Bible

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October 2018

“Who Needs a House?” Rev. Rodger Allen 10-14-18 II Samuel 7:1-17; Psalm 89: 20-29

By |October 18th, 2018|Sermons|

In I Samuel 16 to II Samuel 6, we read the story of David’s rise from unknown shepherd boy to king; anointed by the prophet Samuel, at God’s direction; his defeat of Goliath in battle; gradually winning over the states of Israel, from supporting King Saul’s family to supporting him; conquering Jerusalem and making it his capital city. This was all possible because God had chosen David, a man, the Bible says, of “clean hands, pure heart, true faith, and true speech.” As our Scripture lesson for today began, David was finally firmly-established as king: “The king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him.” […]

“Old Testament Women of the Bible: Esther”/9/30/18/Esther 1:1-4, 7:1-20, 9:20a, 21, 22; James 5:13-16, 19-20/Rev. Laurie Williams

By |October 1st, 2018|Sermons|

          As most of you know, my past three sermons are a part of a series about Old Testament women.  To this point, I have been rescuing them from the bad rap they have received by some biblical scholars and commentators down through the ages.  We have heard of Eve, Sarah and Hagar, and Tamar.  Today I will jump way ahead in scripture and talk about Esther as it is also in the Revised Common Lectionary for this Sunday.           While there are no known documents of a historical nature concerning Esther, she is very important to the Jewish faith story and consequently our faith too.  This story tells of the salvation of the Jewish people, residing as refugees in Persia, from certain death.  The King in the story is Ahasuerus.  His Persian name was thought to be Xerxes who reigned from 479 to 465 B.C.  […]

September 2018

“In Praise of Romantic Love”/Song of Songs 2:8-13, 8:6-7; Genesis 2: 18-24; Mark 10:6-9/ Rev. Rodger Allen/9-23-2018

By |September 25th, 2018|Sermons|

  The “Song of Songs,” also known as the “Song of Solomon,” has not had an easy time of it, as far as books of the Bible go. Whether or not it should be included in the Bible at all was more than once a matter of heated debate as the contents of the canon were being selected, and in fact it may have only squeaked in due to its already-established popularity among the people of Israel. We can easily imagine why some early Christian leaders raised questions about the Song. Picture a group of the early “Christian fathers”, in the third or fourth century or so, still making decisions about what’s right and wrong for their young church, having recently decided to make their stand on the belief that celibacy is the most desirable lifestyle for Christians when it comes to questions of male/female relationships. Oh, it’s okay to be married if you must, they have allowed, but the ideal to aspire to if possible is a life without physical intimacy, without desire, without involvement with the opposite sex. Priests, for example, are to be unmarried and celibate, as will also be monks and nuns. Intimacy is regarded at best as a necessary evil, and at worst as nothing more than a temptation, a sin, a failure. The ideal life, they have decided, is one without physical intimacy; that’s what God considers best. […]

“Dear Ephesus: 4. Therefore…”/Rev. Rodger Allen/Eph. 4:1-6, 11-16; Eph. 4:22-5:2/9.16.18

By |September 24th, 2018|Sermons|

                   There’s a story that most preachers have heard many times, and many of you may have heard too; one version goes like this: The brand new preacher was fresh out of school and beginning at her first congregation; she was enthusiastic and excited, and so was the church. Her first sermon was about the millions of people around the world who don’t know Jesus, who follow other religions or no religion, and wouldn’t their lives be better if they faithfully followed Christ. At the end of the service her church members were elated; they surrounded her, shook her hand, and hugged her, saying “What a fine preacher; what a great future we have.” Her second sermon referred to the millions of people in this country who are not people of faith, or who don’t know Jesus; wouldn’t their lives be better if they faithfully followed Christ. “Oh, what a fine preacher,” she heard afterward; “what a great future we have.” In her third sermon she commented on how some Christians of the past, or even in other churches today, have gotten some things wrong in their discipleship – the murderous Crusades of Europe, excesses of the 16th century Catholic Church, extremists who get a bit off-track; wouldn’t their lives be better if they faithfully followed Christ. “What a fine preacher; what a great future we have.” […]

“Dear Ephesus: 3. That You May Become”/Rev. Rodger Allen/Eph. 3: 1-9; Eph. 3: 14-21/9.2.18

By |September 6th, 2018|Sermons|

  Our look at the first chapter of the “Letter to the Ephesians” concentrated on “who you are” – who the Ephesians were, both as a culture and as Christians: members of God’s family; forgiven; adopted, by God’s grace – like all Christians, including us. Our look at the second chapter examined “how you became who you are”: it is through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that Christians move from a state of being separated from God and without hope of eternal life to a situation of reconciliation and peace with God. We also heard how Christ offers us peace with one another as well; dividing-walls between Jews and Gentiles, or between any two segments of humanity, are broken down by Christ. […]