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December 2019

“People of Advent: Joseph”/Matthew 1:18-25; Isaiah 7:10-14/Rev. Rodger Allen/12-22-19

By |December 26th, 2019|Sermons|

“Hello . . . Joseph? It’s Mary. “Say, I’ve got some great news. Remember how we said we wanted to start a family sooner rather than later? Well, we’ve got our start – I’m pregnant! “Joseph? Joseph? Yes, of course I know you can’t be the father. Mother and I had ‘the talk’ a long [...]

“People of Advent: Mary”/Luke 1:26-38, 46-55 (Isaiah 35: 1-10)/Rev. Rodger Allen/12-15-19

By |December 17th, 2019|Advent-Christmas, Sermons|

            This season of Advent, we have been pointing out, is a season of preparation for Christians. And not just preparing in the sense of decorating the house, and baking the cookies, and shopping for the presents for Christmas; but also the preparing of our selves, a look inside, a time for reflection and any needed repentance. How do we do that kind of preparation? Where do we look to find out how to prepare? Well, perhaps some guidance is available from some of the people who prepared themselves for the first coming of Jesus, so long ago. Perhaps they can in some ways serve as a model or example for us, as we seek to do our preparation now. […]

“People of Advent: John the Baptist”/Matthew 3:1-12; Isaiah 40: 1-5, 9-11, 31 (and within: Matthew 11:7-11a)/Rodger Allen 12-8-19

By |December 12th, 2019|Sermons|

So, who invited this John the Baptist guy to our Christmas celebrations anyway? Why does he have to be part of our holiday preparations? Here we are, having a grand old time with our decorating, shopping, baking, and singing “Deck the Halls/Silver Bells/Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” . . . and along comes a guy—an ascetic [...]

November 2019

“Excel Also in Generosity”/II Corinthians 8:1-4, 7; II Corinthians 8:7-15/Rev. Rodger Allen/11.3.19

By |November 6th, 2019|Sermons|

Our sermon today incorporates three other sources. I’ll be quoting a reflection on our second Scripture lesson, a reflection by Rev. Douglass Key, Pastor of Clover Presbyterian Church, in Clover, South Carolina. And an article on verse 7, from the Parish Publishing newsletter, “Christian Giving.” And a sermon by Rev. Sarah Bird, Pastor at First Presbyterian Church, Nashville, Tennessee, on our first Scripture lesson today. And I’ll be bouncing back and forth among all three sources and my own words, so I won’t be able to keep you up-to-date on which sentence comes from where; if you want to know exactly who said what, see me some time after the service and we’ll sort it out together. […]

October 2019

“One Gave Thanks”/Luke 17: 11-19, Psalm 107: 1-3, 15/Rev. Rodger Allen/10-27-19  

By |October 31st, 2019|Sermons|

By this time in Jesus’ ministry, the time of his final journey to Jerusalem, he was well-known as a teacher and a healer throughout the countryside around Jerusalem and Galilee. By this time, it would come as no surprise when he was recognized and approached by those wanting help. In this story, the ones wanting help are ten people suffering from a bad skin disease, ten whom we have come to know as “lepers.” Lepers, as you may know, may have been the most feared and rejected members of Middle Eastern society. Some people thought their disease was a punishment sent by God because they were bad people; others thought the condition was terribly contagious. It turns out both were wrong. Whatever the reason, they were outcasts, “untouchables,” given up as permanently lost and virtually dead. If we were to describe them in the “Upstairs Downstairs” terms of last month’s sermon, we would have to put them in the lowest basement. […]