Sermons

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May 2018

“Harmony: Clean and Good, Do Not Profane”/5/20/18/Scripture: Acts 11:1-9, 1-12, 15; Romans 12:16-21/Rev. Laurie Williams

By |May 24th, 2018|Sermons|

             Father Stephen Freeman of the Orthodox Church of America is Rector of a church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.  He had a good article about Pentecost and Creation and I will begin my sermon with his opening paragraph:  “Earth is a wondrous place – no matter where we go – how deep, how far, how high, how hot, how inhospitable – in this place we find life. Everywhere we look on our nearest neighbor to earth– Mars – we find – no life.  We want to find life. We hope to find life.  We theorize life.  But we have yet to find it in the universe.” There is something about life, at least in our earthly experience, that is “inevitable.”  Any individual case of life may be fragile, but life itself endures.  In the Genesis account we are told that “God blessed this planet and said:  Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.”  […]

“Happy Anniversaries: Celebrating the Gifts of Women” Rev. Rodger Allen Acts 1:12-14, 9:36, 16: 14-15; Galatians 3:27-28; Luke 8:1-3; Rom. 16:1-6 5-13-18

By |May 15th, 2018|Sermons|

               The television miniseries “Jesus of Nazareth” depicts many scenes from Jesus’ life, as reported in the gospels . . . well embellished somewhat, Hollywood just can’t help itself, but mostly from the gospels – from Jesus’ birth to his resurrection. Among the scenes included is the one Luke 4 and Matthew 13 relate to us, where Jesus reads the Scriptures and preaches at his home synagogue, the church he grew up in, in Nazareth. And one thing I remember about that scene is how the synagogue was arranged: Jesus was up front, being a worship leader that day; the men of Nazareth were seated on benches in front of him; and then in the back of the synagogue, behind a screen, were the women and children, including his mother, Mary. The one person who knew most, at this point, about who Jesus was and what he meant; and the one who would feel most deeply his joys and sorrows the next years, along with her own; his mother: she could only look on from a distance, and only see dimly, through that screen. […]

April 2018

“Easter People/Angels”/ Rev. Rodger Allen/ Matthew 28: 5-8, 16-20;Romans 10:9-15/4-15-18

By |April 19th, 2018|Sermons|

  The two women who went to visit Jesus’ tomb that first Easter morning  are sometimes described as “the first evangelists.” Now they probably wouldn’t have thought of themselves as having a particular title like that, or being “the first” anything. They just had some really exciting news, so of course wanted to share it with their friends who would also be really excited about it: Verse 6 – “He is not here; he has been raised”; verse 8 – “they ran to tell the disciples.” Picture yourself in their situation: wouldn’t you also want to run and tell the other people that loved Jesus that “he is not dead, he is alive”? (since you wouldn’t have your smart phone back then). The Marys would have just considered themselves to be two people who wanted to share great news with their friends. […]

“Mark’s Jesus: 5. The Savior” Rev. Rodger Allen Selected verses from Mark 11, 12, 14, & 15; Psalm 118: 23-28; Isaiah 53: 3-6 3-25-18

By |April 11th, 2018|Sermons|

  For several weeks  we’ve been looking at the gospel-writer Mark’s description of Jesus; his impressions of Jesus as Teacher, as Healer, as Includer, as Reformer. Today we’re going to combine Mark’s description with that of an imaginary disciple, who we’ll name Isaac. Now Isaac, the way we’re imagining him, was not one of the twelve central disciples. He’s better described as one of the “fringe” disciples—with Jesus sometimes, but not at others; being interested, but not totally committed; still fence-sitting, in a way, as to whether he believes all this talk about Jesus being the Messiah. Isaac, we’re going to suppose, kept a diary, and today we’ll read excerpts from the Gospel of Mark, and excerpts from the imaginary fringe-disciple Isaac’s diary. […]

March 2018

“Mark’s Jesus: 4. The Reformer” Rev. Rodger Allen/Mk. 7:1-23; Isaiah 1:11-17; Amos 5:21-24/3-18-18

By |March 26th, 2018|Sermons|

It’s difficult,  at least for those of us who have looked into church history at all, to think of the word “reform” without thinking of the capital-R “Reformation,” that 16th-century movement initiated by Martin Luther and a few others which resulted in the birth of the Protestant Church. Many of you have heard the story: [...]