Bible

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June 2019

“Pentecost: God Comes Again/”Acts 1: 3-14; Acts 2: 1-8, 12-18, 41-42/Rev. Rodger Allen/6-9-19

By |June 11th, 2019|Sermons|

             More than once, I’ve been in a Bible study group, or in an adult Sunday School class, which began . . . not with a Bible reading, or a teacher presentation, or even a discussion, but with a question. And it was a sincere, wondering question, not one of those just-intended-to-prompt discussion questions. Why, it was asked, do we study and hear so little about the Holy Spirit in church? After all, it is, we profess, one of the three persons of God; co-equal with the one we call “God the Father,” and with Jesus Christ, according to our Book of Confessions. We hear a lot about the activities of God the Creator and Lawgiver and Protector of Israel, and a lot about Jesus – but very little about that third person, the Holy Spirit. Why? […]

May 2019

“Growing in Faith”/Hebrews 5: 11-6:1Acts 16: 1-5/Rev. Rodger Allen/5-26-19

By |May 30th, 2019|Sermons|

Bible passages from the book of Acts are recommended for our consideration each year at this time. After Jesus’ resurrection on Easter and his ascension into heaven forty days later, his disciples started telling his story and sharing his teachings, to people in and beyond Jerusalem, eventually resulting in the formation of Christian churches. So on the Sundays following Easter, we often review the stories of their doing that – and those stories are found in the book of Acts. One thing the book of Acts emphasizes is that the early church grew, as the story of Jesus was told. It grew in numbers, and it grew in faith. “Growing in numbers” is a concept we pretty easily understand, though it’s not quite as easy a thing to actually do as we would like. “Growing in faith” is a little more ambiguous phrase: what all does it mean, to “grow in faith”? […]

December 2018

“Whom Do You Magnify?” 12/16/18/3rd Sunday of Advent/Scripture: Ps. 99:1-5; Lk. 1:46-55/by Rev. Laurie Williams

By |December 17th, 2018|Advent-Christmas, Sermons|

          Mary’s Song, also known as The Magnificat, could probably stand alone, it is so powerful.  The Magnificat magnifies the Lord in abundant thanksgiving.  Important meaning to lives of faith is embedded throughout.  We, who all have enough to live on adequately or well beyond, may get a little nervous over this song’s focus on the poor and downtrodden.  Mary sang this song after she went to visit her relative, Elizabeth, after the angel Gabriel came to her giving her the news that she would be impregnated with a son who would become the Messiah.  Elizabeth recognized that Mary’s baby would be a very special baby.  She became quite emotional as she cries out to Mary, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.  And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me?  For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy.  And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” […]

“What is Our Job at Advent?”/Rev. Rodger Allen Luke 3: 2-3, 7-17; Zeph. 3:14-20/12.9.18

By |December 11th, 2018|Advent-Christmas, Sermons|

            Today we begin by taking a look at two famous figures of the Christmas season, two people we hear about every year at this time. The first . . . is Santa Claus – yes, in a church service! Santa Claus is a happy man, “jolly Old Saint Nicholas,” who dresses in a bright cheery colorful suit, all red and white. Santa doesn’t turn away from a fine meal or favorite goodies, apparently; he’s also been described as “plump,” and many people have to use a carefully-placed pillow or two to dress up like him. In fact, he sort of represents the good foods we all indulge in at Christmas time – the candy canes and Christmas cookies and egg nog and, according to one song, “figgy pudding,” whatever that is. At this time of year, we share in Santa’s fondness for goodies. […]

“A Steady Light Shining in the Dark”/12/2/18/Scripture: John 1:1-10; Luke 2:25-32/by Rev. Laurie Williams

By |December 5th, 2018|Sermons|

          I can’t tell you how many people I hear every week talk about how awful and dark the world is now.  Focusing on that too much is not good for one’s mental health.  The world has always been a dark place.  Nature can be cruel.  Accidents happen.  Loved ones become ill.  Human beings sin.  That is our reality with the cycle of life and death.  Still, hope is so important to hold onto as a Christian people, as is bringing that hope to as many others as we can.  Yet, the fact of the matter is that we do hear much bad news, sometimes daily.  We may feel bombarded by it.  With technology the way it is, at times we know of something minutes after it happens anywhere in the world.  We definitely can feel weighed down by it all. […]