ours for the receiving. But in this season of Easter, resurrection and new life are our main focus . And I think that’s good news, that w

Sermon for Easter Sunday, "I Have Seen the Lord," John 20:1-29

Sermon 4/12/20 John 20:1-29 I Have Seen the Lord This year we’re reading the resurrection story from the gospel of John. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all write about the resurrection in their own ways, but John’s gospel might be the one with which you’re most familiar. John’s gospel zooms in on Mary Magdalene. Although much has been written about Mary Magdalene, we really know very little about her, other than that Jesus healed her from what the Bible describes as possession by demons, and that Mary has been a follower of Jesus since then, providing, along with some other women, material support for Jesus and the other disciples. While other gospels have Mary as one of many women visiting the tomb of Jesus early on the first day of the week, the others aren’t mentioned by John. And although Peter and the beloved disciple make an appearance at the empty tomb after being summoned by Mary, who is distressed and confused when she first sees the stone rolled away from Jesus’ grave, the tw

Sermon for Palm/Passion Sunday, "The Stones Cry Out," Luke 19:29-40

Sermon 4/5/20 Luke 19:29-40 The Stones Cry Out I don’t usually give a message on Palm/Passion Sunday. My preaching professor in seminary, the late Dr. Charles Rice, always said that the combined events of celebrating the Triumphant Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem with palms and Hosannas and of remembering the Passion of Jesus Christ by concluding with the telling of Jesus’ arrest, trial, and crucifixion was enough. The text preaches itself, he said. We don’t need to add more words. Over the years, I’ve found his words to ring true, and because of the vividness of the readings, and the juxtaposition of the crowds yelling, “Hosanna, God save us!” at the start of the worship service and then yelling, “Crucify, Crucify him!” by the end, I’ve found Palm/Passion Sunday to be one of the most meaningful worship services of the year. And so I’m not really giving a sermon today either, I promise! But these days are unique, and call for just a little contextualizing, I think. The events of Palm Sun