Bible

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January 2020

“Welcome Back, My Friends, to the Show That Never Ends”/Matthew 2:1-5, 9-11; Mark 1:2-11/Rev. Rodger Allen/1-5-2020

By |January 8th, 2020|Church News, Sermons|

There have been several movie and TV versions of the story of Peter Pan. One was a movie starring Robin Williams, called “Hook,” and it asked us to imagine that Peter Pan had, in fact, in spite of all his previous promises to the contrary, grown up. We find him living, in the 1990’s, near a big city, where he works as a ruthless merger-and-acquisitions lawyer, mercilessly gobbling up small companies in order to turn a profit. He works, as a matter of fact, all the time, so much that he is losing touch with his family – his wife; and two children, who are in elementary school. He has forgotten that he ever was Peter Pan. He has no recollection of anything previous to being sent to private school by the family who adopted him. He name now, is, and as far as he is concerned, always has been, Peter Banning. Then one day Peter’s past comes back at him in a way which can’t be neglected, in the way he has neglected his family and earliest memories: His children are kidnapped, and it turns out they have been kidnapped by his old nemesis Captain Hook, who is still vowing revenge against Peter for having caused him to lose his hand to a hungry crocodile, the hand that has now become the “hook.” […]

October 2019

“On Mustard, Mulberry, and Meanwhiles”/ Luke 17: 5-10; Amos 5:6-7, 10-15/ Rev. Rodger Allen/ 9-29-19

By |October 1st, 2019|Sermons|

Long before the current very-popular “Downton Abbey” movie, and long before the “Downton Abbey” TV show, PBS showed a different TV series with some things in common with “Downton”; it was called “Upstairs Downstairs.” The title refers to the two groups of people who live in an early 20th-century British household – the gentlemen and ladies who own the house and are part of England’s upper class are the “Upstairs” folks, and their servants are the “Downstairs” folks, because that’s where their living quarters are. The series covered many years in England’s history, and included such major events as the sinking of the Titanic, World War I, and the 1929 Stock Market crash, but the episodes which were the most interesting were not the ones about those historic events, but those which had to do with certain characters who occasionally appeared in the household. Every once in a while, someone would arrive who couldn’t be easily categorized as either an “upstairs” person or a “downstairs” person, and didn’t really fit in with either group – for example, a so-called “commoner” dating one of the upstairs people, or a businessperson making a good living, but without the “proper” background to admit them to the “upstairs” category. […]

September 2019

“Side Tracks”/Zechariah 7:1-10; Luke 20: 27-38/Rev. Rodger Allen/9.22-19

By |September 23rd, 2019|Sermons|

At the back of our Old Testament is a collection of books often called “the minor prophets.” “Minor” not because the messages of those pages are any less important than the messages of the other pages of the Bible, but because they are short books. Compared to Isaiah’s sixty-six chapters or Jeremiah’s fifty-two, some of these books are only one or two chapters long. They have names like Obadiah, and Zephaniah, and Habakkuk, whom we looked at two Sundays ago. The Lectionary, that list of recommended Scripture passages for our worship services, only steers us to the minor prophets for one brief period in its three years’ worth of readings. That period is late Summer and early Fall, of “Year 3” – and that is now. So today we’re going to take advantage of this short Lectionary window of opportunity to look at part of the book by the minor prophet Zechariah. […]

August 2019

“Ezekiel: The Case of the Disappearing Grapes”/Ezekiel 1:1-3; 2:1-4, 7; 18: 1-9, 20, 25-29/Rev. Rodger Allen/8-11-19

By |August 13th, 2019|Sermons|

Seminaries, the graduate schools which train people for ministry, have a different look to them these days than they used to. The majority of the students today are not 22- or 23-year-olds who have come straight from college, but instead fall into the category called “second-career” – they have left some other occupation in their mid-20’s, mid-30’s, or mid-40’s, and enrolled  in a 3 or 4 year program to train for a new career in ministry. They are people like me, and Laurie. Phil was one of those second-career seminarians. Phil had been a banker; he had gone to business school and then worked his way up through the ranks to a middle-management position in a respected bank. But Phil had gradually recognized that he was being called by God out of the banking industry and into the ministry, and he quit his job, sold his house, and moved to a small efficiency apartment on the seminary campus to begin three years of classes – three years of hard work with little or no income; three years which, at best, would result in his starting his career over again at the ground floor; three years, though, which would leave him doing what God had called him to do. […]

July 2019

“Surprised by Joy”/II Kings 4:8-17; Luke 11:1-13/Rev. Rodger Allen/7-21-19

By |July 23rd, 2019|Sermons|

We believe, as Christians, in God’s wonderful gift of grace:  that God offers us, as a gift, out of love for us, the chance to know God and God’s will in this life, through this life, and the opportunity to be with God forever, in eternal life, through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. God had done this, for us. And we also believe that, in grateful response to what God has done for us, we Christians should try to live our lives the way God wants us to; it is our way of saying “thank you” for God’s wonderful gift. We do, in gratitude, particular things that are pleasing to God, and that help us become the kind of people God wants us to be. Like: […]