Sermons

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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. […]

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. […]