Christian Behavior

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July 2018

“Grace Is Not In Vain”/7/15/18/Scripture: 2 Cor. 5:11-6:2; Isaiah 11:1-2, 6-10/by Rev. Laurie Williams

By |July 18th, 2018|Sermons|

           A lawyer, newly relocated to a village, went duck hunting on his property.  He shot a duck and it fell not on his property but on his farmer neighbor’s property, specifically in his garden.  The lawyer started to climb the fence between their two properties and the farmer came over to his garden and picked up the dead duck saying, “No, no, the duck is no longer yours because it fell onto my property.”  The lawyer incredulously stated, “Do you know who I am?  I’m a lawyer and I’ll sue you.”  To which the farmer calmly replied, “You are new to this village and we settle disputes with the three-kick rule.  The one who has the complaint gets on the ground and is kicked first and if that one can then stand, he kicks the other and that goes on until one can’t stand.  In this case, if it is you standing, you will get this duck back.”  So the lawyer lies down on the ground and the farmer gives him three quick kicks in the leg, side, and shoulder. The lawyer then stands up and exclaims, “ok, now it is your turn.”  And the farmer states, “That’s ok, you can have the duck!”  […]

June 2018

“So, Who Really Cares” 6/3/18 Scripture: Jn 4:5-26, 28-30; Mk 2:23-3:6 by Rev. Laurie Williams

By |June 5th, 2018|Sermons|

          A couple weeks ago, I watched a speech for seminary graduates online by Rev. Dr. Jonathan L Walton who is “an acclaimed author, social ethicist and religious scholar.  He is the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals” and a minister at Harvard University.  He was giving sermon to the 2018 graduates of Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia.  I got my first master’s degree there at the Presbyterian School of Christian Education which is now part of Union Seminary, so I am interested in what happens there.  I scribbled down notes while he was speaking so that I could share some of it with you.  The title of his message to those graduating was “Who Cares” and he used the John 4 passage, much of which Rodger and I read to you, about Jesus in Samaria and the women at the well.  [Whoever created these stain glass windows found this story important too as it is gorgeously memorialized here in our sanctuary.]   […]

May 2018

“Can Anyone Withhold the Water?” Rev. Rodger Allen Acts 8:26-40; Acts 10:23b-28, 34-36, 44-48 4-29-18

By |May 29th, 2018|Sermons|

  Our first Scripture lesson this morning was a complete story in itself; you heard the beginning, the middle, and the end—the story has no other verses before or after: Philip, one of the seven first deacons of the church, appointed in the sixth chapter of Acts, was called by God to go to a road south of Jerusalem. There he met a man from Ethiopia, a eunuch, who was reading Old Testament scripture and looking for someone to explain it to him. Philip obliged, the Ethiopian professed his faith, and Philip baptized him into the early Christian church. A complete story. […]

“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.”  […]

March 2018

“Joy and Laughter Comes from the Divine” 2/18/18 Scripture: Gen 18:1-4, 9-15; Proverbs selected passages on love, joy, laughter/by Rev. Laurie Williams

By |March 8th, 2018|Sermons|

          Last week I preached my first sermon of a two-part series about the Theology of Humor.  Its title is “Humor that Is Divine.”  I talked about Ali Kay Wood’s experience of her mother driving them to a wedding with the two-tiered wedding cake on her lap that ended up smashing into the dashboard with icing flying everywhere, when her mother made a turn that was too sharp.  After the initial horror and shock at the situation, they both began to laugh uncontrollably.  Ms. Wood found that laughter cathartic as it freed them from the anxiety over the situation.  She explained that the laughter came from God, deep within her soul.           I mentioned a 2011 University of Oxford study that discovered laughter releases mood-boosting endorphins, increase pain tolerance by as much as 10%, increases blood flow by 22% and protects you against the ill effects of stress.  We heard “a laugh or two a day keeps the doctor away!”  […]