God’s Word

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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!”  […]

“Ephesians Chapter One: Who You Are”/Rev. Rodger Allen/Eph. 1:1-6; Eph. 1:7-16/7.8.18

By |July 16th, 2018|Sermons|

        I don’t know if this custom was ever practiced in this church, or if so, how long ago it was, but it used to be the practice, in many Presbyterian churches, of deciding what the topics for sermons would be in this way: The minister would select a book of the Bible, like Exodus or Acts or Hebrews, and in a series of sermons, week by week, preach straight through that book, chapter 1 to the end, as many Sundays as it took. They didn’t choose their topics by looking at a particular issue or development in the world or in the church, and addressing that. Or by following, more or less, a Lectionary or other schedule of Bible readings that allow the congregation to sample most sections of the Bible over the course of a couple years. Their series weren’t interrupted by special days or seasons like Pentecost, Advent, or Community Honeybee services, because they didn’t observe those days and seasons back then. Nope, straight through one book. I’ve heard accounts of 30 consecutive sermons on Romans, or Revelation, as they were analyzed paragraph by paragraph, sentence by sentence, word by word. […]

“Why Are We Here?” Rev. Rodger Allen 7-1-18 Mark 6: 1-2, Psalm 100

By |July 5th, 2018|Sermons|

  It’s important for you to know, as we begin today, that much of the material in today’s sermon comes from a sermon written by the Rev. William Willimon, and printed in the magazine “Pulpit Resources.” I tell you that first because I feel strongly that preachers should always give proper credit when they use the words or ideas of someone else, so I always tell you if I’m doing that. But it’s especially important to understand that today because there are parts of the message today that people could conclude I wrote to refer to a particular issue or group of people at Paris Presbyterian Church; that I was trying to influence our direction somehow. This introduction lets you know I didn’t do that; this is not directed at anyone or anything in particular, here. As far as I know, Rev. Willimon’s never even been to Paris Presbyterian Church, so he couldn’t possibly have been writing about us. No, his remarks reflect a situation found in many, many churches, of many different denominations, all over the country. This isn’t personal.  […]

June 2018

“Control Freaks, Relax”/Presented by Rev. Rodger (R) & Rev. Laurie (L) Mark 4:26-34; Psalm 89:5-18/6.10.18

By |June 13th, 2018|Sermons|

                R: “The Kingdom of God.” It is a phrase Jesus used often, especially when he was teaching the people in parables, those short stories or analogies he told in language and examples very familiar to his audience. “The kingdom of God is like . . .” he would begin. Like a banquet. Like a farmer who went to sow some seed. Like ten bridesmaids with lamps. The kingdom of God was an important theme for Jesus. So we, as followers of Jesus, should probably try to understand what he meant when he discussed it. What is this “kingdom of God”? […]

“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.]   […]