Jesus

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February 2020

“And Now the God-Side”/Matthew 17:1-9; II Peter 1:16-19/Rev. Rodger Allen/2.23.2020  

By |February 27th, 2020|Sermons|

Easter, I’m sure most of you know, moves around a bit on the calendar. It’s not the same date every year, like Christmas is December 25th, or the fourth of July is, well, the fourth of July – except in Paris, Illinois where it isn’t any more. Easter is determined by a kind of complicated formula, having to do with the first day of Spring and the first full moon after that. […]

January 2020

“Welcome Back, My Friends, to the Show That Never Ends”/Matthew 2:1-5, 9-11; Mark 1:2-11/Rev. Rodger Allen/1-5-2020

By |January 8th, 2020|Church News, Sermons|

There have been several movie and TV versions of the story of Peter Pan. One was a movie starring Robin Williams, called “Hook,” and it asked us to imagine that Peter Pan had, in fact, in spite of all his previous promises to the contrary, grown up. We find him living, in the 1990’s, near a big city, where he works as a ruthless merger-and-acquisitions lawyer, mercilessly gobbling up small companies in order to turn a profit. He works, as a matter of fact, all the time, so much that he is losing touch with his family – his wife; and two children, who are in elementary school. He has forgotten that he ever was Peter Pan. He has no recollection of anything previous to being sent to private school by the family who adopted him. He name now, is, and as far as he is concerned, always has been, Peter Banning. Then one day Peter’s past comes back at him in a way which can’t be neglected, in the way he has neglected his family and earliest memories: His children are kidnapped, and it turns out they have been kidnapped by his old nemesis Captain Hook, who is still vowing revenge against Peter for having caused him to lose his hand to a hungry crocodile, the hand that has now become the “hook.” […]

December 2019

“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 [...]

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. […]