sermon

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October 2019

Is Your God Too Small?/Psalm 68: 4-10, 19-20, 34-35; Jeremiah 32:27; Colossians 1:15-20/Jeanette Levellie/10.13.19

By |October 14th, 2019|Sermons|

Have you ever said, “Impossible!” about a situation in your life or someone you love? I’m ashamed to admit it, but I said that to God back in 1993. A church in West Virginia had hired my husband, Kevin, to be their pastor. Two conflicts arose as soon as Kevin agreed to accept their offer. We couldn’t sell our house in LA. And our son, 13 at the time, became very depressed about leaving his friends and moving across the country where he didn’t know anyone. I was worried that he might harm himself. […]

“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. […]

“God, Why Do You Let Bad Things Happen?”/Habakkuk. 1:1-3, 13; 2:1-4; 3:17-19 II Timothy 3:13-4:2/Rev. Rodger Allen/9-8-19

By |September 11th, 2019|Sermons|

Assyria was the Darth Vader of the Middle East.           In the 7th century BC, which is the 600’s, Assyria stomped all over the Middle East, including Israel, breathing heavily, dressed in black, committing acts of cruelty and violence. Its theory of government was that one rules by fear, by terrorizing the people, by threatening cruel punishment if you are caught doing wrong; and maybe even if you aren’t, just to keep you humble and frightened. Assyria was one of the cruelest empires the world had seen to that point – a strong efficient war machine, and a crushing tyrant of a ruler. […]

August 2019

“Oh, NO! Another ‘Difficult Teaching'”/Luke 12:49-56; Jeremiah 20:7-13/Rev. Rodger Allen/8-25-19

By |August 27th, 2019|Sermons|

Some of you may remember a Sunday morning when we considered the subject of hard-to understand things that Jesus sometimes said. The setting then was this: Jesus had just said to a crowd: “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” The disciples, in a masterful piece of understatement, responded, “this teaching . . . is difficult.” But they also went on to say, as Jesus asked if it was so difficult that it would make them turn away, “But where else would we go? YOU are the Holy One of God.” The disciples, we went on to see, had a choice between staying with Jesus and trying to understand the teachings which seemed so difficult, or giving up on Jesus, preferring simplicity, someone else’s easy answers, to the Messiah. They had to decide which they were most dedicated to: simplicity, or Jesus Christ. And they chose Christ; they voted to stay and wrestle with the difficult teachings rather than insist that everything be easy. After all, no one ever promised, to them or us, that all the teachings of the Bible were going to be easy to understand. Sometimes we have to struggle a bit. […]